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Ecobat Resources Freiberg increases its energy efficiency with waste heat modules from Orcan Energy


Orcan Energy installs its waste heat solution in recycling companies for the first time, expanding its scope of application.

Munich and Freiberg, 31.08.2022 – Recycling company Ecobat Resources Freiberg GmbH is significantly increasing its energy efficiency with three waste heat modules from Orcan Energy. The modules convert the previously unused waste heat on site into almost 1.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year. As a result, they significantly increase the energy efficiency of the production facility while reducing its CO2 emissions by more than 1,000 metric tons annually. Ecobat is thus Orcan Energy's first customer to produce CO2-free electricity from previously unused waste heat at a recycling plant, improving its eco-balance. The cleantech company Orcan Energy, which has already installed its waste heat solutions in various industrial sectors such as cement, metals, automotive and chemicals and has now become the second most used plant worldwide, is thus expanding its scope of application to include another promising industry.

Ecobat is a leading recycling company in Europe. At its Freiberg site, the company recycles 75,000 metric tons of battery scrap to produce about 55,000 metric tons of lead and lead alloys, including tin and antimony master alloys, annually. In addition to secondary lead, polypropylene composites, special waste disposal and recycling, the site also produces 5,000 metric tons of sodium sulfate per year, which is sold to the glass and detergent industries.

In the production of these resources, it is necessary to condense steam from the crystallization process - until now, a wet cooling tower was used for this purpose. Orcan Energy is replacing this wet cooling tower with three Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) modules, the efficiency PACKs 150.200. This generates electricity from the process waste heat while reducing the consumption of water and electricity at the cooler and its maintenance requirements.

In principle, the ORC system works like a steam power plant: The pressurized working medium is heated and fed to the expander as superheated steam. The steam drives the expander and thus the generator, which in turn produces electricity.

Orcan Energy's ORC modules are more compact than standard ORC units. As a result, they are particularly easy to install and can be used on a wide variety of waste heat sources. Customers benefit from lower electricity costs from day one and at the same time reduce their CO2 emissions through the additional green electricity generated.

„Our focus has long been on using energy sparingly and effectively. We see responsible action as the basis for our economic success. With the help of Orcan Energy's waste heat solutions, we are able to optimize energy use in our company and further decarbonize our business“, says Martin Fischer, Managing Director at Ecobat Resources Freiberg.

Andreas Sichert, CEO of Orcan Energy adds: "In times of impending energy shortages and enormous competitive pressure for companies, our systems are the best protection against rising electricity prices. Our products reduce the need for external power supply. As a result, we directly reduce our customers' costs and the negative impact on the environment. Our solutions can be connected wherever waste heat is generated. Many industrial operators still have untapped potential. We are happy to help them determine whether waste heat recovery is worthwhile for them. We are very pleased that Ecobat is the first company in the recycling sector to use its waste heat profitably with our solutions."



About Ecobat

Ecobat Resources Freiberg is Germany's third largest lead smelter and has its origins in the 14th century. Today, the company is a leader in the recycling and production of resources essential to modern life. Ecobat relies on efficient, state-of-the-art technologies to recycle materials without sacrificing performance while reducing environmental and resource impact. Globally, Ecobat is the largest producer of soft lead and custom lead alloys used in energy storage solutions and other industrial and commercial applications. Another focus is the recovery of polypropylene and other plastics used in the development of high-value polymer solutions. The materials recovered mainly from spent batteries are sought-after raw materials for the automotive supply industry. At the Freiberg site, Ecobat also recycles special waste in the company's own incineration plant. 155 qualified employees ensure the success of Ecobat, a specialist waste management company and certified according to ISO 9001, 14001, 50001 and OHRIS.

According to Battery Council International, 97% of all battery lead is recycled, and a typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80% recycled lead and plastic. Ecobat is proud to be part of this initiative and at the forefront of efforts to make the business of batteries safer and more sustainable.

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