The public review period of the proposed upgrade of Quemetco Inc" />

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Posted on : Sep 28, 2018

The public review period of the proposed upgrade of Quemetco Inc’s recycling plant in Los Angeles by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Southern California regulatory agency, closes on October 2.

The Quemetco Capacity Upgrade Project, according to the SCAQMD, is seeking to increase the rotary feed drying furnace feed rate from 600 tons a day to 750 tpd. In doing so the furnaces will be operating continuously — up from 20 hours a day.

The bottom line for Quemetco is that its output of refined lead will increase from around 460 tons per day to 575. This boost in productivity will eliminate the existing daily idle time of the rotary feed drying furnace and reverberatory furnace.

A local meeting held on September 13 to discuss the matter with angry residents was later described by a regional newspaper as ‘chaotic’.

The application to increase operations comes three years after the permanent closure — and related scandal — of Exide Technologies’ lead battery recycling plant at Vernon, some 19 miles away.

This increase will help eliminate the shortfall of smelting facilities following the Exide closure.

According to the local newspaper San Gabriel Valley Tribune, residents were not allowed to ask questions at the meeting, in which Michael Krause, the planning rules manager of the SCAQMD, gave an introduction to the plans. Instead, they were asked to write their questions on whiteboards around the room.

In the review document, the SCAQMD will increase the amount of total coke material allowed to be processed in the rotary feed drying furnace and reverberatory furnace from 600,000 pounds per month to 750,000. It will allow petroleum coke, in lieu of or in addition to calcined coke, to be used as a smelting reagent in the reverberatory furnace and electric resistance heated slag reduction furnace.

Quemetco, which is owned by RSR Corporation, says the plant “is the cleanest lead recycling facility in the world”.

Source: Batteries International

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