NEW ZEALAND: The first refrigerant destruction facility in New Zealand is to be built in Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island.
The SPARC plasma plant technology from PyroGenesis Canada Inc, which is due to be completed in 2024, will have the capacity to destroy up to 100 tonnes of gases annually.
Currently the Trust for the Destruction of Synthetic Refrigerants collects and pays a bounty for recovered synthetic refrigerants through its Cool-Safe product stewardship programme, which are then shipped to an Australian-based specialist destruction plant.
Evolving from PyroGenesis’ plasma platform developed for the US Military, SPARC uses high temperature steam plasma to crack CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs and PFCs.
In a reactor with a temperature of over 1300°C, the steam plasma hydrolysis reaction is said to quickly and efficiently break down the waste refrigerant into CO2 and water. The gas stream is then rapidly quenched to prevent any reformation of dioxins and furans. Acid gases generated by the process are readily scrubbed out of the stream and neutralised.
Richard Lauder, chair of the Trust for the Destruction of Synthetic Refrigerants, says the purchase is an important milestone in New Zealand’s mission to significantly reduce the negative impact from these refrigerants. “Up until now any of the refrigerants that we’ve collected for safe destruction have had to be shipped to Australia, which isn’t an ideal solution. That’s meant an increased environmental risk through offshore transportation of the refrigerants, associated carbon generation and variable international shipping and destruction costs.”