Hephaestus Swallowing Poisons

50 km from Frankfurt, among the endless agricultural lands, there is a strange construction towering above and breaking the pastoral landscape of the German province. It's not an elevator and it's not an autostation. This is the largestplant in Europe for toxic industrial waste destruction.  
Such plants are not typical for many countries where wastes pollute soil and air. 
Europeans care about nature. Let's see how they destruct hazardous wastes, what
technologies they use, how they finance the field and attract investors.

Hourly they destruct more than 16 tons of waste. It's about 131 thousand tons annually. Trucks one after another are weighed at the entrance of the plant...

and at the exit...

Not only German waste is processed but Italian for example as well.

At the entrance a driver has to show documents with cargo description. When he leaves he is given certificates confirming the fact of the hazardous cargo destruction.

Sampling area where chemists sample the delivered wastes.

They check them for conforming with the documents. On the doors of the laboratory there are warning signs. 

While samples are being analyzed the cargo waits for the results under the shed. Then it's sent to the definite warehouse department.

The bored driver may entertain himself by guessing the riddles of metal constructions, piping and cables.

Or by meditation at the rotating drum furnace. The furnace, by the way, is similar to that one that burns medical waste, though the productivity of this one is higher and the temperature is 900 degrees only, but not 1300 - used for burning infected waste. 

No smoke from the chimney - the powerful system of gas purification "presses" all pollution down. It's mostly carbon dioxide that goes to the atmosphere. The cost of the purification may reach one third of the plant cost! But clean air and health of population is more precious. 
How much can this plant cost, by the way? Probably half of billion euros.

So the analysis of samples is over. The new package of glass laboratory utensils is open. The driver gets the permission to unload the cargo.

The truck has left, the cargo remained in the appointed place. In the tanks on the pallet.

Funny pictures, aren't they? "Flammable", "Poisonous", "Ecologically destructive". In the tank - 179 kg of solvents mixture on the basis of benzol.

The truck and the loader fulfill the inner logistics. The accepted cargo is taken to the warehouse.

The warehouse looks plain. On the one hand the "products" do not require special conditions for storage, it won't spoil. On the other - it's easier to extinguish if the incident occurs.

Labels on the packages. "Abstergents and detergents. Disinfectant liquid". Maybe the waste is from a hospital.

Natrium fluoridу is used as a vermifuge for pigs. Toluol is a dream of an inhalants addict. Applied for production of explosive substances and as a polymers solvent.   

Solvent in the tanks

ALBA — a large concern that works with wastes. More than 200 offices in Germany and 10 more in European countries. The company specializes in collecting and delivery of wastes. The plant we observe belongs to another group - HIM.

The range of the accepted wastes is wide. Behind these gates, for example, you may see the tank for paste-like wastes. It's remains of various mastic, sealant, defective toothpaste.

And in this container are medical wastes. The label says: "Organs and organic wastes", imagine that?

If necessary "organs" are stored in the mobile refrigirators.

In this metal tank the content is not much better. Saltpetre.

By these trucks processed oils, liquids and emulsions are transported. Oil film from the port? Bring here for burning. It doesn't matter that for each ton of such wastes destruction the plant will require about 2000 euros. The health of future generations means much more! 

Pumping equipment for oil products

Control panel

The heart if the plant - furnaces. It seems that the plant is very very old and overgrown with pipes, stairs, sites and cables.

The furnace

Looking inside

And nothing remains. Flame destroys everything: poisons, pesticides, expired medicines, chemicals...

Fine dust is absorbed by the gas purification system.

The furnace heat is taken by the water wrapped up in steam. The steam gives its fury to the turbine, and the turbine rotates the generator. And the poison is turned into good - energy and heat.

The territory is not restricted, look how green everything around is. And the truck works nearby, afraid of nothing.
via igergel


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