PCB disposal solutions

Our St Vulbas plant is authorised to:

  • DECONTAMINATE TRANSFORMERS for rehabilitation or materials recovery
  • ELIMINATION BY INCINCERATION of all PCB waste (transformers, capacitors, contaminated soil)

The bulk of the PCB waste received comprises transformers. After analysis, and depending on their level of PCB content and electrical condition, the PCB contaminated transformers are decontaminated before undergoing rehabilitation or recovery.

  • PCB transformer decontamination and rehabilitation process

Transformers that are in good electrical condition, whose initial PCB content is less than 2000 ppm, can be rehabilitated.
After being emptied and decontaminated, the transformers are filled with a new oil that is free of PCBs.

Electrical test - restored PCB transformers
Electrical test – restored PCB transformers

Technical resources :

  • 9 autoclaves – Annual capacity: 16,000 tonnes
  • Distillation column to regenerate the decontamination solvent
  • Special PCB liquid storage vats

> VIEW PCB TREATMENT PROCESS

  • PCB transformer decontamination and recovery process

Transformers that cannot be rehabilitated are decontaminated and then used for recovery.

Recovery of magnetic sheets from transformers
Recovery of magnetic sheets from transformers

Technical resource :

  • 9 autoclaves – Annual capacity: 16,000 tonnes
  • Distillation column to regenerate the decontamination solvent
  • Special PCB liquid storage vats

> VIEW PCB TREATMENT PROCESS (FRENCH)

  • PCB waste elimination process

The oils and waste contaminated with PCB waste are incinerated in a kiln at 1200°C.
This is currently the only effective solution for the destruction of PCBs.
The incineration process is strictly controlled, with continuous sampling and measurement of atmospheric and aqueous discharge.

Destruction of PCB waste
PCB waste destruction

Technical resources :

  • a rotary kiln: annual capacity of 33,000 tonnes
  • a static oven: annual capacity of 6,000 tonnes
  • Management of environmental and health impact associated with PCBs

Secure, confined processes help in managing the environmental and health effects:

  • Plant equipped with retention basin and slight depression
  • Secure storage of 2,800m² (retention with water recovery and treatment) for emptied transformers
  • Closed circuit transfer of PCB liquids to storage vats
  • Regulated access procedures: specific equipment for employees and use of special materials
  • Management of the plant’s run-off water (recovery, decanting and activated carbon treatment)

Specific environmental measures to check the efficiency of the work carried out:

  • Monitoring of atmospheric discharge (plant, incineration unit)
  • Monitoring of aqueous discharge (run-off water and process water)
  • Monitoring of the environment (fauna, flora, ground, lichen).