Part of the circular economy
Did you know that your mobile phone is a veritable gold mine? Boliden Rönnskär is one the world’s leading smelters for recovery of metals. Here circuit boards are converted into pure metal which can be used in new products. The process is energy intensive, but with the assistance of Atlas Copco the smelter is now on the right track to reduce its energy consumption by more than 1 million kWh per year.
Unlike many other materials, metals can be reused again and again without significantly losing their quality. Boliden Rönnskär in northern Sweden is one of the world’s leading players in electronics metal recycling, such as discarded mobile phones and circuit boards, and is thereby an important link in the circular economy. Many of the smelter's processes require large amounts of compressed air, which puts high demands on energy efficiency and operational safety of the compressors. The smelter has strict internal requirements linked to carbon dioxide emissions and has, according to Swedish and European environmental legislation, also an obligation to minimize the impact on people and the environment by using the best possible technology.
In 2014 Boliden Rönnskär decided to change several old compressors to more energy efficient models. The old compressors worked well but the compressed air team suspected there was much to gain by changing the existing fixed speed machines to new models with variable speed drive (VSD). To get a clear picture of the need for compressed air in the various sections of the production, the smelter decided to execute a so-called energy audit (AIRScan) together with Atlas Copco.