At a recent Border 2020 conference held in Tijuana, Barnes Johnson, Deputy Director of U.S. EPA OSRTI, noted a very distinct difference between Recycling and Fuel blending/energy recovery.


What’s the difference?


When an unwanted byproduct that is created from a manufacturing or other process, the recycling goal is to keep that product being used for its intended purpose.

A simplified explanation would be…if you typically only print on one side of a sheet of paper and then dispose of it in a container that is destined for landfill, you have ended the usable life of that sheet of the paper.

If you instead turn that sheet of paper over and print on the other side, you have just doubled the life of that sheet of paper by recycling it. If after you have used both sides of the paper you send it to a facility that will convert its thermal properties to some form of energy, you have utilized recycling and energy recovery.

That’s True Recycling!

Looking at it from a manufacturing point of view, if you have a manufacturing process that utilizes acetone to clean assembly parts, the acetone eventually breaks down and becomes spent with oil and other contaminants. The spent acetone has become a manufacturing byproduct.

The disposal of this byproduct now becomes an issue. Sending the acetone across the United States for H061 fuel blending generates a huge carbon footprint and misses a true recycling opportunity.

fuel blending

If instead, you recycle the acetone by distillation, the acetone goes back into industry for its intended purpose.

Distillation generates a secondary byproduct referred to as still bottoms. Still bottoms are a mixture of the contaminants that were in the acetone along with a small amount of acetone. The mixture still has very high BTU and is a valuable source of fuel for energy recovery.

It is only after recycling that energy recovery should be employed to achieve the highest level of efficiency. Energy recovery seeks to extract the available BTU or heat value from the unwanted byproduct and use the heat value to derive an immediate benefit.

As is the case with Temarry Recycling, the immediate benefit is the production of steam that is used to power their recovery stills. Using steam instead of propane or natural gas provides a cost benefit, but also prevents the extensive use of a natural resource.

Both types of recycling are good. Recycle first and then recover energy. If the process of recycling is not a viable option for items such as rags and debris, since there is no liquid to recover, then going straight to energy recovery is the best option.


Why should it matter to the average individual or business enterprise?


In some parts of the U.S., and within some corporations, there is a mandate to reduce the carbon footprint and reduce the amount of raw materials consumed in order to sustain the availability of natural resources. Natural resources have a finite quantity. When they are gone, they’re gone. By recycling whenever practical, resources are sustained. By conserving our natural resources we as a people all benefit.

At Temarry, we recycle or recover everything that we receive.

We have a complete list of the acceptable waste codes Temarry accepts.

We accept flammable and halogenated solvents for distillation. Spent solvents are first filtered and blended and then go into the recovery stills. Sufficient heat is applied to boil the solvent. Only the pure solvent is vaporized and goes up into the column. The vapor is condensed back into liquid where it becomes a pure solvent that is sold back into industry to be used for its intended purpose. This is “True Recycling”.


True Recycling


Temarry Recycling’s Solvent Recycling & Energy Recovery Process

fuel blending


Waste solids are received, sorted and finger print analysis performed


Solids are packaged into proper size burnable containers and placed on the feed conveyor


Burn in the primary chamber is initiated by clean burning propane gas that heats the primary chamber to 1500 F, which is the basic operating temperature. Once at this operating temperature, the unit becomes self-sustaining and the primary burner turns off. Heat then travels to the secondary chamber.


Solids, or ash, fall out of the burn unit on to the ash conveyor system and deposited into an ash hopper. Ash is later blended with other liquids for cement kiln fuel blending.


All vapor from the primary burn chamber are directed to the secondary chamber where there is a retention time of 2.5 seconds. All volatile organic compounds are eliminated by thermal destruction.


Thermal energy is converted to steam in our 200 horse power boiler. Steam is directed to the distillation units for use as a heat source.


Additional heat from the boiler is directed to a two-stage Venturi scrubber system to insure that only clean water vapor is emitted to the atmosphere.


Stage two of the two stage gas scrubber


Waste solvents are received, sorted and finger print analysis performed


Liquid drums are pumped and filtered


After filtering, solvents are pumped to the distillation unit


Volatilized solvent vapors expand into the fractionation column


After the frac column comes the heat exchanger that cools off the solvent. 


Pure solvent is cooled down through a heat exchanger and is directed to a finished product tank


Product is packaged into drums and totes for distribution back in to  industry


Heat is a natural resource that is expensive and can often mitigate the financial advantage of distillation. At Temarry, we receive hazardous and non-hazardous organic solids, such as rags, debris, wipes and PPE with sufficient fuel value to convert to energy. Solids are fed by conveyor into the primary chamber that operates at 1500°F.

Heat and gases then go into a second chamber that operates at the same temperature to insure that all organics are eliminated. Heat then goes to a 200 hp steam boiler. Effluent is then directed to a 2 stage venturi scrubber to insure that particulate does not enter the atmosphere. Steam is then directed to the recovery stills and used as an inexpensive heat source that does not expend natural resources.

This allows Temarry to operate the only “Closed Loop True Recycling” facility serving the western United States.     

 Are you Recycling or Fuel Blending

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