Explaining Thermal Denaturing of Asbestos
I am often asked how we destroy asbestos.
Having read academic papers with titles such as “The thermal treatment of asbestos-containing materials” and “The transformation sequence of asbestos cement-asbestos” I have probably failed the comprehension test of being able to explain what I have read to a third party.
In simple terms thermal denaturing means that when asbestos is heated to a certain temperature for a certain length of time it loses the properties that make it hazardous. The treated material is no longer asbestos and can be used as an aggregate or possibly as a raw material for other construction products such as blocks or tiles.
Putting asbestos into landfill does not destroy asbestos it merely buries it. In many cases, it also disturbs it. Skips of asbestos which have been bagged are tipped out and this process can often lead to the asbestos sheets fracturing. They are then put in a cell in the landfill site and the cell is often driven over by a heavy vehicle to compress the cell. This can also lead to asbestos fracturing.
Thermal Recycling offers a completely different and much more sustainable solution to the long term disposal of asbestos. We will take asbestos sheets into our plant and a useable aggregate will leave our plant. We have many checks to ensure that the treatment has worked and every treated batch of material will be sampled and sent to an independent laboratory to confirm that asbestos is no longer present.
The plant will be carbon neutral. Although we have no alternative but to use gas to fire the kiln, we are excited to support the United Nations platform of certified projects that reduce, avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. We will carefully choose the individual projects that we wish to support those projects which involve waste handling and disposal.
Thermal Recycling is not simply a new approach to dealing with asbestos it is also a far better approach.