Scrap metal recycling can be extremely dangerous if not properly managed, which means precautions must be taken both before and after incineration. Of course, scrap metal is made up of a broad range of elements including alloys, batteries and other compounds that, when burnt, give off harmful gases.
We were recently approached by a client responsible for salvaging 1.5 million tonnes of recycled metal each year, with their particular requirement in this instance pertaining to materials contained within a docked ship.
The project was of such magnitude that the local fire brigade remained present on site at all times. Once the metal was sufficiently combusted, our customer sought to control the fire by pumping carbon dioxide into the container to help displace the oxygen. This, in turn, allowed the fire to quickly subside in accordance with safety procedures.
Once this phase was complete, our client’s focus switched to ensuring the ship was safe enough for operatives to enter. A ventilation hire solution was therefore required, with two of our high capacity FV1800 units initially used to blow fresh air inside the vessel. The intention here was to help disperse harmful gases likely present inside, and this was carried out under close supervision from the site’s dedicated health & safety team.
To achieve this – and with no practical alternative available – our two fans were positioned on top of the ship via crane. With ducting connected to the units and passed through openings on deck, high volumes of outdoor air were blown into the application from above.
Thereafter, the functionality of our equipment was altered so that both fans ran on extraction mode. This was due to the fact that flammable gases, including carbon monoxide, were likely to still be confined within the ship.
We are delighted to report that this whole assignment was successfully concluded in a little over 24 hours, at which point the environment was declared safe. This is not the first time we have worked with this customer – nor our first experience of this particular task – so we’re very happy that everything ran just as smoothly as the previous occasion.