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Environmental Protection & Preservation

GreenShift Corporation Recognized for Innovation in the Field of Electronic Waste Recycling

Frost & Sullivan has recognized GreenShift Corporation with the 2006 Product Innovation Award in the field of electronic waste recycling.

GreenShift receives this Award for developing an innovative and advanced electronic waste recycling solution called the Tornado Generator. Based on the principle of the tornado, the Tornado Generator is capable of drastically reducing the volume of waste materials (segregated stream of metals and plastics in case of electronics recycling). What makes this innovation truly noteworthy is that the product can effectively reduce the volume of the input waste material stream to about 90 percent by pulverizing it into micrometer-sized particles.

With directives such as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) coming into effect from 2006 in Europe, electronic waste recycling is increasingly receiving a major thrust. European nations and countries such as Japan, United States and China are also adopting a number of initiatives to recycle electronic waste. The prime intention of such directives is to not only bring about the efficient recovery of useful components, but to also safeguard the environment from harmful toxic substances such as lead, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and other flame-retardants that are present in electronic waste.

"The process of electronic waste recycling involves a continuous chain of different operations such as conventional grinding and separation into plastic and metal streams, removal of hazardous components from these streams, pulverizing the plastic and metal streams, selective separation of high-value metals and plastics, and finally energy conversion of residual organics," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Hari Ramamoorthy. "In this regard, the Tornado Generator represents a notable accomplishment as it can be employed in the critical step of pulverization of plastic and metal streams, enabling the increased availability of high-value metals in the process flow and also facilitates efficient reaction of the qualified plastics into energy and/or clean fuels such as ethanol or synthetic diesel."

The operation of the Tornado Generator is simple yet elegant. It employs a stream of compressed air that is accelerated to high supersonic speeds in a closed cyclonic chamber, resulting in the formation of a powerful air vortex or a 'tornado'. This tornado grinds materials that are fed into it to micrometer-sized particles. Air is introduced at the bottom of the system and proceeds upwards, while the material, after grinding, is collected at the bottom of the system.

Significantly, the Tornado Generator incorporates the ability to dehydrate and atomize both solid as well as liquid wastes. The generator is robust in operation and appears to be able to provide cost-effective processing of a wide variety of wastes. Considering all this, such a solution could help meet the electronics recycling industry's need for an effective grinding solution for high fracture materials such as glass, coal, concrete, aluminum, and hard plastics. Moreover, the solution is flexible and can be adapted to a variety of industrial applications such as desalination, food processing, treatment of waste such as sludge, municipal solid waste, poultry waste, consumer waste, and so on.

"GreenShift plans to use its Tornado Generator along with other proprietary technologies such as the company's patented plastics separation process, which was developed by Argonne National Laboratory under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, to screen out chlorinated and brominated plastics and to fine-tune the overall electronic recycling process," says Ramamoorthy.

Kevin Kreisler, GreenShift's chairman and chief executive officer added that "Smaller particles equate to better reaction kinetics. This helps to make downstream processes that are designed to extract the highest value out of the commodities in electronic waste streams much more efficient. We believe that the Tornado Generator technology will provide a significant contribution to the electronic waste recycling industry and we are proud and excited to have received this Award."

Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technologies within their industry. The recipient company has shown innovation by launching a broad line of emerging products and technologies.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

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