Acid Process Metal Recycling Systems

The Challenge

Scanacon tackles the challenge of reducing waste from steel, titanium, and zirconium production processes while boosting profitability for steel plants. With 40 years of experience in acid pickling chemistry, Scanacon understands the difficulties of the messy and process-challenging pickling operations, including health and safety risks and environmental legislation. The traditional pickling process generates large volumes of waste acid and neutralization sludge with valuable metal content.


Scanacon offers solutions to reduce waste, recover valuable metals, clean contaminated water, and minimize environmental impact. By recycling valuable metals, acids, and water, Scanacon reduces hazardous waste generation to close to zero and increases profitability by virtually eliminating sludge handling costs.

Customers ask us, how can we…
  • Reduce the large volumes of sludge that are generated?
  • Recover the high value metals such as chrome and nickel?
  • Clean and neutralize the contaminated water for release back to nature?
  • Eliminate the heavy use of lime?

The overriding question is how can we minimize environmental impact and at the same time boost profitability?

The answer is… the Scanacon way!
By recycling valuable metals, acids and water used in the surface treatment process, thus keeping generation of hazardous waste close to zero and minimizing the plant’s environmental impact. Costs related to the handling of sludge are virtually eliminated and profitability increases dramatically.

scanacon recycling

The Solution

Scanacon offers a revolutionary solution that enables you to recycle valuable metals from your waste stream, significantly decreasing the environmental impact of your pickling process. This innovative solution is a game-changer for steel, titanium, and zirconium producers, helping to minimize waste and increase profitability.

1. Plants with no acid or metal recycling

The waste generated by pickling and chemical milling processes in steel, titanium, and zirconium plants are treated with large quantities of neutralizing agents at neutralization plants, producing hazardous waste containing heavy metals that ultimately get disposed of in extensive and harmful landfills. This results in a costly and unsustainable situation.

2. Scanacon Acid Recycling system

Scanacon's solution separates valuable metals and recycles the acid used in pickling and chemical milling operations. The system is highly automated to ensure correct function, quality, and capacity, while reducing costs and environmental impact. This leads to a reduction in acid purchases and a waste stream with lower acidity, resulting in less sludge needing to be disposed of in landfill sites. However, heavy metals still end up in these sites, which have a negative impact on the environment.

3. Scanacon Acid Process Metal Recycling system

The Scanacon Acid Process Metal Recycling system eliminates waste by treating the byproducts from the acid recycling phase. It operates fully automatically and captures high-value metals from wastewater streams, which can be reused in the plant, sold as a separate product, or included in the production flow. This results in no sludge or heavy metals being sent to landfill.

The System

The Scanacon Metal Recycling solution is a comprehensive, fully automated system that operates continuously, providing a complete and integrated solution to the challenges of byproduct management in acid recycling processes. With its advanced automation and control capabilities, this system ensures efficient, consistent, and safe operation, delivering optimal results in terms of both cost savings and environmental impact reduction.
Small footprint, modularized and scalable
The Scanacon Metal Recycling Solution is a complete, integrated, and fully automated system designed to minimize waste production from pickling processes. It features a four-step process that utilizes both standardized Scanacon technology and in-house innovations to achieve a highly efficient solution. The system can effectively treat all types of pickling flows from a Scanacon Acid Recycling system, capturing up to 99% of dissolved heavy metals and minimizing the production of acid sludge. With a compact design and modular structure, the Scanacon Metal Recycling Solution is scalable to meet the needs of any operation.
For a medium-sized installation…

The Medium-sized Metal Recycling System (with a capacity of 2 cubic meters per hour) can perform the following functions:

Recycle up to 20 kilograms of Nickel per hour

Recycle up to 40 kilograms of Chrome per hour

Produce up to 120 kilograms of Chrome/Iron metal oxide powder per hour

Completely eliminate sludge from neutralizing the Acid Recycling System’s waste flow.

The above figures are examples and may vary depending on the input material.

The Benefits

The Scanacon Metal Recycling system is a smart investment that offers a double benefit: it not only protects the environment but also helps you reduce operating costs. By opting for this recycling system, you can contribute to a more sustainable future while also improving the financial performance of your business.

Up To
Free acid recycling *
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Up To
Nickel recycling *
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Up To
Reduction of sludge to landfill *
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Chrome recycling *
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More than
metric tonnes CO₂ savings per year **
Years return on investment

The Installation

Scanacon Recycling Solutions can easily be integrated into your production process
1. Pickling process
The pickling process is a method of cleaning and removing impurities from the surface of metal components by immersing them in a chemical bath. This process can also include chemical milling or etching.  
2. Scanacon Acid Recycling system
The Scanacon Acid Recycling system is a unique and efficient way of recycling the acid used in the pickling process. This system separates the free acid from the dissolved metals, and then returns the free acid back to the pickling bath. The dissolved metals are sent to the Scanacon Metal Recycling system as a weak acidic waste stream.
3. Scanacon Metal Recycling system
The Scanacon Metal Recycling system takes the waste stream from the Scanacon Acid Recycling system and processes it to recover valuable metals. This process creates a product consisting of recycled metals and water that can be reused in the pickling process, saving on resources and reducing waste.
4. Recycled metals
The recycled metals obtained from the Scanacon Metal Recycling system, such as Nickel, Chrome, and Iron, have multiple potential uses. They can be sent back to the steel-making process to be reused or sold on the market as valuable commodities. By recycling these metals, the environmental impact of metal extraction and production is reduced, and resources are conserved.


Materials Processed
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