Kawasaki Launches Asbestos Treatment System Business

Sep. 06, 2006


 Tokyo, September 6, 2006 — Kawasaki Plant Systems, Ltd. (K Plant) today announced that it has launched an asbestos treatment system business using PEM (Plasma Enhanced Melter) technologies.

 These technologies have proven capabilities for efficiently treating toxic waste and recyclable resources. With a PEM as the core equipment, Kawasaki’s system can melt asbestos and thus render it harmless. Kawasaki submitted its system to practical evaluations of the detoxifying function prior to launching the new business. After undergoing a pyrolysis process at high temperatures, white asbestos and blue asbestos, as well as nondispersable asbestos like slate board, were sufficiently detoxified. Additionally, a hyaloid (glass-like) byproduct generated from the process was found to be recyclable as a raw material. Atmospheric monitoring performed during the tests confirmed the necessary levels of environmental safety around the facility.

 The PEM melts asbestos waste inserted from the top of the furnace with a 3,000° to 5,000° C plasma arc. The asbestos is then recovered as molten glass, and metals in asbestos (infused materials) are recovered as molten metal on the bottom of the furnace. Organic waste such as plastics are decomposed into their elements by pyrolysis. The process lowers the flow rate of exhaust gases than conventional combustion methods and does not allow untreated asbestos to leave the PEM System, as other methods do.

 Kawasaki is marketing the PEM System, which has a capacity of 2 to 30 tons/day (750 to 9,000 tons/year), to local governments and the industrial waste treatment industry. The company is committed to contributing to the Japan-wide environmental policy on the elimination of asbestos led by the Ministry of the Environment.