MacLean Engineering
MacLean Engineering

How to dispose of empty aerosols

Image of a disposal unit for empty aerosols.Knowing how to safely and efficiently dispose of empty aerosol cans remains our forte. It is very important to educate ourselves about proper ways of disposing aerosol cans since it makes for an important part of our environment sustainability efforts. Disposing them indiscriminately to empty landfills is harmful for the environment as they contain propellants which are susceptible to explosion when exposed to heat. Proper Aerosol can disposal requires you to take them to certified Recycling facilities or can crushers.

Aerosol cans, hand-held propane torches, shaving cream, hair spray and multitude of products packaged under pressure are flooding our landfills. They contain hazardous materials, they are explosive and they have to be dispiosed of safely, economically and without harming the environment. Dumping these full and partially full containers into land fills is at best delaying the contamination is not the answer. The HazPak by MacLean Engineering is the answer.

This state of the art de-packaging “densifier” can separate and remove both the propellant and the liquid and save them in separator containment tanks for recycling or incineration. The metal containers are compacted into a dense dry briquette with 99 per cent of the liquid removed, which makes ideal feed stock for smelters. The entire operation occurs inside the safety of an air tight vacuum. The system is fully automated.

The operator loads a drum of aerosol cans onto the loading platform and presses the start button. The HazPak hopper is automatically purged with inert nitrogen gas creating a non-explosive atmosphere should a spark occur when the drum is lifted into place and the cans are gravity fed into the hopper. The lid is automatically closed and sealed. The nitrogen and any residual air inside the hopper are pumped out and the containment eld sensor checks to ensure a proper vacuum has been created.

The compaction cycle then begins. The stage one ram crushes the cans using 4500 P.S.I. releasing most of the liquid and the propellant gas. The propellant is drawn o and re-compressed into a holding tank for recycling or incineration. The liquid goes to the bottom and is pumped into an adjacent holding tank for recycling. The stage two ram then compacts the crushed cans using 15,000 p.s.i. of pressure into a dense briquette with 98 percent of the liquid removed. The briquette is then pushed into an air lock and the densi cation cycle begins again until all the cans in the hopper have been processed. The hopper is purged with nitrogen gas and is ready to receive another load of cans.

Throughout the process the operator can visually monitor the operation in real time and modify the operation using the touch screen controls on the LCD display. Safety and performance are key factors in the HazPak system. The HazPak is intrinsically safe through mechanical interlocks to prevent any escape of the propellant or liquid into the atmosphere. Safety sensors speci cally designed to work in explosive atmospheres are located at strategic positions inside the HazPak and provide continuous monitoring information. It allows the operator to intervene, to move the stages, to open or close the gate and to obtain diagnostic information.

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