Hokkaido PCB Waste Treatment Facility

Hokkaido Facility is the fifth regional PCB waste treatment facility in Japan, thanks to the acceptance of the facility by Hokkaido Prefecture and Muroran City. JESCO started construction in March 2006, and started operations in May 2009. In accordance to the government's amendment to the Plan for PCB waste treatment (amended October 2007), JESCO constructed an additional facility to treat ballasts and other PCB contaminated wastes. The additional facility is started operations in September 2013.

Outline of Facility

^ Click above to enlarge
  • Location: 14-7 Nakamachi, Muroran City, Hokkaido 050-0087
  • Lot area: Approx 40,000 m2

  • Accepted Wastes
  • Type of waste Wastes stored at Wastes accepted outside assigned region
    Transformers and capacitors E Region none
    Ballasts and others D and E regions (Except for wastes assigned for Tokyo Facility) none
  • Types of wastes treated at each facility:
    • < Original Treatment Facility >
      *Electrical apparatuses such as transformers, capacitors and PCB oil
      - Treatment method
      Pre-treatment of containers and components: Solvent Cleansing Method and Vacuum Heating Separation Method
      PCB decomposition: Dechlorination Method
      - PCB treatment capacity
      1.8 t/day (PCB decomposition volume)
    • < Additional Treatment Facility >
      *Fluorescent lighting ballasts, small electrical equipments, carbonless paper
      - Treatment method
      Plasma Melting Decomposition Method(PMD)
      - PCB treatment capacity
      12.2 t/day (PCB contaminants volume)
  • Overview of Building
    • < Original Treatment Facility >
      4-story steel framed building, Height: About 29 m, Building area: About 11,000 m2, Total floor area: About 25,500 m2

    • < Additional Treatment Facility >
      6-story steel framed building, Height: About 34 m, Building area: About 5,420 m2, Total floor area: About 17,700 m2

  • Treatment Flow < Original Treatment Facility >

    In the Pre-treatment process, PCB oil is extracted from transformers and capacitors, and the parts are disassembled and cleansed, and PCB-soaked materials are sent to the vacuum heating separation device , where PCB is separated and collected.

    In the PCB decomposition process, PCB is chemically decomposed in the reaction tank, and after passing PCB elimination tests, recyclables such as metal and treated oil are sent to recyling companies. The decomposition method mixes PCB with sodium dispersion (SD), which acts as an antichlor. Chlorine of PCB and sodium react and turn into NaCl (common salt) and byphenlys, which are harmless substances.

    Treatment Flow Diagram
    ^ Click above chart to enlarge

    Treatment Flow < Additional Treatment Facility >

    In the Pre-treatment process, delivery containers filled with PCB waste are opened in the Pre-treatment Operations Room to be confirmed. After confirming the contents, for each type of waste, a predetermined amount is packed and sealed into drums and conveyed into the Drum Accepting and supplying Room

    In the PCB decomposition process, drums are loaded one by one into the plasma melting furnace. The plasma torch located in the upper section of the plasma melting furnace radiates a plasma arc, at temperatures of approximately 15,000 degrees Celsius. In addition, liquified noncombustible substances accumulate at the bottom of the furnace, forming a molten slag bath, which will reach temperatures of approximately 1,400 degrees. The heat from the arc and the slag synergistically keeps the furnace at high temperatures. This high-temperature process melts the drum together with the PCB waste contained,and decomposes the PCB. The liquid smelting slag is composed of noncombustible materials. Any slag remaining inside the plasma melting furnace is first discharged from the furnace, then removed as cooled slag.

    Safety Measures of Hokkaido Facility

    Monitoring Operations are monitored 24 hours a day by computers from the Central Monitoring Room.
    Measures for Exhaust Exhaust from process is cleaned by oil scrubbers in the exhaust treatment equipment, and goes through activated carbon as a safety net before released. Furthermore, the air pressure inside the facilities are kept lower than atmosphere outside, to keep air from flowing outside.
    Measures to Prevent Leakage To prevent PCB from leaving the facilities, oil pans are set under PCB-handling areas and PCB treatment equipment. Floors are coated with epoxy resin which is impermeable, chemical resistant, and wear-resistant. These measures will prevent PCB from penetrating floors in case of a spilling. The oil pans and floors are equipped with detectors to identify leakage.
    Emergency Measures When an earthquake above preset intensity is detected, facilities are shut down automatically. Also, to protect facilities from fire, automatic fire alarms, chemical fire extinguishers and fire hydrants are installed.

    Information Disclosure of Operation Status

    JESCO makes effort to actively disclose information from planning of facilities to operation status.
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