Holcim will burn shredded shoe-waste to make cement in Vietnam

"Incredibly difficult" production waste from Vietnam’s biggest shoe factory will be shredded and used as a substitute for fossil fuel for cement maker, Holcim.

Rubber, textiles, plastics and reinforcements of various types will be chopped into 80mm chunks and burned to power Holcim’s local cement kiln calciner, said the manufacturer of the rugged machinery, Austrian shredding specialist, Untha.

The shredding system Untha devised can process up to 10 tonnes of material an hour with high calorific value.

Metals will be liberated and extracted for recycling.

"This footwear production waste is an incredibly difficult product to shred, due to the mixture of notoriously tough materials contained within sports shoes," said Christian Lanner, Untha’s head of engineering and product management. "We’re tackling rubber, textiles, plastics, metals, sponge, reinforcements and more."

Lanner said Untha’s cutting concept has been refined to deal with the "demanding waste stream".

Having been pre-manufactured in Austria for Holcim to test, the plant has been shipped to Vietnam by sea and is expected to be shredding by September.

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