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Recycling Services


Activated carbon


Activated carbon is used for the cleaning of exhaust fumes and wastewater and subsequently contain traces of pollutants. For instance, materials from industrial processes that contain mercury furthermore form a major disposal problem. Safe storage of this waste is only possible if the mercury is removed beforehand, e.g. through distillation. Afterwards, substance-based recycling or re-use is possible, instead of adding it to landfill.

BATREC has developed a process in which saturated activated carbon can be detoxified in an environmentally-responsible manner. It can then be safely recycled. BATREC’s offer to reactivate spent activated carbon is unique, and is used by customers from the petrochemical, chemical industries, waste-water treatment plants, and waste management companies all over the world.

Our reactivation process

BATREC works with a procedure which removes pollutants from polluted activated carbon and reactivates it at the same time (e.g. mercury and sulphur). This takes place in a high-temperature treatment with temperatures up to 800 degrees Celsius. The distilled pollutants are subsequently separated in an elaborate gas cleaning process and incinerated in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Catalyst & Active Carbon Reactivation Brochure The Batrec process

With this ultra-modern and safe plant for recycling catalysts and active carbon, BATREC meets the requirements of a rapidly-changing market. In this way, clients can invest in a zero waste solution by improving their ecological footprint, lowering the life-cycle cost and reducing their costs (Reactivation costs are cheaper than disposing of used activated carbon and buying new one).

Mercury Adsorbents


Spent Catalysts are filters consisting of a porous ceramic metal with a large interior surface, similar to activated carbon. They are used in chemical and petrochemical processes for cleaning or refining gases. Used catalysts also contain 40% sulphur in addition to up to 15% mercury. Catalysts that are used to remove mercury from natural gas, can be added to metal recycling or reused after being treated first.

Our recycling process

A pre-treatment is necessary before the recycling of spent catalysts. BATREC Recycling plant fills this gap in the materials life cycle. Mercury and Sulphur contained in the catalysts are distilled off and then separated in the subsequent gas cleaning process. The Mercury is the condensed and recovered. Regarding the Sulphur, it is converted into gypsum.

Catalyst & Active Carbon Reactivation Brochure Der Batrec-Prozess

The basic metals of the catalysts now free from mercury are recovered in smelters and in this way added to the materials life cycle. Through the recycling process, you and BATREC contributes to the reinjection of resources into the market and the sustainable solution to disposal challenges.



In Europe, most of batteries and accumulators are considered as waste under the green list while in Switzerland, all of them are considered as hazardous wastes due to the toxic substances they hold. In order to channel the emission current and direct old batteries to an environmentally-responsible further processing via controlled collection systems, European countries have been introducing relevant legislation since the mid 1990s.

The parameters used are more stringent in Switzerland compared with other European countries: In Switzerland, hazardous waste may not be dumped. For these reasons, there is a ban on exporting used batteries and accumulators into countries where Swiss standards cannot be guaranteed.

The Swiss battery collection system (INOBAT) is effective for 20 years with a collection rate of the public around 75%.

Our recycling process*

The BATREC recycling process of batteries and storage batteries stands out from other well-known technologies in the processing of toxic materials, in particular batteries containing Mercury and obsolete batteries. The recovered Mercury is collected and distilled on-site.

The main goal of our process is to recover up to 85% of the metals contained in batteries in a closed two-stage thermal procedure.

It enables the reinjection of these valued raw materials in the industry.

* developed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries

Batteries Brochure The Batrec process

Wastes containing Mercury


Mercury is present in many industries including laboratories and non-ferrous metal industry (zinc, etc.). We also find Mercury in everyday items inclduign lamps, blood pressure measuring equipment and button cells batteries.

In order to protect humans and the environment, waste containing mercury must be treated in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner. And in full compliance with international regulations.

BATREC contributes to the progressive global removal of Mercury by treating all types of mercury waste.

Our distillation process

BATREC has developed a distillation procedure for Mercury-contained wastes. The substance is isolated and distilled in several steps. At the end of the procedure, the liquid mercury may be either stabilised into a non-toxic form (mercury sulphide HgS) or recovered to a level of purity of over 99.9995%. It can be reused in specific applications authoritsaed by the Swiss law under principles set out in the Minamata Convention.

Mercury Recycling info sheet The Batrec process

The procedure developed by BATRECfor the distillation of mercury is the first of its kind. Since its development, many countries around the world have trusted our company and delivered their mercury-containing wastes to Switzerland for recycling.

Stabilisation of Mercury


In the era of clean technology and corporate social responsibility, Mercury presents a huge challenge to industries worldwide. BATREC has developed a solution to stabilise metallic mercury for safe and sustainable disposal.

Our solution provides a complete service for the stabilisation of the Mercury, including transport, supply of certified containers, transfrontier shipment formalities as well as traceability reports.

Our stabilisation process

Our patented process for Mercury stabilisation is unique, setting new milestones in terms of safety, conversion rate and process efficiency. It employs a stabilisation reagent which is mixed with the liquid Mercury. The Sulphur solution reacts with the metallic Mercury turning it to a mercury sulphide HgS (cinnabar).

HgS is the only non-toxicMmercury compound. It is also the most stable and the most insoluble form of Mercury. In addition, the process is wet and thus not prone to gaseous mercury emissions, improving operational safety.

> 3 reactors
> 1’200 t of mercury per year

Process performance:
> Conversion rate of over 99.999 %

HgS quality:
> <10 µg/Nm3 mercury vapour pressure
> leachate EN 12457-2: <2 mg/kg Hg

From Mercury waste to Permanent Disposal