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Zhang Lifeng: Revitalizing Waste Steel Drums

Zhang Lifeng: Let Waste Steel Drum Regain Its Vitality

How should we handle iron drums and plastic drums that contain industrial raw materials and chemical agents? In the past, such waste barrels were typically not reused, resulting in waste, rust, deformation, and the presence of residual oil or chemicals. Random abandonment or open stacking would lead to air pollution in the surrounding environment, while leaching with rainwater would contaminate water bodies and soil. However, if these barrels can be recycled, not only can we reduce the environmental pollution caused by waste barrels, but we can also generate benefits and lower packaging costs for enterprises. This is the value that Taicang Liri Packaging Container Co., Ltd. brings. The company continuously innovates renewable technologies, refining and detailing the business of “recycling.”

Each year, Taicang Liri Packaging Container Co., Ltd., an environmental protection enterprise specializing in the recycling and reuse of waste containers, can recycle 1.2 million 200L waste steel drums, 100,000 200L waste plastic drums, and 200,000 container tanks. The company is a joint venture between Japan Rixin Container Co., Ltd. and Taicang Lifeng Waste Packaging Container Recycling Co., Ltd., and is dedicated to the renovation of packaging containers. It serves as a governing unit of the World Steel Drum Renovation Federation. Within the company’s production plant, we witness the transformation of a “beyond recognition” steel barrel into a refreshed one through several processes, making it nearly indistinguishable from a new barrel. The enterprise has a daily processing capacity of 4,800 barrels. “Since its establishment, through continuous technological advancements, the company has achieved zero wastewater emissions, and its waste gas treatment meets the highest national standards. The quality of refurbished barrels is excellent,” explained Chairman Zhang Lifeng, the person in charge of the enterprise. By reusing waste barrels, packaging costs for enterprises can be reduced by 40%, while simultaneously minimizing the waste of raw materials and environmental pollution risks. Currently, the company’s customers include top 500 enterprises worldwide, such as PetroChina, Sinopec, BASF, and more. “Our cooperative partners have high requirements and standards, which necessitates continuous self-improvement to meet the demands of the target market,” added Zhang Lifeng.

Zhang Lifeng, the chairman of the board of directors, noted that recycling and cleaning scrap steel barrels is no longer a new industry in developed countries, where recycled barrel factories have already implemented highly automated production lines. “The utilization rate of recycled waste steel drums in developed countries has exceeded 60%, but in China, the recycling rate of waste steel drums is much lower than this figure,” Zhang Lifeng shared. Through collaboration with Japanese enterprises and the introduction of advanced Japanese technology, the company has established a highly automated waste steel drum recycling production line. This line incorporates processes such as residue scrubbing, grinding, drying, shaping, and surface painting, transforming waste steel barrels that would otherwise be discarded into brand-new “new steel barrels” that can re-enter the production field. “Different cleaning methods are employed for barrels with varying pollution characteristics, and our enterprise’s process is applicable to a wide range of closed barrels, open barrels, and tanks, each with their own special treatment and cleaning processes. Recycling waste barrels may seem like a simple task, but achieving the level of thorough cleaning required for reuse is not easy,” emphasized Chairman Zhang Lifeng. By introducing Japanese technology and constructing their own production line and system tailored to local conditions, the company has gained widespread recognition for its products.

Naturally, recycling and cleaning waste steel drums generate “secondary waste.” Chairman Zhang Lifeng acknowledged that wastewater and waste gas are produced during the regeneration of waste packaging barrels due to the need for water-based cleaning. However, the enterprise has its own wastewater and waste gas treatment equipment. It employs physical and chemical processes such as neutralization, oxidation-reduction, as well as adsorption and absorption processes to effectively treat various pollution sources generated during the cleaning of waste barrels. On one side of the plant area, semi-dry industrial sludge is ultimately recovered. Chairman Zhang Lifeng informed reporters that this is the final form of wastewater after treatment. These sludges are not carelessly discarded but rather recycled and treated by professional institutions. The enterprise strives to achieve “zero discharge” as much as possible.

In conclusion, the environmental protection industry is continuously advancing and developing, and Liri Packaging is making progress in this field. It is believed that with better technologies and products, the company will gain recognition from more high-quality customers. Xuheng also provides drum closures and locking rings for reconditioned drum factories in this great environmental protection process.

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