Indaver NV is a leading company in sustainable waste management headquartered in Belgium and active in seven other EU countries and the UK. Indaver NV consistently invests in the circular economy, especially in the domain of recycling solvents, precious metals, and end-of-life plastics. These initiatives contribute to a positive ecological and economic impact and support the large pharmaceutical and chemical industries in meeting their Green Deal targets. Pharmachem companies often use precious metals like palladium, rhodium, iridium, and ruthenium as homogeneous catalysts in their industrial processes. These precious metals activate the desired reaction in a wide range of organic reagents and can control reaction pathways with high efficiency and selectivity. There are, however, some environmental challenges:

-The extraction of precious metals is carbon-intensive (e.g. 25 tonnes of CO2/kg of palladium), and the supply is scarce, mostly coming from Russia, South Africa, and North America.
-After the reaction, the precious metals remain diluted in the liquid waste, which can be hazardous, toxic, flammable, corrosive, etc., making recovery very difficult.
-Regular treatment solutions, such as scavenging and activated carbon treatment, are an ineffective treatment method for most streams.
-The liquid containing the precious metals used to be incinerated and new, raw precious metals were mined.

In response to these challenges, Indaver NV has developed efficient recovery solutions for both the precious metals (Inda-MP, i.e. Indaver Metal Processing) and the solvents (Indaver Solvents). The Inda-MP facility employs multiple technologies offering precious metal recovery from the whole range of liquids (e.g. flammable, solvent- or water-based, high salt content, etc.). The valuable solvents are further purified at Indaver Solvents facilities, while hazardous components are safely destroyed and converted into energy (Waste-to-Energy). The precious metals are recovered with high efficiency, creating a secondary source of precious metals that is crucial for the European economy as this does not have primary precious metal sources. The high recovery efficiency of precious metals and solvents reduces the environmental impact of production processes and contributes to green chemistry. Indaver NV’s Plastics2Chemicals (P2C) installation in the Port of Antwerp will recycle 65,000 tonnes of post-consumer, and thus end-of-life, plastics annually. P2C will recycle polyolefins and polystyrene into high-quality feedstock fit for further processing towards food-grade plastic packaging.

Indaver NV has developed an innovative chemical recycling technology for this packaging once it is discarded as waste. In this process, the plastics are broken down into smaller hydrocarbon chains. This produces base chemicals, such as wax and naphtha, that can be used as a pure end product for the petrochemical and chemical industries. Indaver NV generates energy for 270,000 households in Flanders annually thanks to its regular waste-to-energy activities. The initiatives mentioned above underline how Indaver NV is continuously shaping a sustainable future and has contributed to:

-The recovery of 1,350 kg of palladium and 50 kg of ruthenium (80 million euro value)
-Preventing 33,000 tonnes of CO2 (the equivalent of 68 trips around the world by a full plane) by avoiding the mining and refining of primary resources
-Recovery of 20,000 tonnes of solvents