ITRI is currently investigating alternative detinning technologies for tinplate.
This group is or those interested in sharing knowledge and experiences, as well as keeping up to date with developments at ITRI and elsewhere on this topic.
ITRI is still working with tinplate producers and canmakers to evaluate detinning technologies.
Past scoping studies carried out by ITRI showed that whilst intuitively detinning should be a good opportunity to recover value and make the tinplate industry even more sustainable, in practice it struggles to be economic. This is due to logistical issues such as the availability of scrap, widespread use of incineration, increased baling densities and the simple economics of tin value for only 0.3% content in steel scrap.
Current work is focussed around new technologies capable of reducing detinning process costs. Existing technologies are based on electrolytic recovery in hot alkali solutions. Better solutions do exist and ITRI is developing these as part of its broader interest in tin recycling.
Around 15% of tinplate scrap is clean production scrap from canmakers and an obvious first step for development. In post-consumer scrap the tin is convered with old lacquers and paints and so de-coating technologies are now also under investigation.