Sancon claims to be one of the few environmental-services firms with a nationwide presence in China. The firm has recently opened a new waste recovery plant in the southeastern city of Xiamen. (Credit: Sancon)

(Credit: Sancon)

Shanghai-based Sancon Resources Recovery Inc. is a fast growing environmental services firm with operations in Australia and China. In 2007, the firm reportedly sold more than 25,000 tons of industrial waste – largely derived from plastic, cardboard and paper – to China’s ever-growing manufacturing market. Now Sancon has announced that it will develop glass-powder raw materials made from the recycled glass waste it is collecting in China. The firm expects to start marketing these recycled raw materials before the end of the year, according to Jack Chen, Sancon CEO


“The use of recycled glass materials greatly reduces the demand for scarce natural resources, helps reduce negative environmental impact and creates an important incremental revenue source for Sancon,”Chen says.

Chen explains that the company’s new glass raw materials will come in different compositions, corresponding to their physical characteristics. These compositions will ultimately determine what end products are produced, he says. As an example, he notes that powdered glass will be sold to the ceramics industry for use as a “sintering additive, filler material or optical component.” The reactive and optical characteristics of glass surfaces, on the other hand, will create applications for glass granules in resin-bound systems, such as those utilized in mold-making, finishing and building materials, and paints and varnishes. The abrasive properties of glass particles will make them an attractive raw material for grit and polish manufacturers and, even, the cosmetic industry, Chen says, while pointing out that glass’ specific melting and hygroscopic properties are the characteristics that make it desirable to the fire and explosion-protection industries. Sancon’s newly acquired ability to recycle glass is helping the company fill two valuable niches in China. It is providing nourishment to the nation’s raw-material hungry manufacturers, and it is helping one of the most polluted countries in the world achieve newly established “green” goals. Fulfilling these niches is proving profitable and rapidly speeding Sancon’s expansion in China. The firm has already opened its sixth Chinese waste recovery plant since Chen founded the firm in 2002 and, in 2008’s second quarter, Sancon has generated record revenue of approximately $2.93 million – a 251 percent increase over the $0.84 million the firm earned in the same period during 2007.