$15 MILLION PROTOTYPE RECYCLING PLANT OPENS IN MASS.

$15 MILLION PROTOTYPE RECYCLING PLANT OPENS IN MASS.

Molten Metal Technology Inc. this week dedicated a $15 million hazardous waste recycling system in Fall River, Mass.

The four-year-old Waltham, Mass., company has developed a prototype recycling plant that can take hazardous and nonhazardous wastes such as used motor oils, chemical residues, paint sludges and materials used in refrigeration and heat them in a molten metal bath.The intense heat - 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit - breaks down all substances into their most basic elements. The liquid metal system separates and recovers various gases, metals and other inorganic materials that can be used again in the manufacturing process.

The company's goal is to custom-build recycling systems similar to the Fall River facility, which can process up to two tons of waste an hour, for major petrochemical companies in Texas and Louisiana.

Molten Metal's key commercial growth goal is to build recycling systems for petrochemical companies at a cost of $10 million to $15 million per system.

With more than 400 petrochemical plants, including oil and gas refineries in Texas, the state's Water Commission, which oversees hazardous waste operations, has agreed to provide special permits to companies using Molten Metal's technology, according to William H. Haney 3d, Molten Metal's president.

Last month the company demonstrated its Fall River system for at least one major oil company and, said Mr. Haney. Molten Metal is currently negotiating a contract with a Texas company.