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Separating Bulk Materials from Heterogeneous Waste Streams

Efficient separation of materials in heterogeneous waste streams is a critical challenge when it comes to recovering valuable raw materials and minimizing waste. The precise sorting of bulk materials is a key aspect for the circular economy.

Challenge: Classification of Different Materials

The conventional use of color cameras for sorting materials is reaching its limits, as they can only process information in the visible light spectrum. This limits the ability to accurately identify and separate materials, especially when it comes to distinguishing heterogeneous waste streams.

Solution: Identification of Chemical Properties with Hyperspectral Imaging

With the EVK HELIOS hyperspectral camera, different materials can be precisely detected and classified according to their chemical composition. With this feature, EVK systems can be used in areas where conventional color cameras reach their limits. The combination of color and hyperspectral cameras via sensor fusion significantly expands the possibilities for material detection. This enables highly accurate separation of materials based on their color, shape, size and additionally their unique chemical properties.

The technology can be used in a variety of applications. In the sorting of PET bottles, color sorting can be performed according to customer requirements, as well as the removal of foreign bodies such as metals and different plastics. Plastic flakes and granules, such as PET, PE, PS, PA, ABS, PP, PC and PVC can be efficiently sorted to enable high-quality recycling processes. The selective sorting of PVC from refuse-derived fuels is also guaranteed for optimal combustion and energy recovery.

Technology

Hyperspectral Imaging offers the degree of classification accuracy required for applications in the recycling industry by directly measuring chemical molecular composition through the absorption of light (spectroscopy).  

EVK's portfolio of sensor-based technology includes hyperspectral cameras and inductive sensor systems that can be used individually or combined with a color camera with sensor fusion to create a high-performance sorting application.

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