New innovation in recycling non-ferrous metals

22. September 2014

 

The ShredderSort EU project is set to revolutionise the process of separation and sorting of non-ferrous metals using new technologies. A total of almost €4.5m. will be invested over a period of three years. The starting pistol was fired in January 2014.In 2013 the number of Austrian registered vehicles on our roads amounted to 6,384,791. […]


 

The ShredderSort EU project is set to revolutionise the process of separation and sorting of non-ferrous metals using new technologies. A total of almost €4.5m. will be invested over a period of three years. The starting pistol was fired in January 2014.

In 2013 the number of Austrian registered vehicles on our roads amounted to 6,384,791. The number of cars alone were about 50,000 more than the previous year. Whether it is a VW Golf or Mazda MX5, they all have one thing in common; sooner or later they end up at the scrap yard. But what happens then?

In Austria, the numbers are still manageable, but on a EU level, thing are quite different: 10 million tonnes of ELV scrap were generated in 2010, and by 2015 this figure is expected to rise by 40 percent. Worldwide, figures are quoted of 50 million cars per year landing at the scrap yard. And here too the trend is rising. They result in a high proportion of unused raw materials going to landfill.

EU demands recycling
Under the ELV Directive 2000, the EU has responded to this problem and prescribed a recycling rate of 95 percent for old cars by 2015: 85 percent through pure material recycling, i.e. effective recovery of the assembled component materials; with the remaining ten percent being gained through thermal energy recovery. To achieve these values​​ above all, much more attention needs to be paid to the separation and purification of the non-ferrous metals built into the cars. Currently, a majority of these materials can only be sorted by laborious hand work; too many different alloys complicate clean separation and thus efficient recycling.

EU promotes recycling
The ShredderSort is an EU supported research project, which is now attempting to revolutionise the process of separation and sorting of non-ferrous metals using new technologies. A total of almost €4.5m. will be invested over a period of three years. The starting pistol was fired in January 2014.

Recycling requires innovation
The project can be split into two sub elements. Firstly, the separation of the so-called heavy fraction (heavy non-ferrous metals such as copper, zinc and brass), and secondly, the sorting of the light fraction, which is made ​​up mainly of aluminium and magnesium.

For the heavy fraction, the potential is being explored to allow clean separation by checking the electrical conductivity of the scrap. Electro Magnetic Tensor Spectroscopy(EMTS) is employed, supported by automated visual separation using Visual Image Analysis (VIA).

The variety of different alloys in the light fraction complicates separation. The use of laser supported analysis technique (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) should, however, facilitate efficient sorting of high-quality alloys and as a result counteract the usual down-cycling in secondary production of non-noble light metals.

In the first two phases of the project, the methods will be tested in a laboratory environment and prototypes developed. In the third phase, however, test runs should be commissioned in the partner companies to test the new innovations under real conditions. Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG is one of the partners.

Source: Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG / 20 June, 2014, the original text can be found here.

 

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