High-quality plastics from waste electrical equipment

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Courtesy of Sesotec GmbH

All over Europe, electrical and electronic scrap is the waste stream showing the highest growth rates. Since electronic equipment contains the most varied kinds of materials, the recycling of such waste involves high demands with respect to separation and sorting processes. The German plant manufacturer MeWa builds state-of-the-art recycling plants for large international waste management companies.

In the United Kingdom MeWa realised a plant where old refrigerators, computers, vacuum cleaners, Hi-Fi systems, and other kinds of electrical waste are processed on two separate lines. For the recycling of high-quality plastics such as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PC (polycarbonate) and of printed circuit boards MeWa uses three VARISORT N sorting systems made by S+S. 'The decision to use S+S systems was based on the high output quality of these VARISORT systems. Only absolutely pure fractions can be sold at a good price in today's difficult times', explains Peter Mayer, sales manager - sorting technology at S+S Separation and Sorting Technology.

Innovative technology for outstanding value creation

Polymer separators of type VARISORT N are based on near-infrared technology. At the MeWa facility these systems in fully automatic operation separate plastic types from precrushed electrical waste. Optimally scattered on a fast-running conveyor belt this waste reaches the detection area of the near-infrared detector which determines and locates the plastic types of the passing pieces. The electronic evaluation unit determines the exact position of the unwanted types, and with accurate timing and positioning activates the corresponding nozzles of the air-blast unit.  The user can freely select which types of polymers should be separated.

In one VARISORT sorting system the near-infrared sensor is combined with a colour sensor. With this multi-sensor system design the colour of the particle and its plastic type can be combined as sorting criteria, which results in an even higher separation accuracy for the pcb-fraction.

Recycling materials are economically efficient and environmentally friendly

S+S VARISORT N polymer separators are characterised by highest throughput capacities. Sorting is performed at a speed of up to 3m/sec. Air-blast valves that have been specifically developed for this application keep the loss of good material at an absolute minimum. In the recycling of electrical waste VARISORT N separators are an economically efficient solution for the reclaiming of high-quality plastic fractions and of the pcb-fraction. The resulting pure plastics can be profitably returned to the production cycle again, and valuable (precious) metals can subsequently be reclaimed from the separated printed circuit boards.

Flexible and future-proof solutions provided by S+S

Says Peter Mayer, sales manager - sorting technology at S+S: 'Recycling companies that produce clean, economically-priced material have the biggest competitive advantage. Because of their outstanding flexibility VARISORT sorting systems are ideal for the sorting of electrical waste. No matter what type of electrical waste should be sorted in the current job, a VARISORT will always optimally perform the sorting task by employing different kinds of sensors. Since the markets for recycled materials are rapidly changing especially in the field of electrical waste, and since quality requirements for recycled materials are high, and recycled material has to compete with the price of new materials, the VARISORT sorting system with its flexibility is a future-proof investment here because the employed technologies are highly sophisticated and the systems provide high-purity material fractions.'

Recycling materials are economically efficient and environmentally friendly

S+S VARISORT N polymer separators are characterised by highest throughput capacities. Sorting is performed at a speed of up to 3m/sec. Air-blast valves that have been specifically developed for this application keep the loss of good material at an absolute minimum. In the recycling of electrical waste VARISORT N separators are an economically efficient solution for the reclaiming of high-quality plastic fractions and of the pcb-fraction. The resulting pure plastics can be profitably returned to the production cycle again, and valuable (precious) metals can subsequently be reclaimed from the separated printed circuit boards.

Flexible and future-proof solutions provided by S+S

Says Peter Mayer, sales manager - sorting technology at S+S: 'Recycling companies that produce clean, economically-priced material have the biggest competitive advantage. Because of their outstanding flexibility VARISORT sorting systems are ideal for the sorting of electrical waste. No matter what type of electrical waste should be sorted in the current job, a VARISORT will always optimally perform the sorting task by employing different kinds of sensors. Since the markets for recycled materials are rapidly changing especially in the field of electrical waste, and since quality requirements for recycled materials are high, and recycled material has to compete with the price of new materials, the VARISORT sorting system with its flexibility is a future-proof investment here because the employed technologies are highly sophisticated and the systems provide high-purity material fractions.'

High-quality plastics from waste electrical equipment

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