Aquavitrum Ltd

Aquavitrum Ltd

- Glass Separator Plant


Aquavitrum’s approach to solving this problem was to start with a blank sheet, and take on the challenge from a radically different angle.

Typically MRF glass recovery has been attempted using dry sortation techniques; the results of which have not improved the quality of the glass output to an acceptable level. This method is costly, logistically challenging and glass is lost when handling the by-products of the process.

Over recent years, organisations have attempted to recover the glass cullet by configuring off-the-shelf equipment or wash plants (not designed for MRF glass), which have resulted in low purity, high wear and a ‘dirty’ product. These solutions require chemicals to generate separation, which can be unreliable and expensive.

Aquavitrum focused on studying the individual characteristics of the particles within MRF glass feedstocks. Significant differing behavioural characteristics were identified between the glass particles and contamination particles. From this the Aquavitrum Separator was developed and has been proven on an industrial scale. The collaboration with the University of Southampton underpins our claims with scientific academia.

Aquavitrum’s patented technology separates the glass from the contaminants in a body of recirculated water using no chemicals. The feedstock can be stored outside which eliminates any pre-processing requirements due to moisture content.

This technology is robust, has no moving parts, and the unique way the separator operates dramatically reduces wear.

At Aquavitrum we are committed to recovering glass from the most highly contaminated sources. Our technology has been specifically designed for this purpose and to enable packaging glass to remain in the container glass recycling loop, thus realising the environmental benefits.

Glass is a hugely valuable resource and is infinitely recyclable.  Its quality does not diminish when re-melted, but currently a high percentage (British Glass quote 55%) becomes aggregate, or is lost to landfill or incineration.

The environmental benefits of recycling glass are undeniable and infinite. Every tonne of quality recycled cullet used in the manufacture of new glass bottles and jars saves 670 kg of CO2 and 1.2 tonnes of virgin raw materials from being quarried (according to FEVE, the association of the European glass container and machine-made tableware manufacturers).  As a single layer material it is 100% recyclable, pure and sustainable.

Recovered glass cullet saves on energy consumption by 32%, and prolongs the life of furnaces, making it hugely appealing to glass manufacturers.

The use of glass packaging is on the increase. Consumers trust that it won’t leach harmful chemicals into products, and due to the fact that it can be recycled again and again, it decreases the impact plastic pollution is having on our planet.


  • Every tonne of re-melted glass prevents 670kg of CO2 entering the atmosphere
  • Preserves 1.2 tonnes of virgin sand per 1 tonne of recovered glass
  • Re-melted glass reduces water pollution by 50%
  • Reduces energy consumption for glass manufacturers by 32%
  • Prolongs the life of glass furnaces
  • More glass packaging reduces worldwide pollution from discarded plastics

Installing the Aquavitrum Separator plant within a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) will improve the quality of the MRF glass output to a grade which will exceed other source segregated glass streams.  Therefore, the value of the glass cullet increases, and no longer incurs such a high disposal cost.

Aquavitrum’s Separator plant produces clean glass cullet, grit glass, RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and an organic matter. For more details visit the Case Study page.

  • Hugely increased glass value
  • Scalable system to deal with a range of throughput demands
  • Process not effected by the elements – feedstock doesn’t need to be kept dry
  • Technology specifically designed for highly contaminated MRF Glass
  • No drying system required which minimises dust and fire hazards
  • Extremely low organic levels in clean glass 0.04%
  • Negligible glass loss 0.0005% of input glass
  • Technology designed specifically to have no mechanical or moving parts.
  • Very low wear
  • No Chemicals required for separation
  • Computerised monitoring system operating the whole plant
  • Minimal staff required to manage the plant
  • Increased value to glass re-processors
    • Improved optical sorter quality
    • Increased throughput
    • Less waste

Aquavitrum can offer additional sortation to recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals if required, due to the differing properties of MRF glass feedstocks.

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