Optically sorting mixtures with fingerprinting

Sorting techniques
© Fraunhofer IBP

When it comes to recycling inorganic materials, optically sorting mixtures is a key challenge. Mixed materials can only be efficiently recycled if they can be cleanly sorted into their various fractions. In particular, it is essential that fractions containing pollutants or interfering substances are separated out. A practical example of this is separating gypsum particles from inorganic mixtures such as building rubble.

Innovative sorting techniques for the smallest particle sizes

Our scientists have the necessary technical equipment to separate particles down to a minimum grain size of one millimeter from mixtures. They use color and multispectral cameras to sort particles by chemical composition and color. Special sensors can be deployed to identify material-specific spectra - like fingerprints - and use them as a sorting criterion. The sorting system can be “taught” new tasks, thus continuously extending and optimizing the sorting spectrum in line with requirements.

From laboratory scale to pilot plant

At our branch in Holzkirchen, we are currently optically sorting mixtures on a laboratory scale. By mid-2022, however, we are planning to expand our services there with a pilot plant so that we can process “practicable” quantities of material to the standards required by industry. A key area of our expertise lies in sorting inorganic residues such as building rubble, ashes and slags.

We would be happy to solve your sorting problem with our innovative processes and state-of-the-art equipment - get in touch with us. There’s no obligation!


Highlight projects