Influence of surface roughness and surface moisture of plastics on sensor-based sorting in the near infrared range

Bastian Küppers, Sabine Schloegl, Gernot Oreski, Roland Pomberger, Daniel Höllen

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8 Citations (Scopus)


In the project ‘NEW-MINE’ the use of sensor-based sorting machinery in the field of ‘landfill mining’ is investigated. Defilements pose a particular challenge in the treatment and sorting of plastics contained in landfills. For this reason, the effects of various pollutants caused by the interactions in the landfill body or the mechanical treatment steps in landfill mining are examined. In the following elaboration, the focus is on the influences of surface moisture and surface roughness of plastics on sensor-based sorting by means of near-infrared technology. Near-infrared radiation (NIR) in a wavelength range of 990 nm to 1500 nm has been used for the detection and classification of plastic particles. The experiments demonstrate that increased surface roughness reduces signal noise and thereby improves the classification of both spectrally similar and transparent plastics, but reduces the yield of low-softening plastics because their sliding speed on a sensor-based chute sorter varies as a result of the heating of the chute. Surface moisture causes the absorption of radiation from 1115 nm (high density polyethylene [HDPE], linear low density polyethylene [LLDPE], polyethylen terephthalate [PET] and polyvinylchloride [PVC]) or from 1230 nm (low density polyethylene [LDPE], polypropylene [PP] and thermoplastic polyurethane [TPU]) up to at least 1680 nm, which causes amplification or attenuation of various extremes in the derivative. However, the influence of surface moisture on the yield of plastics is usually very low and depends on the spectral differences between the different plastics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-850
Number of pages8
JournalWaste management & research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2019

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