Potential of sensor-based sorting in enhanced landfill mining

Bastian Küppers, Juan Carlos Hernández Parrodi, Cristina Garcia Lopez, Roland Pomberger, Daniel Vollprecht

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10 Citations (Scopus)


In landfill mining, simple technologies and processing chains are frequently applied to excavated material in order to extract recyclable metals and high-calorific fractions used in energy recovery. Sensor-based sorting is one way to extract more and better material from a landfill. Two testing series have been performed using state-of-the-art technology to assess the technical feasibility of classifying and sorting landfill material with the aid of near-infrared spectroscopy. Fractions were classified as inert and combustible and sorted by particle sizes ranging from 90-30 mm, from 30-10 mm and from 10-4.5 mm for water content levels of 0 wt% and of 15 wt%, respectively. Additional tests applied different landfill mining materials. Polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products were produced, using sensor-based sorting, from a mixed fraction of particle sizes ranging from 60-200 mm. Both test series applied air-classified heavy fractions gained from two distinct processing schemes of landfill mining projects in Belgium and in Austria. Results show that the separation and classification of inerts and combustibles is feasible, enriching inert fractions with purities of 97.7 wt% to 99.6 wt% derived from inputs whose inert contents achieved 85.6 to 98.8 wt%. Efficient sorting is a function of the level of pre-processing, water content, relative amounts of adhesive fines, input composition and particle size ranges of the input material. Results from the second test series show that PP, PE, PVC and other materials can be successfully distinguished, achieving correct classification and ejection into respective product fractions of 91.8-99.7 wt%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
Issue numberDecember
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Enhanced Landfill Mining
  • NIR Spectroscopy
  • Sensor-based Sorting

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