Low Cost Hand-Held Plastic Resin Identification Probe

EPA Contract Number: 68D98128
Title: Low Cost Hand-Held Plastic Resin Identification Probe
Investigators: Sandford, Kerry A.
Small Business: MBA Polymers Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through March 1, 1999
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The United States is facing a flood of discarded plastics as many of the current durable goods meet their end-of-life. More than 20 billion pounds of potentially recyclable plastics are sold in durable goods annually. As these products are discarded, very little of the plastics are recycled.

One of the primary barriers to recycling these plastics is the lack of a low-cost, reliable, portable instrument that makes it possible to sort the recovered plastic parts into compatible resin groups. The goal of this Phase I project is to demonstrate that plastics can be sorted using an instrument that uses a probe to differentiate resin types based on unique plastic properties not currently exploited in other plastic identification equipment.

It is anticipated most resins will exhibit unique characteristics that can be measured by this device, allowing instant identification. Instruments built with this technology are expected to be low cost, durable, and portable.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, recycling, engineering, chemistry, EPA., Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Air, Chemistry, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Economics & Decision Making, chemical composition, air sampling, empirical analysis, innovative technologies

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report