Automated Separation of Post-Consumer Polymer Flake

EPA Contract Number: 68D70038
Title: Automated Separation of Post-Consumer Polymer Flake
Investigators: Sommer, Edward J.
Small Business: National Recovery Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through March 1, 1998
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


In order for plastics recycling to be a viable alternative in the long term, the recycled resins must be competitive with virgin resins both in terms of economics and purity. Current processing technologies utilize either hand sorting or automated sorting on the bottle level. However, there are many sources of contamination other than whole bottles, which will remain in the stream using whole bottle sorting technology. Automated flake sorting systems are becoming an essential tool for removing foreign contamination and cross-contamination from other polymers within a feed stream. Current technologies for high speed flake sorting rely on optical identification. Optical identification works well for contaminants that are optically different (e.g., more opaque, of different color), but is useless for cross-contamination of polymers that are optically similar. The objective of the Phase I research project is to determine the feasibility for complimenting whole bottle sorting technologies with automated sorting of various recycle stream polymers in the flake form.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, engineering, pollution prevention, recycling, chemistry., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Municipal, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science, Environmental Engineering, cleaner production, recycled plastics, plastic flake, clean technology, plastics sorting, sorting system, recycling, polymer flake, plastic resins, plastics, pollution prevention, automated seperation, plastics recycling, post consumer polymer flake

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Automated Separation of Post-Consumer Polymer Flake