A Sorting System for Improving the Quality of Recycled PET Plastic Resins

EPA Contract Number: 68D50069
Title: A Sorting System for Improving the Quality of Recycled PET Plastic Resins
Investigators: Sommer, Edward J.
Small Business: National Recovery Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through March 1, 1996
Project Amount: $64,986
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


It is well known that post-consumer plastics have become a tremendous burden upon our waste disposal system. Although plastics constitute only about 9% by weight of municipal solid waste, they occupy approximately 1/4 the volume of the waste stream. A particular increasing problem for the recycling of PET is the growth in the use of very lightly tinted PET bottles, particularly light blue tinted bottles for bottling of drinking water and household liquids. Existing automated processes for sorting bottles by color are unable to recognize the light blue tint and generally direct these bottles into the clear PET product, which constitutes about 80% of recycled PET and is the highest valued of the PET recycled products, resulting in a contamination of the product resin. The technical objective of the Phase I proposed research is to establish feasibility for development of an automated high speed sorting system for sorting lightly tinted plastic bottles from clear plastic bottles.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, engineering, chemistry., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Municipal, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, municipal waste plastics, waste minimization, waste recycling, recycled plastics, waste plastic particle mixtures, plastics sorting, PET, municipal waste, sorting system, recycling, municipal solid waste landfills, solid waste, plastics, plastic resins

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    A Sorting System for Improving the Quality of Recycled PET Plastic Resins