Final Report: Automated Removal of Brominated Flame Retardant Material From a Mixed E-Waste Plastics Recycling Stream

EPA Contract Number: EPD08039
Title: Automated Removal of Brominated Flame Retardant Material From a Mixed E-Waste Plastics Recycling Stream
Investigators: Sommer, Edward J.
Small Business: National Recovery Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2008 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The objective of the Phase I research project is to determine the feasibility of developing advanced sensing techniques for the high speed identification and sorting of polymers containing brominated flame retardants (BFR) in the electronic waste (e-waste) stream.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

The thrust of the Phase I research has been directed toward evaluating approaches that are capable of providing the information needed to perform high speed evaluation and sorting of brominated plastics.  Feasibility was established for utilizing innovative data acquisition and analysis techniques for identification of the brominated plastics.  Furthermore, feasibility was established for the implementation of the sorting system in conjunction with existing e-waste processes.  During the Phase I research program, a Phase II partner was engaged to participate in the Phase II project and to provide funding for continuing the development program during the interim period between the Phase I program and the Phase II program.  Finally, the economic analyses indicate that such a sorting system is very attractive for the e-waste recycling industry.


The Phase I research program has demonstrated feasibility that an innovative high speed advanced sensing system coupled with high speed sorting technologies can be developed for segregation of brominated flame retardant plastics during e-waste plastic processing applications.  The new technology will increase the value of the recovered plastics, which can then be reused in high end applications.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, waste management, waste monitoring, electronic waste, e-waste, toxic waste, water supply, manual hand sorting, differential density sorting, e-waste plastics, brominated flame retardant, automated sorting system, polymer, Sustainable Industry/Business, scientific discipline, RFA, technology for sustainable environment, sustainable environment, environmental engineering, environmental sustainability, automated separation technologies, electronic waste recycling, automated waste recycling, recycling, plastics sorting, plastic, polymer, brominated flame retardant 
, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, e-waste, electronic waste recycling, environmental sustainability, plastics sorting, automated waste recycling, plastic, recycling

SBIR Phase II:

Automated Removal of Brominated Flame Retardant Material From a Mixed E-Waste Plastics Recycling Stream  | Final Report