Profitable, eco-friendly targets
Via this collaborative project, Aurubis tasked TOMRA Sorting to deliver these specific outcomes:
• Highest recovery of metals (copper and precious metals)
• Production of sellable products with lowest metal loss rates
• Plastic fractions
• Aluminium product
The Aurubis recycling equipment configuration calls for the integrated operation of several units with FINDER and COMBISENSE machines.
Whilst the waste stream passes the shredder and the screen, a magnet first extracts the ferrous metals. The remaining non-ferrous fraction then passes an eddy current separator which divides the flow into two streams. One eddy current eject stream goes to the COMBISENSE for recovery of printed circuit boards and other non-ferrous heavy metals from the aluminum fraction. The other eddy current stream, the drop stream is splitted into two grain size ranges and passed through two FINDER. The main target is a maximum recovery of the mixed non-ferrous-metal mix with almost no metal loss into the remaining plastic stream.
Each FINDER separates metal fractions, even when presented with the most challenging combinations of mixed waste and metal streams – which may vary in terms of their composition, grain size and mix. This machine can also be used for recovering and concentrating metals from shredder processes, and other recycling applications, such as wire sorting. Additionally, it can detect and separate any metal contaminants present, and could sort stainless steel material from metal concentrates. The FINDER is equipped with an electromagnetic sensor.
The COMBISENSE handles the extraction of copper, brass, and printed circuit boards from the aluminum fraction. A specialised sorting system, COMBISENSE can separate very pure metal fractions from even the most demanding throughput of mixed waste and metal streams – whose consistency may be highly variable as regards composition, mix and grain sizes.
The result are four valuable products with very high purity.
These sensor-based sorting technologies were first deployed to handle this sorting process in 2008. Since then, the operational elements of these sensor-based systems have been continuously upgraded by hard- and software. Over the years this has resulted in various modifications and improvements such as new lamps, the replacement of valve blocks, and program optimisation to ensure all systems are always run at their most efficient levels.