To achieve a consistently high quality, high purity furnace-ready aluminum product, the aluminum scrap needs to be cleaned of aluminum-plastic compounds, light plastics and aluminum scrap. This requires advanced sorting technology, such as the latest application TOMRA Sorting has developed for our X-TRACT unit. The capabilities and combination of the x-ray technology used in TOMRA’s X-TRACT unit make it by far the most consistently accurate solution available on the market today, capable of meeting the requirements of end customers who specify magnesium-free aluminum or typically well below 0.5% by weight. It can also be used to separate wrought aluminum alloys from cast aluminum alloys found in ELV scrap, something which traditional sorting methods simply couldn’t achieve.
Being able to produce up to 99% purity recycled aluminum vastly enhances the market opportunities for shredder operators who can sell their furnace-ready products across the full size fraction spectrum to secondary aluminum smelters within South Korea or to customers in other countries. And, with the quality and purity of the material guaranteed to be consistent, operators can establish long-term, reliable sales channels, with no penalties for missing quality requirements.
Looking to the future
Although South Korea isn’t yet facing as much legislative pressure as Europe, it’s likely that this will change over the coming years as more stringent legislation and mandatory recycling targets come into force. The latest sensor-based sorting technology enables shredder operators to produce a range of recovered fractions from ELV at a consistent quantity and quality, enabling it to be traded and used in domestic or close-to-home markets. As such, it’s clear that sensor-based sorting technology is likely to play a key role as South Korea becomes more advanced in the way it manages its ELV waste and pushes closer towards its 95% recycling target. Those South Korean shredder operators who are now looking to be among the early adopters of the latest advanced automated sorting technology will certainly have a market advantage over those who delay in their adoption of this type of technology.