Characterisation, sorting and washing

The goal of this programme is to develop open facilities to improve sorting efficiency and recyclate quality. In addition, general programs will be established to develop recyclate quality testing methods, process analysis and characterization methods, mitigation strategies for microplastics and an artificial intelligence (AI) based system for predicting recyclate value


Description of the programme

To accelerate the circular plastic supply chain and move toward higher recycling rates, characterizing, sorting and washing are crucial steps in addition to designing and setting up the waste management system. Characterising to determine what materials and interfering substances are in a stream, sorting to recover valuable materials from a waste stream and washing to increase material quality by removing adhering dirt, inks, adhesives, odour and other interfering substances.


The programme focuses on:

  • Development of raw material and product characteristics and related test methods for different recycling technologies
  • Development of characterization, sorting and waste technologies for specific applications
  • Development of an expert system (based on AI/ML/MVDA) that integrates analytical and context information to predict recyclate value and choose an optimal recycling route
  • Further development of separation technologies of laminate materials
  • Development of process analysis and characterization methods for application throughout the recycling chain
  • Development of mitigation strategies to reduce the impacts of microplastics
  • Development of specific pretreatment and sorting techniques for different types of rubber
  • Development of analytical process techniques