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New sorting tech pushes glass recycling to the next level

The global recycled glass market was worth US$ 3.5 billion (EUR 3.1 billion) in 2017 and is expected to reach US$ 5.5 billion by 2025. This would mean an annualised growth of 5.7% during the next five years, mostly due to advanced sorting technologies.

Thanks to glass separation solutions such as X-ray fluorescence and LED camera systems, most recycling facilities now achieve a 75% recycling rate. Even so, they still suffer a significant loss of good cullet, especially in the ceramics, stone and porcelain (CSP) reject stream with glass content of up to 90%.

Tech provider Redwave says this is because of out-dated sorting techniques. Due to the low transmission value, dark and thick glass pieces cannot be differentiated from CSP by optical sorters and are ejected. This results in lower output rates and increased disposal costs for the CSP reject stream due to the higher volume.

Redwave has been eager to take on this challenge and spent years fine-tuning its glass sorting sensors and software. Now, it is claiming a ‘superb’ detection rate for dark glass with the two-way and three-way Redwave CX series. This ‘next generation of intelligent glass sorting’ has improved the accurate identification of dark glass by more than 50% while ensuring no more semi-coloured glass or thin porcelain is lost.

Redwave has created the CX series to target coarse material as well as its CXP and CXF range which handles finer input. All units can process around 16 tonnes per hour. An added benefit of the new line is that previously installed sorters and software can be easily upgraded, thereby saving time and money otherwise spent acquiring new solutions.

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