The new MSort NIR sorting machine uses near-infrared technology to reliably separate bulk materials with the same visual appearance, but with different chemical composition in fractions of a second. This allows tasks to be accomplished that were beyond the limits of optical sorting, such as separation of plastics in glass recycling. Other materials such as feldspar, quartz, white marble and talc can also be reliably separated with the new technology.
The MSort NIR uses near-infrared spectroscopy to physically analyze the material. In this method, electromagnetic radiation in the near-infrared range (NIR) of 860-1700 nm causes molecules to vibrate. With the NIR technology, a material can be uniquely identified through its specific infrared spectra.
At the beginning of the sorting process, the material flow passes by an NIR camera through a chute in free-fall. The camera has a resolution of 4 x 4 mm at a working width of 1,200 mm and a spectral resolution of up to 255 data points per pixel. Approximately 10,000 particles can be recorded per second. This high-performance camera allows the individual particles to be uniquely identified and the images to then be analyzed. Specialized software analyzes the images and determines, in fractions of a second, whether a particle needs to be sorted out. The bulk material then passes by a strip of compressed-air nozzles, and the pre-defined particles are blown out by compressed air pulses from pneumatically controlled, extremely fast acting, high-performance valves. The distance between the detection plane and the nozzle strip is small, ensuring that time changes and position changes influence the particles as little as possible. The sorting precision is at least 95% in one sorting step.