From waste to resource thanks to characterization of waste streams

A UGent article on the results of the UGent, VITO, Suez, and Umicore collaboration within the CHARAMBA project (EIT Raw Materials)

Today, waste recycling is high-tech and much-needed. A smart characterization technology now makes it possible to classify in detail what appears as a homogeneous waste stream on the fly at an industrial level.

Ghent University and VITO are taking the next step towards an efficient characterization of waste, also for metal recycling. This Characterize-to-Sort technology makes it possible to automatically determine important physical parameters of all waste particles (not just sub-samples).

With sensors the seemingly homogeneous waste stream is scanned and classified down to the level of each individual particle. The innovative technology concept was conceived by VITO and developed from the start in close collaboration with Ghent University.

Both research partners have now successfully concluded a two-year collaborative project. With the support of EIT Raw Materials, they continued to develop and scale up the technology during this period together with two industrial partners, Suez and Umicore.

The result is a multimodal, sensor-based solution powered by artificial intelligence. The team has successfully realized an industry-relevant throughput of complex waste streams on the fly for two different waste streams. This is an important milestone for VITO in bringing the technology to the market.

Read the rest of the press release in English or in Dutch.

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