Separation by static electricity
In a quest to find the best sorting methods I made multiple post on different ways of separating plastics.
In this post I will explain separation by static electricity.
Another industrial way of separation is static separation. With this method a sample of plastic is dropped between 2 static charged plates, and the amount of static energy the sample absorbs determines the type of plastic
+ relatively simple principle
– High voltages
I look up on that subject and as you can see in the picture below, the DC voltage for a distance between electrode of 60 cm is 20 000V which is a lot ^^
I’m not saying it’s impossible but it require quit expensive equipement and with such a voltage there is a risk of death using it and you must be accredited.Toggle replies
Adding to @mdem : You can sort the plastic types by how much they get electrically charged:
– PVC PET PP PE PS PA +
The farther on the right, the more positive it is, the farther on the left, the more negative. E.g. if you want to separate PP and PE, PP will go to the negative side, PE to the positive side.
This separation method is good for two plastic types, not so good for more.
The voltage used in such systems goes up to 120 000 Volts, however it uses very low Amps (smaller than 0,1 mA) so the energy consumption is minimal.
You need however a beefy transformator to transform the 230V (110V) up to multiple dozens kilovolts and, as stated before, these high voltages can kill you with ease. So I think this separation method should really be left to the ones who really know what they are doing.
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