What are the Technologies Used in Metal Recycling?

The adoption of sensors to identify metals using infrared scanning and x-ray has become widespread in big recycling plants these days.

FREMONT, CA: Given the recyclability of nearly every form of metal, the current overall metal recycling rate of around 34 percent is unacceptably low, and obstacles persist in capturing additional material for recycling. Increased community recycling programs and public awareness are beneficial in this regard.

The design of various metal goods is another key element leading to the low recycling rate. Recycling has become increasingly difficult as the complexity of modern objects, as well as their material mix, has increased. A smartphone, for example, can include over 70 different parts.     As a result, it's difficult to remove all types of elements from a phone and reuse them in the manufacture of new products.

Metal Recycling Technologies

Modern recycling technology can effectively identify many various types of metals; however, non-ferrous metals still require even more effective recycling methods. One of the most critical processes in the sorting process is separating ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Magnets attract ferrous metals, which are easily extracted out of the mixed trash stream since they contain iron. Cranes equipped with an electromagnet can extract larger pieces of ferrous scrap at scrap yards.

The paper is removed first when sifting metals from a mixed stream of recyclables, leaving just plastics and metals. Then, across the stream, electric currents are induced, affecting just metals. Eddy current separation is the name for this technique. Even though aluminum is not magnetic, this technique can float it, allowing plastics to be removed from the process.

When enough scrap is collected, it becomes economically viable to recover precious metals such as palladium, platinum, gold, and other valuable metals such as copper, lead, and silver from electronic waste. Separation of this nature necessitates the use of more technologically complex and sophisticated recycling equipment. The adoption of sensors to identify metals using infrared scanning and x-ray has become widespread in large recycling plants these days. Biotechnology, hydrometallurgy, and pyrometallurgy are three major types of metal detecting techniques. These technologies have the potential to improve metal recovery rates significantly.