Ricerca & Sviluppo





The challenge

The amount of waste generated by the automotive industry in the EU raised up to 10 million tonnes in 2010, and it is foreseen that it will increase by 40% until 2015. Thus, the appropriate recycling of this waste has important implications from the environmental point of view.

About 8% of the total weight in the automotive shredder corresponds to non-ferrous metals, which is often processed by Heavy Media Separation, and handsorting. Vision system can be used to separate metals based on their colour. However this requires thermal and chemical etching treatments of the shredder to remove coatings, and to induce surface colour modifications, resulting in substantial operational costs, higher energy and water consumption and associated waste and GHG emissions. Moreover, none of current sorting technologies is still able to successfully sort the light fraction of the metals (Al and Mg) into indiviadual alloys, which consequently must downgraded to produce cast alluminuim.

In the next year, unless new technologies enable the recovery of Al in the form of wrought alloys, secondary Al will not be completely absorbed by the market, and the production of primary Al will increase by 25%. This represents a major environmental concern due to the much higher energy and emissions of primary production process.

This Project aims at developing a new dry sorting technology for non-ferrous automotive shredder.

First, shredder will be separated into different metals, based on their conductivity. To this end, a new electromagnetic sensing technique combined with a vision system will be used. In a next step, the light fraction will be alloy-sorted using LIBS. A novel LIBS system design is proposed, anabling the sorting throughput by one order of magnitude with respect to axisting systems.


Expected results

ShredderSort aims at developing new technologies for the separation of the heavy and light fractions of ELV (End-of-Life Vehicles) scrap. The project shall contribute towards reducing the environmental impact of recovering raw materials, as well as to reduce metal scrap recycling costs. Furthermore, ShredderSort technology shall enable an effective separation of aluminium and magnesium alloys, thus avoiding current aluminium recycling strategy based on downcycling, and contributing to the recovery of high value and critical metals.

In addition to the environmental scope, it is foreseen that the project will promote the development of new business models based on new recycling technologies.



Lenz Instruments S.L. [ES]

Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organometallici, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche [IT]

Institute for Information and Communication Technologies/Machine Vision Applications, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft MBH [AT]

Marwan Technology s.r.l. [IT]

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester [UK]

Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG [AT]

Mechanical Engineering Department, Instituto superior tecnico [PT]

Regulacion de Motores, S.A. [ES]

LNEG Lumiar, Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P. [PT]

Monocrom S.L. [ES]

Hierros y Metales Diez S.L. [ES]

Sito Web sviluppato con TYPO3 da Archimede Informatica.