Actions and means

To achieve the sorting, the actions of the WEEEELIBS project are focused on the fabrication and the tests of the WEEEELIBS demonstrator: a LIBS based machine able to identify the type of polymer and the additives contained inside the WEEE plastics.

In order to achieve this goal, the project partnership gathers:

-the CRITT Matériaux Alsace, which masters the skills required for polymer identification by LIBS technique.

 

 

-IVEA, a company specialised in LIBS machine making, including portable LIBS systems.

 

 

The WEEELIBS project is planned on 31 months (including 6 months security margin) and takes place in France, especially in the East (Alsace) and Parisian region.

 

Several WEEE treatment companies are also involved in the project to let the WEEELIBS project team show that the sorting is possible in real industrial conditions:

-Envie 2 E Lorraine is one of the companies. This SME, members of the Envie association, is a leader on WEEE recycling in France, with a national network to treat the collected WEEE. The company is currently waiting its ISO 14001 certification.

 

 -SITA Region Est, filiale régionale de SITA (GDF-Suez) s'est également engagé à participer aux démonstrations.

 

 

It is planned to make four tests, during one week each, on four different treatment sites, belonging ideally to four different companies.

The demonstrator will respect the constraints of WEEE treatment processing. That is why the exchanges between the WEEE treatment companies and the WEEELIBS project team will help to write the specifications list of the demonstrator.

Unlike other projects, dealing with the conception of an automated machine dedicated to WEEE plastic sorting, the WEEELIBS project is the first aiming to develop a solution for manual DEEE sorting. The aim is to offer on the market a solution for all kind of companies (SMEs, multinational companies) to improve the value of the matter collected from WEEE thanks to an ecological process.

Demonstration of the sorting process using the WEEELIBS demonstrator will be realised on different WEEE treatment sites in order to obtain data on the process and its environment impact.

 

The LIBS technique

LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) is the most promising technology for the identification of waste flux. This technique uses a laser shot on the sample. It generates a plasma on the sample surface. The light emitted by the plasma is collected and analyzed in a spectrometer. The obtained spectrum of the sample is characteristic of the matter it contains. The positions and the intensity of the lines give the required data to obtain qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify the elements (sometimes the molecules) present inside the sample.

 

 

On the one hand, LIBS analysis is very component sensitive: the choice of the laser, the optical system and the spectrometer is crucial. Finding the best combination of these components for an optimal answer of the demonstrator for the targeted application (WEEE plastic sorting and RoHS detection) is the main innovative and vital part of the WEEELIBS project. As a matter of fact, a consistent knowledge of the LIBS systems is required and the components must be tested to conceive and built the final demonstrator. This action is supervied by IVEA.

On the other hand, processing of the acquired data plays a central role for the polymer discrimination. The integration of different data processing methods leading to a specific protocole in a single software is the second main innovative part of the project. This action is supervised by the CRITT Matériaux Alsace.