Material Recycling

Material separation for better recycling

Material recycling


Thanks to his real-time materials characterization capability, XSpectra® brings benefits for both the environment and the economy



Our goal is to contribute to “CLOSING THE LOOP” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use


XSpectra®: making materials recycling more effective by improving sorting and characterization of waste.

The transition to a more circular economy, and the generation of waste minimized, is essential to develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy.

An efficient material characterization before recycling can boost companies’ competitiveness, creating new business opportunities and innovative, more efficient ways of producing and consuming.

In a number of countries and in various industry situations, waste are already separated during the collection process: mixed plastic waste can then be sorted and separated into broad material categories (e.g. polyolefin, polyesters, vinyl, etc.) using various physical and optical methods.
Current technology, does not allow the distinction and separation of different, individual materials within the same broad category (for example different types of polypropylene or polyethylene in the polyolefin category). In addition, current technology has serious limitations when dealing with small pieces or with black or heavy colored/filled plastics and does not provide any information on the composition of the recycled material.

XSpectra® is able to differentiate polymers with different composition and/or molecular weight and has therefore significant potential for improving the sorting technology and for making it more accurate and able to separate individual waste types rather than just broad categories of similar materials.
Size, shape and thickness of the product do not affect XSpectra®’s analytical performance.
This makes the new technology best suited for sorting post-consumer waste which, depending on waste source and processing technologies, may have very different shapes/thicknesses and very different size and size distribution. Material transparency or color is not a problem and therefore XSpectra® can easily deal with clear, black, colored or heavy filled materials (such as black/colored plastic parts from old TV sets or computer/other electronic equipment or colored/heavy filled plastics from post-consumer automotive waste).
In addition XSpectra® can provide data and information on material nature and composition (for example content of flame retardants or other additives) which may be key in determining the optimal destination, use, dilution and processing of the recycled material in order to maximize its value.
Overall, the new XSpectra® technology can be a very helpful tool to overcome the limitations of current sorting and separation technologies and make waste recycling significantly more valuable and effective.

Xnext® is actively developing, in cooperation with other partners, a project that involves recycling WEEE ( Waste of Electric and Electronic Equipment), specifically, all kind of lamps.

In the following image, some further information is provided.

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