Equipment, Opinion, Sorting and separating equipment

UniSort Black creates pure product for processing facility operators

In Australia, demand for advanced sorting technologies in the green waste compost industry is on the rise. Guidelines, such as the Australian Standard 4454, help drive the nation’s commitment towards sustainable waste management practices. Then there are initiatives such as the implementation of FOGO bins (Food and Garden Organics), which means the need for effective automated sorting solutions has never been more crucial – like the UniSort Black.

Operators of composting facilities are constantly being faced with challenges to produce quality clean product. On one side of the coin, customers are demanding compost of increasingly higher quality. On the flip side, the organic waste streams contain steadily rising quantities of foreign particles in the mix.

Machinery specialist, STEINERT, has innovative technologies, such as the UniSort Black optical sorter, which ejects foreign particles out of this structural material to create a pure product for processing facility operators.

“The higher volumes the facilities are predicted to receive by 2030 indicate the industry needs to evaluate what decontamination looks like at scale, and learn from best practices overseas,” said Bronte Abrahams, STEINERT business development manager for waste recycling in Australia.

STEINERT’s waste recycling specialists work alongside green waste processing companies around the world to help address and remedy these key contamination issues. Working together they strive to find solutions to achieve the best quality recyclable materials for green waste recycling facilities.

Magnetic plus sensor-based solutions

In the first stages of processing the material, the company offers the STEINERT OHSM (overhead suspension magnets). These are placed above the belt to remove the tramp metal components.

The self-cleaning magnetic separators have a circulating conveyor belt equipped with projections, which remove the ferrous parts attracted by the magnets and allows them to fall into a separate container.

The conveyor belts transport the material to the UniSort Black machine, which will in turn separate out all plastics (including all dark-coloured and black plastics) as well as the remaining foils and metals.

The removal of foreign particles to improve quality

The UniSort Black sorting system consists of an NIR (near infrared) sensor to recognise detectable plastics, as well as objects that are normally not detectable by means of NIR (such as dark-coloured and black plastics). Both types of material are sorted out during the same run-through – either post- or pre-digestion.

The use of STEINERT’s hyper spectral imaging (HSI) technology enables the UniSort Black to identify both types of material simultaneously.

A metal sensor can be installed optionally to detect and separate residual metals. Depending on the application, this technology has a throughput rate of 6 to 10 t/h at a working width of 2.8 m; the grain sizes range from about 10-70 mm and from 70-350 mm.

Patrick Lindweiler, STEINERT’s solutions specialist, explains the benefits for our global green waste customers.

“UniSort Black enables them to purify the structural material so well, that it doesn’t have to be incinerated.

“With this reduction of the incineration costs by up to 90 per cent, and the return of the material into the composting process as a structural material, the marketing of the quality-assured products pays off for the operator.”

The combination of STEINERT technologies help remove more than 98 per cent of the foreign particles in the material, ultimately sorting out the unwanted contaminates such as metals, broken glass, stones and ceramics.

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