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A Process for On-Line Quality Control of Recycled Plastic Flake

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
National Recovery Technologies LLC
1508 Elm Hill Pike Suite 102 Nashville, TN 37210-3636
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: A Process for On-Line Quality Control of Recycled Plastic Flake
Agency: EPA
Contract: 68-D-01-036
Award Amount: $70,000.00


Generally, it is accepted that for plastics recycling to be economically viable in the long term, recycled resins must be competitive with virgin resins. To compete with virgin material, new applications must be made available for recycled resins. Such applications will require that the recycled resin be of a high purity level. Thus, many processors are requiring ever-tightening contamination limits in their recycled resin products. With these tightening contamination limits comes the need to remove contaminants from the stream that do not come from whole bottles or that get through whole-bottle detection systems. Unfortunately, automated flake sorting for the entire stream of material is too expensive for many processors. Current quality control methods require that small samples be taken manually from the stream after processing and manually analyzed in the laboratory. This requires several hours before the quality control results can be obtained - at this point, the material already has been placed in the storage area. Unacceptable contamination levels, therefore, will have contaminated entire gaylords or even a silo of material before the processor is aware of the problem. The processor then typically will blend the contaminated material with pure material, resulting in a lower quality product. The Phase I objective is to determine the feasibility of developing a rugged analytical system for online quality control that would continuously monitor a sample from the recycling process material stream to determine contamination levels in real time. When the contamination level is too high, the system would activate a diverting mechanism so that contaminated material is diverted away from the main stream of material for further processing.

Principal Investigator:

Edward Sommer, Jr

Business Contact:

Edward Sommer, Jr
Small Business Information at Submission:

National Recovery Technologies, Inc
566 Mainstream Dr Suite 300 Nashville, TN 37228

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No