SBIR Phase II: A New Technology for Rapid Identification of Aluminum Metals

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
National Recovery Technologies, Inc. (NRT)
566 Mainstream Drive, Nashville, TN, 37228
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Edward Sommer
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop a new technology for rapid identification and sorting of aluminum and its alloys from a mixture of non-magnetic metals and will provide a new high quality source of these valuable materials for industrial manufacturing processes. This project plans to complete development of an innovative new optoelectronic sensing method integral to the new technology and then design, construct, and test a near commercial scale prototype metals processing system based upon the new technology. The prototype system will be integrated into an existing pilot plant test facility located on-site at the commercial partner's metals recycling facility and will be tested on metal feed streams derived from an automobile shredder processing line located at the recycling facility. A primary objective is to develop an environmentally friendly computerized dry process which can be situated locally and which can rapidly and cleanly sort aluminum scrap from mixtures of nonmagnetic metals at low cost to replace large, costly, and environmentally burdensome heavy media processes and smelting processes for mixed metals. The commercial and broader impacts of this technology will be to reduce the amount of scrap aluminum alloys that are discarded each year in landfills because recycling of these materials are neither technically nor economically practical. Existing methods of sortation use visual examination and hand sortation, or hand-held/bench-top analyzers that are cumbersome and slow in speed. Heavy media separators and smelting facilities for mixed metals are polluting and expensive to build and operate. Using advanced optoelectronic detection techniques, including computer analysis, the proposed technology will sort aluminum alloys from mixed nonferrous metals automatically at speeds never before attainable. If the approach is successful, the impact to increased scrap utilization, increased scrap value and reduced environmental pollution is enormous. The potential worldwide market exceeds $2 Billion annually.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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