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Development of High Speed Multispectral Imaging for Sorting Automotive Plastics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-06ER84559
Agency Tracking Number: 81079S06-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 29
Solicitation Number: DE-FG01-05ER05-28
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
566 Mainstream Drive Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37228
United States
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Edward Sommer
 (615) 734-6400
Business Contact
 Edward Sommer
Title: Dr.
Phone: (615) 734-6400
Research Institution

The recycling of materials has taken on increased importance in recent years, as society strives to conserve our nation¿s resources and improve the efficiency of energy useage. With respect to automobiles, about 15 million vehicles annually are discarded and processed through shredding by recycling companies for extraction of recyclable materials. Today, almost all metals are recycled. However, most non-metallic components, approximately 25% of the vehicle¿s weight, are not recycled and are landfilled. Because manufacturers are increasing the use of lightweight materials to improve fuel efficiency, technologies are needed to enable the recycling of these materials, especially automobile plastics. This project will develop a high-speed, electronic detection and sorting technology to identify durable automobile plastics as they flow in bulk quantities on a conveying system and to sort these plastics into marketable polymer fractions. This detection and sorting system will be applied to the recovery and recycling of automotive plastics derived from end-of-life automobile shredder plants. Phase I will assess the feasibility of constructing a high speed multispectral imaging system, which can be integrated with a materials sorting system, for the automated identification and sorting of polymers within a mixed-polymer stream of automotive plastic samples. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should enable an increased ability to recycle used automotive plastics, thereby conserving energy, conserving increasingly limited resources, and reducing the flow of materials to landfills. Additionally, the technology should find use in other applications, such as the recycling of electronic waste.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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