Evaluation model

Material flow-guided plastics sorting and fractionation for a holistic recycling strategy

© Fraunhofer IOSB / M. Zentsch
Plastic waste is mostly a disordered material flow. The goal is to turn it into partial streams for a suitable processing route.

The development of an entropy-based evaluation model should make it possible to describe the material and material flow state of any disordered material flow, taking into account internal order states. Here, for example, it is to be recorded which and how many plastics a material stream contains, including material quality or aging condition. At the same time, it will be taken into account how much energy is required for the individual recycling paths if the material stream is split up, and what results (e.g. recyclates) can be achieved. To be able to map this complex evaluation and also enable it for heterogeneous and contaminated plastics, a digital twin is being developed that includes the properties of the processed materials. Linking this data (input materials and recyclates) with ecological, economic and technical criteria, such as the parameters of the processing, enables intelligent assignment to a suitable reprocessing route according to the technology hierarchy.