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Recycling the next generation
Date:5/7/2014

colorless glass from old plate glass.

Water-white glass ensures maxmal optical transparency and is therefore employed in photovoltaics, fiber-optic cables, and displays. If impurities such as iron are in the glass, its transparency falls. "The growth in the photovoltaics sector is so huge at the moment that neither the sources of iron-free natural raw materials nor the quantities of recycled materials from "used" photovoltaic modules, for example, are sufficient to satisfy the demand for highly transparent plate glass in the coming decades," says Dr. Jrgen Meinhardt from ISC. Conventional plate glass might be an alternative source of raw materials. However, the iron content of this glass is too high. The researchers are developing a process by which iron atoms can be pulled directly out of the liquid glass if heated to about 1500 degrees Celsius.

Reusing scrap wood intelligently

Recycling wood in Germany is still at an infant stage. Up to now, only about 33 percent of the roughly eight million tons of waste wood annually is re-used. One reason for the low recycling rate are the German regulations regarding scrap wood. They prescribe that material coated with organic compounds containing halogens or wood treated with wood preservatives may not be re-used except under very restricted circumstances. New techniques of separation at the molecular level are expected to help matters without jeopardizing the precautions contained in the scrap wood regulations.

In order to be able to recycle more scrap wood, the harmful substances present must be identified. To do this, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research / Wilhlem Klauditz Institute in Braunschweig, Germany, employed various processes such as near-infrared spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence analysis and ion mobility spectrometry. Once the harmful substance has been identified, it can also be removed. "Super-critical fluids can be used to clean wood that has be
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Contact: Dr.-Ing. Jörg Woidasky
joerg.woidasky@ict.fraunhofer.de
49-721-464-0367
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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