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Recycling the next generation
Date:5/7/2014

en treated with organic wood preservatives. To separate out or concentrate heavy metals, we plan to apply wet chemical processes as well as combustion techniques and pyrolyzation," says Peter Meinlschmidt, a physicist at WKI.

Recycling concrete

Several million tons of building rubble accumulate every year. However, no process for recycling concrete exists yet. Researchers in the Concrete Technology group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP in Holzkirchen, Germany, want to change that. They are working on "electrodynamic fragmentation", a technique by which ultra-short lightning bolts course through the concrete. They have been successful in reducing the concrete into its individual components gravel and cement. An important first step toward recycling old concrete.

Recovering germanium and phosphorus

But valuable materials are not only extracted from solid waste. Flue gases from garbage incinerators likewise contain raw materials. To extract these, researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden, Germany, are developing specialized ceramic filters with which specific component substances in flue gases at temperatures in excess of 850 C are first selectively separated out and then subsequently recovered Germanium, zinc, and even phosphorus, for example.

But do these methods make any sense in a rapidly evolving market environment? The Molecular Sorting project partners have examined this in a study. Their conclusions indicate they do. Recycling at the atomic level will very probably be economically feasible in the future. Not just if it is politically supported, but also as an economically independent business model.


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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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