Overview

We need to create a sustainable, recycling-oriented society in order to replace the mass-production, mass-consumption, mass-disposal society of the past. Part of this is the ongoing efforts in recycling businesses around the world.

Imaging technology

Most of the sorting work in recycling relies on the manual work of workers, which efficiency is required. Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (SSS) has image sensing technology that contributes to improving the efficiency of the recycling business.

Recycled plastic

SORPLAS™ is a recycled plastic developed by SSS that can be used effectively as a raw material for molded products as it is made from reused plastics molded at a processing plant or recovered from the market. It has been confirmed to reduce CO2 emissions during production by up to about 80% as compared to virgin flame retardant polycarbonate resin (according to calculations by SSS).

Recycled plastic
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Recycled plastic

Applications

Sorting materials

At some recycling sites, transparent materials should be sorted by material. While it is difficult to distinguish them with visible light spectrum cameras, UV image sensors can achieve this easily because they can visualize the difference of materials in light absorption and transmittance in the ultraviolet (UV) light. It is also possible to utilize SWIR (short-wavelength infrared) for the same purpose. Switch the SWIR light in different SWIR wavelengths to match the target materials, then we can capture respective images with a SWIR image sensor to sort them.

Sorting materials

Shape recognition

High-speed recycling lines involve tasks like separating pre-scrap PET bottles from other recyclables and sorting bottles by size, so there is a role to play for high-resolution image sensors that can work at high speeds. Global shutter image sensors equipped with Pregius / Pregius S technology are compact and high resolution with excellent shape recognition capabilities in high-speed imaging, contributing to better sorting precision and time saving.

Shape recognition

Recycled plastic

Plastic, which is a recyclable element, is produced through multiple processes. It begins with mining of fossil fuel resources (crude petroleum and coal), followed by refining (naphtha), synthesis (monomer), polymerization (polymer), and kneading (plastic). Then, after the molding process (molded goods) and assembly (set product, plastic is made into a variety of products that are sent out into the world.

Recycled plastic1
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Recycled plastic1

In the future, we intend to aim to reduce CO2 further by taking advantage of the material’s excellent recyclability to aim for closed recycling of set product using SORPLAS™ as a raw material.

Recycled plastic2

Related Products & Solutions

Related Links

SORPLAS is a trademark of Sony Group Corporation. SORPLAS is an environmentally conscious plastic developed and provided by Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation.

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