Hyperspectral imaging in recycling

The efficient recycling of waste into reusable materials is one of the significant efforts we must take to save our scarce natural resources.

Sorting waste manually is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and hazardous. Hyperspectral imaging can sort materials quickly and efficiently, reducing the time and cost of sorting and increasing safety.

Hyperspectral imaging identifies and separates different materials, such as plastics, textiles, metals, glass, paper, and cardboard, based on their chemical structure.

Hyperspectral imaging can identify a broader range of materials than traditional sorting methods, which rely on visual inspection or basic sensors.

More accurate material separation reduces contamination and increases the purity of recycled materials and profit.

Hyperspectral imaging can help increase the number of recycled materials rather than sent to landfills, reducing waste’s environmental impact.

Hyperspectral imaging can be integrated into automated waste sorting systems, reducing the need for manual sorting and increasing the speed and efficiency of the process.

Overall, hyperspectral imaging offers significant benefits for waste sorting:

  • Increase the safety and efficiency of recycling
  • Automate workflows
  • Increase the purity of recycled materials
  • Reduce cost and increase profit
  • Reduce the environmental impact

Read more: Waste Robotics case study – Hyperspectral Imaging: A Tool for Future Waste Management

Read more: Hyperspectral imaging shapes the future of sustainable recycling

Hyperspectral imaging for plastic classification

Each plastic type has its specific spectral fingerprint. The Specim FX17 hyperspectral camera can identify and sort all different plastic types, including PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS, PE, and ABS in all colors.

The framerate and resolution of the Specim FX17 meet the requirements of industrial sorting processes in terms of speed, accuracy, reliability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness.

Read more: How Prodecologia used cutting-edge hyperspectral imaging technology to achieve 98% polymer purity

Read more: Case Picvisa – Machine vision solutions for waste treatment & recycling

RGB image of different plastics.Hyperspectral analysis of different plastics.
Hyperspectral imaging

Separation and sorting of black plastics

Black polymers are widely used in the food, electronics, and car industry. However, black plastics are difficult to sort because they do not reflect light, making them difficult to identify using optical sorting technology – up until now.

Specim FX50 hyperspectral camera is the forerunner to solve the black plastics recycling issue.

It is the only camera available on the market covering the full MWIR spectral range of 2.7 – 5.3 μm required in black plastics sorting.

Specim FX50 can detect PS, PE, PP, ABS, PVC, black plastics, rubber, and specific additives.

Read more: Breakthrough in black plastic sorting

RGB image of black plastics.Hyperspectral image of black plastics.
Hyperspectral imaging

Construction waste

Construction waste often contains hazardous substances such as asbestos. With hyperspectral imaging, it is possible to safely sort valuable and reusable construction waste, such as concrete, wood, tiles, paper, and cardboard, as well as different plastics, without exposing people to hazardous materials.

Read more: Case ZenRobotics – Robotics revolution in waste separation

Construction waste and a picking robot.

Textile waste

Hyperspectral imaging can distinguish plant, animal, and artificial fibers. It shows good potential to help solve the global challenge of managing textile waste and turning it into renewable materials.

Read more: Hyperspectral imaging reducing textile waste

Read more: Case Study: PICVISA Harnesses Hyperspectral Imaging to Revolutionize Textile Sorting

Textile waste.

Related products:


Specim GX17

Specim FX17

Specim FX50