Sorting of waste wood is an important process practiced at recycling facilities in order to detect and divert contaminants from recycled wood products. Contaminants of concern include arsenic, chromium and copper found in chemically preserved wood. The objective of this research was to evaluate the sorting efficiencies of both treated and untreated parts of the wood waste stream, and metal (As, Cr and Cu) mass recoveries by the use of automated X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems. A full-scale system was used for experimentation. This unit consisted of an XRF-detection chamber mounted on the top of a conveyor and a pneumatic slide-way diverter which sorted wood into presumed treated and presumed untreated piles. A randomized block design was used to evaluate the operational conveyance parameters of the system, including wood feed rate and conveyor belt speed. Results indicated that online sorting efficiencies of waste wood by XRF technology were high based on number and weight of pieces (70-87% and 75-92% for treated wood and 66-97% and 68-96% for untreated wood, respectively). These sorting efficiencies achieved mass recovery for metals of 81-99% for As, 75-95% for Cu and 82-99% of Cr. The incorrect sorting of wood was attributed almost equally to deficiencies in the detection and conveyance/diversion systems. Even with its deficiencies, the system was capable of producing a recyclable portion that met residential soil quality levels established for Florida, for an infeed that contained 5% of treated wood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal