Polyvinylchloride (PVC) is one of the most produced polymers in Europe, with a share of 11% in terms of mass (8 Million tonnes) of total polymer consumption, but in 2010 only 5% of the total PVC production was from recycled materials, where other polymer recycling achieves a level of 15% on average. In order to find an innovative process to extract PVC from window frames waste, a combination of two recent technologies has been tested: magnetic density separation (MDS) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) analysis. By its nature, MDS is a flexible high precision density separation that is applicable to any mixture of polymers and contaminants with non-overlapping densities. As PVC has a very distinctive high density, this technology can be used to make high-grade PVC pre-concentrates from many PVC-rich waste streams. Considering that PVC has a characteristic spectral signature in the NIR range, it can be clearly discriminated from other polymers and contaminants by HSI. The results showed that the combined application of MDS and HSI techniques allowed to separate and identify PVC from window frame waste.
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