Made of plastic, aluminum and paper, the beverage carton is a classical example for composite packaging. Apart from packaging, there are many other types of composites. For instance, photovoltaic modules consist of glass, semiconductors and plastics; car glass is also composed of different materials. The recycling of all used materials is ecologically and economically worthwhile. According to information provided by Saperatec GmbH, composite material valued at more than one billion Euros is disposed in Germany each year.
The technology provider Saperatec is located in Bielefeld, Germany and provides innovative solutions to recycle composite materials. Composite materials can be clearly separated by specially developed emulsions so that all components can be re-used as secondary materials. The micro-emulsions use the effects of tensides and dissolve the layers of the composite material. In the first step of the processing, the material is shredded in order to enlarge the surface area as much as possible for the exposure to micro-emulsion and to facilitate material handling in the process. The core process is the treatment of the shredded composite material in the micro-emulsion. The separation process happens during stirring with low temperature, until single fractions materialize in the emulsion. The products are subsequently filtered, cleaned, sorted and dried, if necessary.