Metal sorting technology : Coin recovery from bottom ash

Muenzfraktion bottom ash
© Redwave

What happens to all that metal that is left behind in the bottom ash after incineration? On the one hand, you can make a golden ring out of it, as the European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology (ESWET) has calculated:

One tonne of municipal waste leaves an average of 180-250 kg of bottom ash. An average of 0.008 grams of gold can be recovered from this bottom ash. An average engagement ring weighs 5 grams, depending on its design. In 2018, the average European produced around 492 kg of municipal waste, of which around a third was treated in a waste-to-energy plant. It would therefore take the annual residual waste of around 650 Europeans to make one golden ring.

Special sorting technology needed

All well and good. But how to get the valuable metals? With the right technology of course. Redwave, a leading provider of metal recycling solutions, recently introduced the new sensor-based sorting system REDWAVE CX coin sorter, an innovative sorting system that revolutionizes coin recovery from industrial waste incineration (IBA slag) and car scrap. “The REDWAVE CX sorting system is a highly efficient and effective solution for sorting needs. Not only does this machine boast an impressive level of performance, but it also comes at an attractive price point”, says Angela Thaller from Redwave. “The camera inside the system features a high resolution, allowing for unparalleled sorting accuracy.”

Angela Thaller Redwave
Angela Thaller from Redwave - © BTMC

The sorter can be used as a standalone machine or integrated into a metal processing plant. The integration process is simple. As coins make up a significant part of the bottom ash, a specialized sorter might be reasonable investment, Thaller adds: “If you want to earn money, yes, without a doubt. The heavy metal fraction found in incineration bottom ash material (IBA) typically contains a significant amount of coins, comprising approximately 1-2% of the overall fraction. This coin fraction holds considerable value due to the metals present within it.”

Aside from coin recovery, REDWAVE CX can recover metals from a mineral stream or glass from fluidized bed ash, which is a waste product resulting from the combustion of coal or other fuels in a fluidized bed boiler.