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Experimental study of the effect of ambient air humidity on the efficiency of tribo-aero-electrostatic separation of mixed granular solids

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6 Author(s)
Miloudi, M. ; Inst. PPRIME, Univ. of Poitiers, Angouleme, France ; Remadnia, M. ; Dragan, C. ; Medles, K.
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Mixed granular insulating materials can be electro-statically separated by tribocharging them in a fluidized bed affected by an electric field orthogonally oriented to the direction of the fluidization air. The aim of the present paper is to evaluate the effect of ambient air humidity on the outcome of this tribo-aero-electrostatic separation process, i.e. the mass of the granules collected at the two electrodes that generate the electric field. The mixture to be separated was composed of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) originating from the recycling of waste electric and electronic equipment. A set of experiments carried out for two durations (30 s and 60 s), at two values of ambient relative humidity (RH = 20% and RH = 40%), pointed out that the separation becomes efficient beyond a certain value of the initial mass of the mixtures. The experimental design methodology and commercial software MODDE 5.0 were then employed for investigating the effects of two process variables: the speed of the metallic conveyors that serve as high-voltage electrodes, and the humidity of ambient air. The effectiveness of separation was found to depend significantly on the latter factor. Surface potential decay measurements performed on charged layers of the two sorts of particles facilitate the interpretation of separation results: at higher RH, the hydrophilic ABS granules loose faster their charge when in contact with a grounded plate. As a consequence, they are in less number than the HIPS granules to be collected at the exit of the tribo-aero-electrostatic separation chamber.

Published in:

Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting (IAS), 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

9-13 Oct. 2011