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A Network Flow Model for the Performance Evaluation and Design of Material Separation Systems For Recycling

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4 Author(s)
Malima Isabelle Wolf ; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts, MA, USA ; Marcello Colledani ; Stanley B. Gershwin ; Timothy G. Gutowski

Interest in recycling has surged due to increasing material costs, environmental concerns over material production and disposal, and laws designed to improve material recycling rates. In response, recycling systems are becoming more complex as increasing material recovery is required from products with complicated material mixtures such as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and ELVs. To increase performance and process complex material mixtures, separation systems are typically organized as highly integrated multistage systems. However, the problem of estimating the performance and designing multistage separation systems has rarely been tackled from a systems engineering perspective, resulting in poor integration and suboptimal configuration of industrial multistage separation systems. This paper presents a new approach to modeling, analyzing, and designing multistage separation systems to meet specified performance goals in terms of recovery/grade. Results can be used to generate maps of optimal system configurations for different requirements. The industrial benefits are illustrated by a real case study.

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IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )