Automobile-shredder-residue (ASR) recycling techniques have been widely applied for improving the total recycling rate of end-of-life vehicles. In this study, to obtain useful information for predicting or improving ASR-separation efficiency, trajectory analyses of conductors (copper) and non-conductors (glass) were performed using a lab-scale induction electrostatic separator. The copper-wire trajectories obtained showed a good agreement depending significantly on the electric field strength and particle size. The observed copper-wire trajectories showed consistent congruity with the coarse-particles simulation (0.5 and 0.25 mm). The observed fine-particles (0.06 mm) trajectory was deflected toward the (−) attractive electrode, owing to the charge density effects due to the particle characteristics and relative humidity. This results in superior separation performance because more copper enters the conductor products bin. The actual dielectric-glass trajectory was deflected toward the (−) attractive electrode, thus showing characteristics similar to conductive-particle characteristics. Through analyses conducted using a stereoscopic microscope, scanning electron microscope, and energy dispersive spectroscope, we found heterogeneous materials (fine ferrous particles and conductive organics) on the glass surface. This demonstrates the separation-efficiency decrease for non-ferrous metals during electrostatic separation in the recycling of ASR. Future work should include a pretreatment process for eliminating impurities from the glass and advanced trajectory-simulation processes.
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