The air separator, or aeraulic separator, allows to separate dimensionally a waste stream in an efficient way, whether they are dry recycled fractions, plastics, paper / cardboard or other types of waste. The separation is done by a controlled air flow, which allows to split the waste according to density and form factor in light fraction and heavy fraction.
The aeraulic separator, or air separator, is composed of a recirculation fan, a separation section and an input section. As shown in the image below, the input material to the air separator, conveyed by a belt conveyor, ends up in a extractor hood (black arrow “Input Materials”). Here, thanks to the controlled air flow generated by the fan (blue arrow), the light fraction (plastic bags, plastic film, light packaging) is aspirated upwards and continues its path in a series of piping (red arrow), while the heavy fraction (plastic bottles, plastic containers, heavy objects) is discharged on a second conveyor. The light fraction then reaches the rotary valve, in which, thanks to the movement of the rotor and the consequent reduction of the air speed, the lightweight material is unloaded on another conveyor. The air then continues its path towards the fan, after which there is a dust suppression filter, thus closing the air recirculation.
Below is a slowed video showing the sorted material coming out of the rotary valve (light fraction) of the air separator in a plastic sorting facility.