Hyderabad: Low-cost solution to sorting plastic waste

Rajendhar Junjuri; Dr G Manoj Kumar

Rajendhar Junjuri; Dr G Manoj Kumar


UoH team’s findings mentioned in Optics and Photonics News (OPN) year review

Gachibowli : Every year, several million tons of plastic waste generated worldwide is leading to a landfill problem.

The ever-increasing domestic and industrial plastic waste raises more concerns over their recycling which offers an efficient solution to minimise waste output and reduces the usage of natural resources. However, sorting is a crucial step in the recycling process as it affects the quality and cost of the final products.

A research team (Rajendhar Junjuri and Dr G Manoj Kumar) from the University of Hyderabad demonstrated a simple and low-cost method for sorting the plastic. Their work "Low-Cost Sorting of Plastic Waste" is published in Optics and Photonics News (OPN) year review 2020 published by Optical Society of America (OSA).

The duo employed a laser-based technique known as Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to generate the data from different types of plastics. All the samples are collected from a recycling plant to simulate the conditions of a real-time application.

The generated data is combined with Machine learning to identify the type of the unknown plastic. This system demonstrated successful identification of samples from plastic waste with an average accuracy of around 97%.

Each year, the December issue of OPN highlights the most exciting optics researches to emerge in the preceding 12 months. This year 30 intriguing works were selected out of 115 summaries submitted by various research teams across the globe.

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