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Air Classification in the MRF

Air classification is utilized to separate light materials from heavier materials through the use of an air stream of sufficient velocity to carry away the lighter materials. This machine is vital in the garbage sorting system to make the plant separate waste more efficiently. A vertical zig zag air classifier with a rotating drum feeder will be used in the MRF to separate aluminum, cartons and plastics from glass. The feeder system uses a stationary drum with rotating blades that act as airlock valves and a vertical feed hopper to deposit material into the drum. The airlock valves allow the feeding system to take place in a confined space, providing good energy efficiency. The vertical zig zag configuration has been shown to enhance separation as a result of the pulsing of materials in and out of the air stream that flows up the throat of the classifier, but at the expense of increased jamming. A cyclone separator is used in conjunction with the air classifier to remove the lighter separated fraction from the air stream after it exits the classifier throat. The cyclone separator uses a centrifugal action that results from the airflow through the cyclone to move the materials to the walls of the separator. The materials then slide down the walls to the exit.

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