RESEARCH ARTICLE


Turning Magnetic Density Separation into Green Business Using the Cyclic Innovation Model



E.J. Bakker*, A.J. Berkhout, L. Hartmann, P. Rem
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Section Materials and Environment / Recycling Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN, The Netherlands.


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© 2010 Bakker et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Section Materials and Environment / Recycling Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN, The Netherlands; Tel: +31 (0)15 27 86040; E-mail: e.j.bakker@tudelft.nl


Abstract

The industrial implementation of Magnetic Density Separation (MDS) in the recycling of raw materials requires more than just the science of understanding why it works (‘know-why’) and the technology of how that can be accomplished (‘know-how’). In addition, detailed knowledge of the market for streams of end-of-life products (supply side) and the market for recycled raw materials (demand side) are paramount to optimize the practical implementation and the design of an industrial plant. Indeed, in such a plant MDS is used to separate mixed streams of recycled materials into product streams which comply with market demands on grade and purity of the product compared with virgin streams. A recently developed non-linear innovation model is used to connect four fundamental cycles which continuously interact in the process of turning MDS technology into green business. The strength of this Cyclic Innovation Model lies in connecting technical capabilities with societal market needs. Only when a good match between the two is found a new technology such as, MDS develop into an innovation. The separation of polyolefins from end-of-life product is selected as one of the first industrial-sized applications of MDS in recycling. CIM is used to identify opportunities and challenges which need to be addressed to turn the MDS technology into an innovation that builds an economically attractive business in the context of a green society.

Keywords: Recycling, polyolefins, magnetic density separation, innovation, cyclic innovation model.