Beverage Container Design and Separation

E. Tam
C. Zeiss

DOI: 10.2190/0RVQ-JXKV-GFJ0-DQ3J


Beverage containers make up a significant portion (at about 25%) of the packing materials that constitute 33 percent of the municipal solid waste stream. Despite the containers' similar shapes and sizes, only about 30 percent of glass, expanded polystyrene (EPS) and tetrapak containers are recovered. With this research, the mechanical separation capability of container materials from municipal waste is investigated. Breakage theory is reviewed and applied to predict the weight fraction of separated particles by screen size. The results show that the empirical parameters of maximum particle size y, breakage ratio r, and slope factor q can be established to predict the particle size distribution within plus or minus 10 percent. Factorial screening tests reveal that container size, material, size-material, and size-shape interactions influence the achievable separation. The next research phase will modify the breakage theory to incorporate these additional factors and should investigate the influence of size, shape, and materials on separation behavior, particularly for flexible containers.

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