Characterise-to-Sort (CtS) is an innovative technology specifically developed for the inline characterisation of complex heterogeneous material streams. CtS technology provides companies with fast and reliable data allowing for an easy value assessment and/or quality control based on the composition of the complete material stream without the need for time-consuming and costly (destructive) chemical analysis.

How does Characterise-to-Sort work?

A bit like a luggage scanner that is used in an airport. Waste particles on a conveyor belt are screened by a colour camera, a 3D laser scanner and X-rays. The device recognises individual particles by means of machine learning and artificial intelligence and attributes various parameters, such as material class, shape, texture and mass. The device creates a digital twin of each sample.

Creating added value from waste using artificial intelligence

Even today, waste is not being recycled in the most effective way. The quality of waste materials is often difficult to measure.

Once you know exactly what your waste stream contains, you can recycle it more efficiently. Characterise-to-Sort is a detection device that identifies each individual waste particle. VITO has combined a variety of sensors within the device and developed a smart software package to interpret the scans. Not only will you get insights in the substances that can be found in your waste stream, you can also determine the value of the waste and simulate new recycling processes.

A digital twin of your entire waste stream with great insights
  • How many different materials can be found in the waste?
  • How large are the particles and what is their shape?
  • What is the nature and the mass of each individual particle?
  • What is the value of your waste?
The benefits of Characterise-to-Sort
  • Fast results
  • Analysis of the complete material stream
  • Non-destructive analysis
  • Providing material intelligence

Is the technology available on the market?

Currently, VITO is upscaling the technology to industrial level, to determine the value of entire truckloads of waste without the need for expensive and time-consuming laboratory analyses. To showcase the industrial relevance of the new and innovative characterisation technology, VITO has set up the CHARAMBA-project (supported by EIT Raw Materials) with Ghent University and Suez and Umicore. Once the project is completed, VITO will introduce the technology as a service to the market.

Expert sustainable materials
+32 14 33 56 36