Menu

Blog

Jul 18, 2020

Improved waste separation using super-stable magnetic fluid

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

Magnetically separating waste particles makes it possible to reclaim a variety of raw materials from waste. Using a magnetic fluid, a waste flow can be separated into multiple segments in a single step. Researchers from Utrecht and Nijmegen have now succeeded in creating a magnetic fluid that remains stable in extremely strong magnetic fields, which makes it possible to separate materials with a high density, such as electronic components. The results have recently been published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Magnetic density separation

When you drop a stone and a wooden ball into a basin of , the stone will sink while the ball floats on the surface. This is because the two objects have different densities: the stone is more dense than the water, while the wood is less dense. That principle is also used in magnetic density separation (MDS), except that instead of using water—which has a fixed density—it uses a magnetic fluid with an effective density that can change in relation to its distance from a magnet: it has a higher apparent density at less distance to the magnet. As a result, waste particles of different densities float at different depths in the fluid.

Leave a reply