Recycling Glass Bottles as Artificial Pumice Stone


Recycling Glass Bottles as Artificial Pumice Stone

Trim has developed a system to recycle glass bottles, containing material that is difficult to recycle, as an artificial pumice stone called “Supersol”. Glass bottles are harder than iron. When ordinary recycling methods are used, they must be color sorted, and the labels and caps must be removed.Such process takes a lot of time and effort. However, with ournew Trim system, this processisfully automated, thereby enabling the recycling of glass bottles as artificial pumice stone without requiring a lot of time and effort.

In the first step,we insert the glass waste into a glass crusher to crush the glass into 8mm or smaller particles. Our process is different from other recycling processes in that these glass particles are further crushed into a fine wheat flour-like powder. We then use a mixer to mix the glass powder and an additive that works like baking powder. The mixer mixes the ingredients thoroughly. The mixture is then finally inserted into a 25m kiln which is a firing furnace, and is foamed 3 to 4 times its size. When the glass powder is softened, air enters the powder due to the effects of the additive. The product exits the furnace initially in the form of a sheet. When that glass sheet ultimately comes into contact with the outside air, it begins to crack, and small pieces of Supersol are formed.

Supersol features an extremely lightweight, porous structure. Our new Trimsystem can control the specific gravity and water absorption in the manufacturing process, so the product can be tailored to a specific application such as use in lightweight civil engineering projects, soil improvement for cultivation, and rainwater collection.

As technology to cultivate Japanese spiny lobster has not yet been developed, a company in Mie Prefecture is breeding the lobsters. The lobsters have to be raised in water tanks until they are delivered to the customer. During that time, a filtration material is required. While testing the various characteristics of Supersol, we found that the length of time that the water quality can be maintained is increased, that Supersol does not have a detrimental effect on lobsters, and that the material is extremely effective as a filtration material. So, we plan to further develop applications in other fields as well including for improving water environments.

With an aim to build a recycling-oriented society, Trim has delivered its Supersol manufacturing system to 15 locations nationwide and to Taiwan to develop a system which contributes to local production for local consumption. The company intends to expand its business primarily in Asia in an effort to deal with global environmental issues pertaining to water and food.

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