Applications Polymers Metals Minerals Seeds Analyzers Projects


MDS can be used for a wide range of separation challenges where different densities can be used to separate the input materials.

Important applications of the MDS technology are the separation of the rigid fraction of shredded packaging waste, mixed plastics from E-waste recycling and the purification of the major polymers from mono-streams of shredded EOL products.


Worldwide polymer production has mounted to over 300 million tons and is likely to keep growing. Currently, its production grows at an even faster rate than economy does. Polymers represent about one fifth in value of all the raw materials needed for consumer products and constructions (excluding raw materials for energy production).
The production of polymers causes a range of environmental impacts. To begin with the production process is characterized by a high oil consumption.  Next to the unpleasant view, plastic materials are harmful to ecosystems when released into the environment. Moreover plastics debris does not degrade in the environment, but tends to accumulate, creating long-term environmental problems.

However, while recycling avoids the disturbance of ecosystems , reduces geo-political dependencies, adds value to the local industry, creates jobs, and prevents more than 2 kg oil equivalents for every kilogram produced polymer, worldwide polymer recycling rates are very low. In Europe for example, the value of recycle polymers accounts to only 2% of the yearly consumed polymer value. This clearly indicates the daunting challenge ahead of us.
By turning plastic wastes into high quality secondary raw material resources the MDS technology can effectively decrease the amount of plastics which are currently either improperly disposed of or burned in incinerators. In this

Plastics Recyclers Europe's video on how to Increase plastics recycling:

way Urban Mining Corp will promote a more rational use of resources and will contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other adverse environmental impacts of the plastics life cycle.

From the total consumption of plastic materials, nearly half are polyolefins, i.e. PE and PP. Today, Polyolefin recycling is mainly based on the relatively pure but limited post-industrial flow, since these wastes can be made into high-purity product materials by existing and cost-effective process technology. In the ambition to increase recycling percentages, the polyolefin recycling industry and their end-users are forced to look for alternative resources. In principle, post-consumer wastes, such as household waste, Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW), Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and Automotive Shredder Residues (ASR) provide a five to ten times larger reservoir of polyolefins than post-industrial wastes. However, these waste streams are also much more complex mixtures of materials and hence much more difficult to recycle.

Packaging waste
The largest MDS application for polymers is rigid packaging waste, and the polyolefin fraction in particular. Our highly accurate density sorting process is expected to double the recovery rate of rigid plastics from packaging waste and can separate the mixed plastics into PP, several PE, PET and PS products at lower cost and higher selectivity than the state-of-the-art Near Infra-Red (NIR) sensing and ejection technologies. By doing this, recycling of packaging polymers will become economically more attractive and at the same time reduce the pressure on plastic manufacturers that have difficulty sourcing sufficient volume of secondary polymers at a consistent quality. 

The major MDS application for polymers is houshold packaging waste


UMC is currently performing promising pilot compaigns on the separation of mixed non-ferro fractions smaller than 16 mm (6/8”) in size originating from:

  • bottom ash from waste to energy plants
  • (car)shredders
  • WEEE (or E-waste)
  • borings and tailings
  • others

For this application, the MDS technology can be installed either before or after separation with conventional technologies like eddy current separators, shaking tables, dense medium separation or sensor sorting.

An example of a scrap type that can be separated in its components is Zorba (Al scrap containing Cu, Pb, Mg, SS, Ni, Sn, Zn).

UMC expects to have its first industrial application for metals available for commercial exploitation in the second quarter of 2015.

The MDS technology can separate multiple metal fractions in one go


Mineral Processing - Mining
Although Urban Mining Corp started with a focus on recycling, it became soon clear that the MDS technology is relevant for the mining and mineral processing industry as well. Particles to be processed can be as small as 10 um and as large as 30 mm. Please do not hesitate to contact us when you want to investigate whether our technology can be of interest for you.
MDS for diamond recovery from mine tailings
In view of the predicted diamond shortage, a number of innovative processes have been proposed recovering <2 mm diamonds which are currently lost in tailings. In 2012, MDS lab-scale experiments showed the feasibility of separating a mixture of orthoclase, calcite, olivine and limonite. In this mixture olivine represents the diamond fraction. Orthoclase and calcite simulate the lighter density minerals while limonite represents the heavy density fraction.

MDS for the recovery of Titanium Dioxide from residue streams
The chloride process is a widely used method to separate titanium from its ores. Urban Mining Corp has investigated a solution for titanium dioxide producers to improve their recoveries. The MDS technology can be further developed to separate the titanium dioxide from the cokes and silica present in the chloride process residues.

A high number of potential applications in the mining and mineral sector


Density Separation of seeds increases the quality of a batch of seeds. A novel, alternative method for separating seeds by density is our Magnetic Density Separation (MDS). It is also shown that MDS can upgrade germination quality by separating seeds continuously into multiple fractions in a single process step, which saves a significant amount of time and labor compared to current processes such as glycerol and salt/sugar water density separation.

The MDS Technology can be applied for seeds with a density beginning from 1.1 gr/cm3.

Together with an university in the Netherlands, a research program is set up to systematically analyse the seed quality improvements resulting from MDS processing.

MDS technology improves seed germination characteristics


MDS Analyzer
The MDS Analyzer is a small machine that can be used in laboratories. Samples of material can be analyzed giving an accurate density spectrum of the sample particles. And when companies are interested to investigate the feasibility of the MDS for their applications, small batches of material can be processed.

Another potential field of application for the MDS Analyzer
is online quality measurements in bulk processing. For example in the coal processing industry MDS can be used in a monitoring process to test samples of the coal for the ash contamination percentage. Due to the difference in density between the coal and the ash it will split in different heights which can be monitored by a special camera.

The MDS innovation is an unique patented technology


Weeehold logo

Weeehold is specialized in the recycling of WEEE or E-waste. Urban Mining Corp and Weeehold jointly investigate the potential of the MDS technology for the separation of the individual plastics and metals out of shredded E-waste.

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Romewaste logo

Romwaste is the largest processor of Municipal Solid Waste in Romania and has a sorting plant for 200,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year collected in Bucharest and the County of Ilfov.

Romwaste and Urban Mining Corp jointly convert plastics from household packaging waste into high grade mono polymer products.

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Vanwerven logo5

Van Werven is a specialized service provider in the field of infrastructure and recycling. Founded nearly 70 years ago, Van Werven has grown to an international player with twelve facilities in The Netherlands and abroad.
Urban Mining Corp and Van Werven have joined forces to improve both recovery and quality of recycle polymers from construction and demolition waste, large household appliances and commercial waste.

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It is key to find for every field of application the right project partner