Holistic metrology: Explainer
Measuring up to the challenge of plastic recycling: the importance of holistic metrology for circular plastics.
To move towards a circular economy, we need to increase the yield and quality of recycling processes. Adoption of a holistic metrology approach is essential to do this.
Written by: Nigel Visser | Updated: /03/2023
Reviewed by: Floris Gerritsen | Published: /03/2023
Holistic metrology is a method of measurement that takes into account the entire system and all of its variables rather than just one isolated aspect. In plastic recycling, this means looking at not just the composition of the plastic itself but also the conditions under which it is processed, the available technologies, and the end-use applications. By considering all of these factors together, it is possible to make more informed decisions about how to recycle plastic waste best.
Plastic waste is a major global concern and a pressing challenge for the sustainability of our planet. Despite numerous efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated, it continues to accumulate in landfills, oceans, and ecosystems, causing widespread environmental damage. To tackle this problem and move towards a circular economy, where waste is reduced, reused, and recycled, we need to increase the yield and quality of recycling processes. To achieve this, a key aspect of the solution is the adoption of a holistic metrology approach.
Metrology is the science of measurement and its application in industry and commerce. By using precision measurements and instruments, it is possible to ensure that the recycling process is efficient, accurate, and sustainable. Holistic metrology takes this approach a step further, integrating all aspects of the recycling process into a comprehensive system that ensures the highest quality end product. This includes measurements of material properties, such as composition, size, and weight, as well as measurements of process parameters, such as temperature, pressure, and flow rate. By incorporating these measurements into a holistic approach, it is possible to optimise the recycling process and produce high-quality recycled plastic with minimal waste.
There are several key reasons why a holistic metrology approach is so important for plastic recycling. Firstly, it helps to ensure that the recycled plastic is high quality and suitable for its intended end-use. This is because by considering all of the variables, it is possible to identify and address any potential issues that impact the quality of the recycled material.
Another important benefit of holistic metrology is that it helps to optimise the recycling process itself. By considering the conditions under which the plastic is processed and the available technologies, it is possible to identify the most efficient and cost-effective methods for recycling. This, in turn, helps to reduce the costs of recycling and make the recycling process iselft a more sustainable and economically viable option. In addition to these benefits, holistic metrology also helps to support the development of new technologies and techniques for plastic recycling. By considering the entire system, it is possible to identify areas where improvements can be made and to explore new and innovative ways of recycling plastic waste.
There are several key applications of holistic metrology in plastic recycling, including:
- Composition Analysis is a fundamental aspect of holistic metrology in plastic recycling. By analysing the composition of plastic waste, it is possible to identify the type of plastic and its degree of degradation, contamination, or other impurities. This information is essential for selecting the appropriate recycling technology and processing conditions to achieve the desired properties in the recycled material. Holistic metrology can help to ensure the accurate and reliable measurement of composition, enabling better decision-making in the recycling process.
- Processing Conditions are another key aspect of holistic metrology in plastic recycling. By analysing the thermal properties of plastic waste, as enabled by thermal analysis methods, it is possible to identify the optimal processing conditions, including temperature, pressure, and residence time, to achieve the desired properties in the recycled material. This information can help to ensure a more efficient and effective recycling process, resulting in a higher yield of recycled plastic with minimal waste.
- Recycling Technologies are a critical aspect of holistic metrology in plastic recycling. By selecting the appropriate recycling technology for the type of plastic waste, it is possible to achieve a high level of precision and accuracy in the recycling process, resulting in a more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective method of plastic recycling. Holistic metrology can help to identify the most suitable recycling technology based on the composition analysis and processing conditions, enabling a more effective recycling process.
- End-Use Applications are the ultimate goal of plastic recycling. By ensuring the quality of the recycled material, it is possible to create a valuable resource for the circular economy. Spectroscopy is an important application of holistic metrology in this regard, providing detailed information on the chemical composition and structure of plastic materials. By analysing the spectroscopic data, it is possible to identify the type of plastic and its degree of degradation, contamination, or other impurities, which can have a significant impact on the quality of the recycled material. This enables better decision-making in the recycling process and ensures the production of high-quality recycled plastic that meets the requirements of end-use applications.
The intended end-use of recycled plastic is also an important factor to consider in the recycling process. Holistic metrology takes into account the specific requirements of the end-use application, such as strength and durability, to ensure that the recycled plastic is suitable for its intended purpose.
Despite the many benefits of holistic metrology, several challenges must be overcome to realise its potential fully. One of the biggest challenges is the need for accurate and reliable measurement techniques. This requires the development of new and innovative technologies, as well as the investment in research and development to improve existing measurement methods.
Another challenge is the need for standardisation in the plastic recycling industry. With so many different types of plastic and so many variables to consider, it can be difficult to ensure that the same measurements are taken consistently across different recycling facilities. To address this issue, it is important to develop and implement standardised protocols for plastic recycling that are based on holistic metrology principles.
Finally, there is the challenge of making the results of holistic metrology more accessible and actionable. To maximise the benefits of this approach, it is important to develop tools and systems that can be used to collect and analyse data from different recycling facilities. This will allow the industry to identify best practices and to improve the quality and efficiency of plastic recycling continuously.
In conclusion, holistic metrology is an essential approach for plastic recycling that offers numerous benefits and provides a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the recycling process. By taking into account all of the variables that impact the quality of the recycled material and the efficiency of the recycling process, it is possible to make more informed decisions and to improve the plastic recycling industry continuously. While there are challenges that must be overcome to realise the potential of holistic metrology fully, the benefits make it a critical component of any strategy to reduce plastic pollution and promote sustainability.
Green Alley Award ♻️
You can help us enabling scalable plastic recycling with 1 minute of your time! ♻️
We are excited to announce that Veridis is among the top 20 companies in the running for the Green Alley award 2023. After the initial application and selection, you can now help us by voting for Veridis at: https://lnkd.in/emCE5qfw before February 20th 23:59!
If we can reach the final, we’ll compete for the grand award and the cash investment that will be used for team expansions to improve our upcoming systems further and bring them to the market faster.
Your vote will help us a lot and be greatly appreciated!
Kicking off 2023! 🚀
Last week, (nearly) the entire team of Veridis came together for our kick-off for 2023! We presented and discussed our journey thus far and what we will focus on in the new year, followed by a moment to bond as a team over some drinks and snacks. Seeing Veridis grow from a project started by four student founders to such a group of hard working, smart and exciting individuals gives us a lot of energy and motivation to do what we do and make the impact we want to make for the plastic recycling industry!
New year, new steps towards a circular economy.
We hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday season and are excited to start the new #circulareconomy year with you. Our top priority for this year is to contribute to the transition towards a circular plastics economy together with you. An essential aspect of this transition is polymer characterisation, and as we move forward, it becomes increasingly important to measure the quality of these materials accurately.
That’s where our MADSCAN systems come in. We’re proud to introduce our new MADSCAN T-30. This thermal analysis system can analyse samples at a statistically relevant scale, with the ability to measure up to 30 grams in a single measurement. The MADSCAN T-30 will be available for sample testing in the first quarter of the year.
In the photo, you can see our new system, which is currently undergoing extensive testing. If you’re interested in learning more about the MADSCAN T-30 or its release date, please don’t hesitate to sign up for our newsletter at veridis.tech or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are featured on the Eye-openers platform to explain our value in a short and clear format.
Circular chain project ♻️
We’ve kicked off our circular chain project to make the production process of the Rainblock even more sustainable.
Together with TUSTI BV., The Compound Company, Veridis, Water2keep BV and De Grondstoffendienst, we are building a closed circular chain wherein each partner brings their own experience and expertise. Due to the great motivation and openmindedness, everyone could feel the enthusiasm during our first physical meeting after the granting of a contribution by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
We have had our first ever Advisory Board meeting! ?
We have started holding our quarterly advisory board meetings to help tackle our greatest long-term challenges as a company. We see this as an important tool to make sure we are focussing on the right things and to make sure these are included in our company strategy. And this all happens through insightful discussions with our boardmembers.
Thank you Sven, Jurgen, and Ivo for your valuable insights!
We are looking for a Senior Business Developer!
We have an open position for an experienced business developer to scout market opportunities, define the market- and customer- propositions, and realise business deals. Your core job is developing new partnerships and potential customer relations across the waste-to-product value chain and validating product use case scenarios.
New demo at our next conference!
Visit our team tomorrow and Thursday at the Kunststoffenbeurs in the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch. Nigel Visser, Marie-José Wolters & Mathijs Kuil will be at our stand in Hall 2, stand 260B.
And with something special; we will demonstrate a model of our new setup! From November onwards, we will start commercially testing with our improved POC2 setup. This advancement of our MADSCAN technology allows us to measure more plastic types, at a larger sample size in less time than before. Curious to know more about the exact specifications or testing your plastics? Get in contact via email@example.com or visit our stand at the Kunststoffenbeurs.
Looking forward to physically meeting you!
This week Stijn van Aartsen is finishing his internship and as a part of this he presented his work last Thursday at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven. In his extensive study he developed an innovative method to analyse the MADSCAN data, providing more information on the polymer fractions and properties. A big step forward, thank you Stijn!
The main takeaway of the Plastic Recycling Show Europe is? Defining quality and how to measure it, is crucial for recycling plastics. ♻️
Seeing the openness and willingness to learn among the people at the Plastic Recycling Show Europe was great. However, one word missing in the conversations is an important one: The circular economy.
To reduce the pressure on the environment, tackle climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the transition towards a circular economy is crucial. The big challenge is on how to get there. Plastic recycling has a central role in this, and one of the essential things in this transition is recycling quality.
How is recycling quality currently defined?
There are nine keywords/phrases now being used regarding recycling quality:
|Keywords presently used to describe quality||Definitions|
|Impurity content||Is the content of untargeted materials or substances in a targeted waste stream.|
|Technical quality||Is a combination of the mechanical properties and the Melt-Flow Index (MFI) or a similar property which describes the molten plastics’ flow behaviour.|
|Technical properties||Are the properties that give the material the ability to function according to the required specification. Typically combines mechanical and processing characteristics.|
|Function/functionality/ functional recycling||Is a defined set of physical and chemical properties that made the material desirable in the first place – recycling them in such a way that preserves them.|
|Resource dissipation||Is the yield loss of material humanity can’t use anymore.|
|Substitutability||Is the degree to which a material is replaceable by an alternative resource or product (e.g. percentage of virgin plastics replaceable by recycled plastics without loss of function).|
|Circularity potential||Is how well a single recycling fraction can fulfil quality demands in a closed loop (e.g. how many cycles can the fraction go through before becoming unfit for purpose).|
|Downcycling / upcycling||A recycling process wherein a material is used in a product of lower market value instead of in a similar or higher market value product.|
|Closed-loop vs open-loop recycling||Closed-loop is a recycling process to reuse the recycled material for the same market application as in its previous life cycle. Open-loop means a different market application than the last cycle.|
The definitions all define pieces of quality for a recycling process, with some taking a system view and others looking more towards the material itself as well as the properties relevant for the production of products.
How do we properly define recycling quality?
Currently, recycling quality is a vague term. Everyone has a different interpretation due to the lack of a clear definition, as seen in the current variety of meanings. One of the causes is that what is good and bad quality is driven mainly by the use-case of the plastic. Thus a recyclate can be very well suited for one use-case/application and be unsuitable for another. This current measure of quality takes a single recycling loop into account. Yet, when going fully circular, the material will go through the loop several times and be less suitable to substitute virgin plastics. Hence, preserving the plastic’s functionality while considering the targeted application gives a good indication of the quality of a recycling process.
Figure 2: Quality seen through the lens of different waste treatment options [source].
How to measure recycling quality
The mechanical properties such as the elastic modulus in the transverse and machine direction, impact strength, and tear strength are important factors. And are very much dependent on the impurities that are present in the material. E.g., an HDPE/PP blend can quickly become brittle, dependent on the relative fraction of each polymer in the mix. In comparison, other PE types have a different mechanical profile in combination with PP.
Figure 3: Degree of mixing at the polymer blend interface: (a) compatible polymer blends with a mixed amorphous interface and (b) immiscible polymer blends with clear phase separation [source].
Determining the different subtypes and the fractions present is essential to properly determine the quality of plastic waste at various steps in the value chain, instead of only indicating the main polymer types (e.g. PE, PP) present in a stream. The amount of impurities defines the technical characteristics that give the material functionality for a specific application. By reliably measuring the quality, we know the process’s performance, enabling the opportunity to improve. Reliable quality and transparency depend on the data that players among the value chain share. Hence data reliability and transparency form the bedrock of a circular economy.
Recycling quality is currently already an important topic and will become more critical in the coming years as we go towards a circular economy as a society. As a topic, it deserves more attention, as a clear definition helps determine what goes well and what does not. This definition of recycling quality should take both the system and the material perspective into account within the boundaries of a circular economy.
Measuring quality means you can improve it. Taking a step toward a more data-driven recycling process means taking further steps toward Recycling 2.0 and a circular economy.
Visit us at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe!
In two weeks we will exhibit at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe in RAI Amsterdam. June 22nd & 23rd, we will showcase our MADSCAN technology at stand E72. We are providing a crucial step in the circularity of plastics through the identification and analysis of high quality, recycled materials. Have a look at this link for more information or visit stand E72.
Final of the Philips Innovation Award today!
We are super excited to be part of the final of the Philips Innovation Award. See Nigel Visser & Mathijs Kuil explain in the short movie why we need to win! Tune in via the live stream at 19:30 to see Mathijs Kuil pitch: https://lnkd.in/grciNeYt.
Special lab visit
Yesterday, Martijn van Gruijthuijsen, deputy of the Provincie Noord-Brabant, visited our lab to sneak peak our technology. Together with Gerard Spanbroek from Brabant Startup Fonds, we will work towards enabling recycling 2.0.
The MADSCAN technology provides a crucial step in the circularity of plastics through the identification and analysis of high quality, recycled materials.
Global recycling day
Plastic recycling is facing big challenges, which require new innovative solutions. Earlier this month, 175 nations signed the historic UN resolution in Nairobi to ‘end the global scourge of plastic pollution’. This resolution will lead to large challenges in recycling. With Veridis we aim to offer a solution for these challenges, through a new analysis for high-quality plastic recycling.
Another internship finished!
Last week, Tom Willaert gave his final presentation. With this background in Applied Physics, he worked on improving our signal analysis. Tom also worked on a new model for the optimisation for yield and quality in sorting facilities through the MADSCAN technology. Good luck, Tom!
Would you like to be part of the team that is redefining plastic recycling and accelerating the shift to a circular economy? We are developing an innovative thermal analysis for the characterization of recycled plastics. We have various open internship positions in the field of data analytics, thermal simulation and electrical & mechanical engineering. Take a look at https://veridis.tech/jobs/ or send your CV + motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ExtremeTechChallenge Netherlands & Belgium finalist!
We are very happy to announce that Veridis has been selected as a finalist of the Extreme Tech Challenge Netherlands & Belgium!
Philips Innovation Award Semi-Finalist!
We are proud to be chosen as Semi-Finalist of the Philips Innovation Award. On Thursday, Mathijs Kuil & Wessel van der Woude visited the Investor Day at YES!Delft. 1st of April there will be a live pitch to become a finalist.
Today, Pepijn Kruidenier finished his Data Generation and AI internship with us. With his final presentation he showed the application of GANs and Cycle GANs to improve the MADSCAN technology. A big thanks to Pepijn!
Would you like to be part of the team that is redefining plastic recycling and accelerating the shift to a circular economy? We are developing a novel thermal analysis for the characterization of materials. We have various open internship positions in the field of data analytics, thermal simulation and electrical & mechanical engineering. Take a look at https://veridis.tech/jobs/ or send your CV + motivation to email@example.com
A new Veridis milestone
Just before the end of 2021: we detected a 1% impurity in a plastic mix of 2 grams using the proof of concept of our MADSCAN technology. Through daily testing on different plastic samples, we were able to improve our data analysis. This means we are ready for the first commercial tests with the MADSCAN!
If you are looking for commercial testing on large plastic samples, inquire via firstname.lastname@example.org. We are able to measure small impurities on 2 grams samples for different plastic types. Small impurities in plastic samples are crucial for optimized and efficient plastic recycling streams. Our technology leads to more and accurate information for industrial samples in plastic recycling
Meet us today and tomorrow on the PRSE 2021
Come talk to us about our MADSCAN. We are providing a crucial step in the circularity of plastics through the identification and analysis of high quality, recycled materials.
Not one, but two nominations!
Out of 4000+ applications, we are selected as Deep Tech Pioneer by Hello Tomorrow! We are recognized as one of the most promising deep tech projects to date. The nomination gives us the opportunity to engage at the biggest deep tech event, the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit 2 and 3 December.
But that is not enough; ASN Bank also selected us for their Wereldprijs 2021! This makes us part of the top 30 initiatives in the Netherlands working on a better future. Great to participate with other Dutch impact entrepreneurs.
We have won the ING Circulair Entrepreneurship Price!
We are super proud to tell that we have won! Yesterday, Nigel Visser received the award on Duurzame Dinsdag. Great to see our mission to revolutionize plastic recycling is recognized and supported. With the identification and analysis of high quality, recycled materials we are providing a crucial step in the circularity of plastics.
Also, ING made a nice article about us, our technology and why we want to revolutionize plastic recycling. You can find the article by clicking here.
Product milestone hit
We have measured & identified a plastic mix of 2 grams within a 95% accuracy. With this milestone, we have shown a 100x improvement in sample size in comparison to what is currently possible in the plastic recycling market. We have performed the thermal analysis on a sample mix of HDPE & PP.
From this milestone onwards, we will gradually improve our technology. Our fully developed MADSCAN technology will measure 500 grams with a 99% accuracy, a 100.000x improvement. Besides sample tests, we are also performing tests on materials from our plastic recycling partners. Our technology leads to more and accurate information on an industrial relevant sample size for plastic.
Do you want to work on a solution tackling climate change ❓
There is ‘high confidence’ that the recent growth in emissions is driven by waste management according the new IPCC report. In earlier reports, the energy-intensive production processes of plastic were already identified as main causes of climate change. Recycling is the solution replacing these energy-intensive production processes in plastic.
The recent IPCC report increases the need to tackle climate change. At Veridis, we use science & technology to solve one of the main causes. Our MADSCAN technology is a crucial step in the availability of recycled plastics. It allows quality control for the highest quality at sufficient quantity in recycled materials.
Want to work on future solution tackling climate change? We have a new open internship in our Business Development team. Send your CV & list of grades to email@example.com, or take a look at: https://lnkd.in/dqMD2rYK
Do you want to be amongst the first group of pilot testers? Contact our team directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or inquire via this website.
Pitch @ XL Day
Last week our CBO Wessel gave our pitch at the first big live event since we have joined the HighTechXL program. And he did an amazing job! ?
We want to thank the whole HighTechXL team for their support, and especially Robin van Scheijndel, Toam Jaber, Eddy Allefs & Tim Heijwegen for their close weekly support.
HighTechXL’s XL Day
See us live at HighTechXL’s XL DAY at July 16th! ⏰
After nine months of hard and rewarding work, we are nearing the end of the HighTechXL venture building program. As one of their “Covid Cohorts” we will be pitching our company in front of many investors, multinationals, experts and more. The event will be both online and in-person. It will be our first pitch on stage for such a big audience and we can’t wait!
TSE Industry finished
We have successfully conducted the TopSector Energy Industry (TSE Industry) subsidy research focused on further research into the analysis of recycled plastics and system specific research questions. We are very grateful for the governmental support in our journey to help plastic recycling take the next step.
Pitch @ Innovative and Sustainable Packaging Event
Pitch, pitch, pitch ?️
Yesterday, we presented at the Innovative and Sustainable Packaging Event from Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken (KIDV). As innovator in plastic recycling, we discussed our technology with experts from the packaging industry. Also great to hear from experts like Martine Brandsma from Nationaal Testcentrum Circulaire Plastics on how to tackle the problems in plastic packaging.
Our MADSCAN technology is a crucial step in the availability of recycled plastics in packaging. It allows quality control for the highest quality at sufficient quantity in recycled materials.
Sustainable Young 100
Successfully finished phase 2 of HighTechXL
We keep on going and growing ?
We are through to phase 3 of HighTechXL‘s Venture Building program. This means we keep on working towards the revolution in plastic recycling with the help of the great people at HighTechXL. During the program, we were able to grow the team and venture for our Minimum Viable Product.
Showcase at the Hannover Messe
This week, we will showcase at the Hannover Messe!
The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology. Our CEO Nigel Visser will showcase how we approach the revolution in plastic recycling. Our innovative quality control for plastic recycling fits with improved industrial standards for recycled plastics.
Finalist Alliance to End Plastic Waste
We are proud to be chosen as one of the 11 startups to join the Alliance to End Plastic Waste!
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste entails 50 multinationals, with the common goal to reduce plastic waste. Our innovative technology was recognized to do just that, and we are excited to join this movement. Through the End Plastic Waste platform, we can showcase our innovative technology and accelerate towards a circular plastics economy.
Completed phase 1 of HighTechXL
We have completed Phase 1 of HighTechXL‘s Venture Building Program ✔️.
Together with their help, we have built a strong foundation for analysis in plastic recycling. Now, we will move forward and continue developing through phase 2.
Successful pitch at XL-Day
We pitched at HighTechXL‘s XL-Day. It was a great opportunity and experience to pitch in front of more than 200 people including many investors and potential partners. And, even more important, the audience was convinced that plastic recycling could be improved drastically with our solution.
Veridis receives subsidy
We have received a subsidy of €70.000 through the TopSector Energy Industry (TSE Industry) for further research into the analysis of recycled plastics. ?
Veridis joins HighTechXL
We are very happy to announce we have officially joined the high tech startup accelerator HighTechXL, part of the International Top Five List of Startup Accelerators by Perceptionbox. In this 9 month program we will develop all the aspect of our business and product as well as receive many opportunities to pitch to investors and interesting parties.
We were mentioned by the the President of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Mirjam van Praag in an interview about the energy transition: amsterdameconomicboard.com/nieuws/de-energietransitie-bestaat-uit-heel-veel-deeloplossingen
On 10-07-20 Veridis was officially incorporated in Amsterdam with the help of Notariskantoor Van Zaane. ?
For the first time since the initial idea for a scaled up DSC, we have identified the plastic melting peak of HDPE using a two grams proof of concept version of our envisioned product.