Abstract

The use of laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) for the analysis of heavy metals and brominated flame retardants in end-of-life waste electric and electronic equipment (EOL-WEEE) pieces is investigated. Single- and double-pulse plasma excitation as well as the influence of detection parameters is studied to yield a parameter field with improved sensitivity and limits of detection. A LIBS analyzer was set up as an on-line measuring unit to detect heavy metals and brominated flame retardants in moving EOL-WEEE pieces in an automatic sorting line. An autofocusing unit with an adjustment range of 50 mm was incorporated to permit measurements of objects that pass by a LIBS analyzer with their surfaces at various distances from it. Tests with EOL-WEEE monitor housings on the conveyor belt of a pilot sorting system successfully demonstrated the capability of the LIBS analyzer to quantify the concentration of hazardous elements in real waste EOL-WEEE pieces.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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