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
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(140.3440) Lasers and laser optics : Laser-induced breakdown
(160.5470) Materials : Polymers
(300.6360) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, laser
(300.6500) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, time-resolved
Michael Stepputat and Reinhard Noll, "On-Line Detection of Heavy Metals and Brominated Flame Retardants in Technical Polymers with Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometry," Appl. Opt. 42, 6210-6220 (2003)