Monday, April 8, 2019

FinnTech: What To Do With Near-Indestructible Black Plastic

From Uutiset:

Finnish tech enables recycling of black plastic
Industrial black plastic is difficult to recycle. Infrared technology developed in Finland may help to change that.
A technology company in northern Finland's city of Oulu has developed an infrared camera that is able to identify black plastic for recycling for the first time.
The mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) camera is the product of tech firm Specim, which develops robotics and spectrographs, mainly for export.

Due to its versatility and aesthetic features, black-coloured plastic is widely used in various industries, particularly in the electronics sector. Black plastic is also cheap as it is made by using low-value, multi-coloured waste plastic and production is easier to control, according to Specim's founder, industry specialist Esko Herrala.

"Black ABS [acrylonitrile butadiene styrene] plastic accounts for about half of all plastic materials," he said. "But it is actually very recyclable."

The problem is that normal near infrared (NIR) sensors at recycling plants are unable to detect the black pigment, so black plastics usually go unrecycled worldwide and contribute to climate change.
The new MWIR technology is able to perform this task, said Specim head of applications Katja Lefevre.

Plastic a headache
Only one MWIR spectrum camera is currently in use in Finland. Specim exports 96 percent of its products, to countries including China, India and the United States.
So far, however, no other companies in Finland appear prepared to begin using recycling systems and technologies even though recycled plastic is far cheaper than new, virgin plastic, according to Herrala....MORE
I remember asking a Finnish woman why it sounded like people were laughing when they spoke Finnish, were they happy?
"Oh no" she said and then she stopped talking.

Someone, I can't recall who, mentioned that on public transportation Finns sit and stare at their shoes. It is considered very forward to stare at someone else's shoes.
I don't know as much about Finland as I do about Norway but here are some of our posts:

Thousands Of Migrants Flee Finland Hoping For A Better Life In Iraq

 "Embracing päntsdrunk, the Finnish way of drinking alone in your underwear"

The Finns used to dance the Tango but maybe not so much anymore. The only Finnish band I could name is an old-school Finnmetal band, Children Of Bodom described as:
"Melodic death metal meets virtuoso guitars: Children Of Bodom took the spirit of eighties
 heavy metal and thrash, and married it to a contemporary death metal framework"
or, as Encyclopaedia Mettalum thumbnails it:

Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal
Lyrical themes: Death, Hate, Lake Bodom, Anger, Antagonism
Current label: Nuclear Blast

And then there was the time "Norway Invades Finland":

That's really all I've got. They fought the Soviets to a standstill in WWII, The famine that started in 1866 was the last natural great starving in Europe but nowhere near as bad as what Stalin and the communists did in the Holodomor, 150,000 vs 3.5 to 4 million.
And the people sound like they're laughing when they talk, but they aren't.