Glass is a very important inorganic material which is a one of the largest productions of industries. It can be made into a variety of different products used for man’s daily living. It is an amorphous solid which can have different compositions of semiconductors but most importantly are made of molten silica along with limestone and soda ash. Glass can be of blue, brown, green color or may be clear. Glass is used in making crockery, windows, doors, mirrors, disposable bottles and many other household items.
The necessity for glass recycling
It is a non-biodegradable waste and comprises a lot of the landfills. Glass cannot be decomposed naturally, although it darkens in color but still remains glass in composition. So its recycling is very necessary. It is not harmful for human health, but it gives a dirty look to the land.
The process of glass recycling
The collection of glass from all the household items, glass bottles and broken glass of windows, doors etc. is the first major step. There should be proper bins for the collection of glass so that the work of collecting it from landfills is reduced and glass can reach the recycling sites that are industries easily. There are proper containers for their collection and we can also employ the use of urban green igloos or clean points.
Separation into colors
As different colors of glass are not chemically compatible for each other so, different colors of glass like clear, green, amber etc. are separated from each other.
Formation of cullet
The glass is then crushed and processed in mills in its powdered form until finally it is called cullet. It is separated from many contaminating materials like rocks and ceramics. Flint cullet is the most desirable form of scrap for recycling.
Heating and melting
The cullet is then put into specially designed large furnace where it is heated giving a specific range of temperature and melting it. It does not have a sharp melting point. The heat resistance of glass plays an important role in determining the process to be used.
Shaping the glass
The last step in glass recycling is shaping. The melted cullet can be shaped into various forms depending upon your requirement. Usually it is super cooled to turn into different shapes. It is an important quality of glass.
Use of conveyors
The next step which is taken after collection, sorting, melting of glass is to be processed in conveyors to reach their final state. They are actually made up of different parts of the process and give us the finished product. Their aim is to move a bulk of material through the process at an efficient rate.
Each system is specifically made for a particular function. The amount of space available is the important factor which should be kept in mind. For glass trough or covered belts would be the best conveyor belts. It provides safety to the process.
So the recycling of glass is not a very difficult process unless you know the right way. Glass can be recycled continuously. It saves energy and money. So there should be a proper container system for the collection of glass scrap and technical improvements in glass recycling should be made.