Recycling and Raw Materials

Our Service

Laser measurement technology is suitable for material recycling in many applications, even under extreme conditions. Fraunhofer ILT develops innovative laser measurement processes for the specified classification and usage of raw and process material. For metal producers or processors, for example, the rapid analysis and evaluation of slag is an important aspect that makes the production of steel more efficient and increases process reliability. Thanks to laser-based processes, a large number of substances in the production process can be analyzed automatically and the process parameters optimized.

In the field of recycling, as another example, laser-based measurements are excellent for automated sorting processes. Metals, ceramics, glass, slag, or raw materials can be identified very quickly and sorted. Within the context of “urban mining” and increasing raw material scarcity, the significance of efficiently reclaiming rare, strategically important materials is growing. Fraunhofer ILT continues to develop laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), with which physical and chemical properties of valuable assemblies and elements of old electronic devices can be efficiently identified. The technology can also be used for the quality assurance of metallic components or for the characterization of raw materials.

The range of services offered includes all areas of the development chain of application-based analysis systems. Fraunhofer ILT offers its customers feasibility studies, the development and implementation of laser-based measurement processes for the recycling of valuable materials as well as individual consultation.

Hydraulic cylinders for offshore applications.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Hydraulic cylinders for offshore applications.
Contactless exposure and unsoldering of circuit board components by means of laser radiation in a recycling process of the “ADIR” project.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Contactless exposure and unsoldering of circuit board components by means of laser radiation in a recycling process of the “ADIR” project.
Transporter with slag bucket under a measuring portal.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Transporter with slag bucket under a measuring portal.

Elemental Analysis of Particle Streams in High-Throughput Applications

  • Material analysis with laser spectroscopy
  • Inline automatic test systems for the recycling industry
  • Non-contact analysis of objects moving with up to 3 m/s
  • High measuring rates of up to 40 Hz
  • Measuring distances of up to 1 m
  • Single particle detection, acquisition of particle geometry
  • Real-time data evaluation and sorting decision
  • Fully automated sorting of material streams

Studies and Prototype Development

  • Feasibility studies
  • Customer tailored solutions
  • Prototypes for industrial applications

Mobile Analysis Systems

  • Compact laser spectroscopic systems
  • Material identification without mechanical sample preparation
  • Simultaneous multi-element analysis
  • Receiving inspection of secondary raw material
  • Test for mixed-up components

Analysis and Identification of

  • Steel, high quality steel
  • Light metals
  • Plastics
  • Minerals, raw materials

Flyers and More Information

Our flyers offer a quick view onto the service portfolio “Recycling and Raw Materials“. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.

Video of Project ADIR

Demonstration for Automated Disassembly and Sorting of Valuable Materials


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


Fricke-Begemann, C., Graf, N.: 
Lasereinsatz im Recycling. 
Optik & Photonik 6, Nr. 3, 47-50, 2011

Werheit, P., Fricke-Begemann, C., Gesing, M., Noll, R.: 
Fast single piece identification with a 3D scanning LIBS for aluminium cast and wrought alloys recycling.
J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 26, 2166-2174, 2011

Fricke-Begemann, C., Jander, P., Wotruba, H., Gaastra, M.
Laser-based online analysis of minerals 
Zement Kalk Gips Int. 63, 65-70

Fricke-Begemann, C., Noll, R., Wotruba, H., Schmitz, C. 
Lasergestützte Materialanalyse zur Sortierung mineralischer Rohstoffe 
In: Sensorgestützte Sortierung 2010. Clausthal-Zellerfeld: GDMB 2010. Schriftenreihe d. GDMB Gesellschaft für Bergbau, Metallurgie, Rohstoff- und Umwelttechnik. H. 122, 49-50

Fricke-Begemann, C., Noll, R., Wotruba, H., Schmitz, C. 
Schnell und flexibel. Fast and flexible
AT Aufbereitungs Technik - Mineral Processing 51, Nr 01-02, 50-59

Noll, R., Fricke-Begemann, C., Jander, P., Kuhlen, T., Sturm, V., Werheit, P., Makowe, J.
Perspektiven der Lasertechnik zur Steigerung der Ressourceneffizienz
In: Rohstoffeffizienz und Rohstoffinnovationen. Hrsg.: U. Teipel. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verl. 2010. pp. 287-298. ISBN 978-3-8396-0097-9

Ü. Aydin, R. Noll, J. Makowe
Automatic sorting of aluminium alloys by fast LIBS identification
Progress in Analytical Chemistry in the Steel and Metal Industries 7
309-314, 2006

Our services cover a wide range of topics. Related topics to recycling and raw materials and further research and development focuses can be found under the following links.