Raw materials laboratory

  Overview of raw materials lab with lab tables and equipment Copyright: © Department of Processing and Recycling

Modern and future-oriented management of substance flows in the context of solid waste management and the recycling economy normally requires detailed investigation in order to characterize waste. The main reasons behind these investigations arise from planning, design and approval of new treatment plants as well as a systematic acquisition, handling and utilization of individual substance flows. Moreover, analyses pose an important tool for examining existing collection systems and optimizing waste treatment plants. Hence, possible deficits or a need for action can be revealed and sound arguments for public relations can be provided.

The Department of Anthropogenic Material Cycles offers solid waste analyses, amongst other services. This includes sorting as well as chemical-physical analyses of solid waste. Analyses are being specifically geared to the needs, individual problems and whishes of our clients. The determination of material composition is carried out by either manual and/or automatic sorting. For this purpose, highly qualified staff and necessary technical equipment are available at the Department of Processing and Recycling. With mobile equipment, investigations can also be carried out in the field.



In the field of analytics, the Department of Anthropogenic Material Cycles closely cooperates with the Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, in short IME, of RWTH Aachen University. The technical infrastructure and personnel capacities of both university facilities allow for a variety of investigations for material characterization of widely varying primary and secondary resources or even complex compounds. The spectrum ranges from manual sorting to elementary analysis. Besides evaluating the success of separation in treatment processes, analyses are being offered as a service for external clients. The scope of service includes, amongst others:

Sample preparation
Analysis of special parameters
Further chemical-physical properties


Sample preparation


  • Gravimetric analsis (high and very high accuray scales)
  • Drying
  • Comminution (grinding) for analytical dressing
  • Sieve classification (vibratory sieve shakers)
  • Homogenization
  • Sub-sampling


  • Leaching and dissolving in acids
  • Acid hydrolysis
  • Pressure and melting decomposition
  • Aque regia (king's water) hydrolysis (DEV S7)
  • Microwave decomposition
  • Distillation/filtration

Special parameter analysis

  • Analysis of substance groups (manual sorting)

Particle Size Distribution

Material parameters

  • Water content
  • Calorific value
  • Glowing loss
  • Ash content
  • Chorline content
  • Heavy metal content
  • Density distribution (sink-float-analysis)
  • Pycnometer analysis
  • Gas pycnometer analysis
  • Mikroscopic examination