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How are electromagnetics used in recycling plants?

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The goal of recycling plant is to find useful products from the materials discarded by the society and to recycle them, so that they can be reused, either directly or indirectly (after some processing). One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is by separating the waste into various categories, according to their properties. Then, the segregated waste can be processed accordingly. 

Electromagnetics are commonly used for separating magnetic waste materials (such as iron-based waste) from the combined waste. Electromagets are used for this purpose. The underlying idea is that magnetic field exists when there is an electric current through the magnet and disappears when the current is turned off. The magnet is brought in contact or close proximity of combined waste, and the electricity is turned on. All the magnetic material would be attached to the electromagnet. This electromagnet would then be directed away from the combined waste and the electricity will be turned off. As soon as the electricity is turned off, the electromagnet will cease to have magnetic properties and all the magnetic waste (attached to the magnet) will fall down and collected separately. This magnetic waste can then be processed accordingly.

Hope this helps. 

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