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Brief Proposal for UTHM Master Project (Scholarship)

Indentification and Classification of Waste Material Using

Near-Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopic Methods
Muhammad Aiyub,S.T (B.Eng)
Dr. Mohamad Hairol Bin Jabbar
University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
Jabatan Kejuruteraan Komputer - Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik

Waste, especially household and commercial waste, is a heterogeneous mixture of different
kinds of materials. Waste is currently classified in terms of the Minimum Requirements for the
Handling, Classification and Disposal of Hazardous Waste. In this proposal we focused on
classification of waste materials such as aluminum can, paper, glass, etc. Image processing will be
applied for waste level verification based on several researchers working in various applications in
image processing. In this work, we investigate the potential offered by using information outside of
the visible spectrum, specifically near-infrared (NIR) images. Several studies have shown that near
infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is capable to meet the aforementioned sorting requirements for material
classifiaction. Infrared spectroscopy is one of the most important and widely used analytical
techniques available to scientists working in a whole range of fields. There are a number of texts on
the subject available, ranging from instrumentation to specific applications.

Keys: Waste Material, Images Processing, Near-InfraRed,spectroscopy.

Image processing is a part of modern digital technology has made it possible to
manipulate multidimensional signals with systems that range from simple digital circuits to
advanced parallel computer[1]. Digital image processing technology has been widely used in
many scopes such as biology, food engineering, environment and medical care and so on.
Image processing of very close range video images or digital photographs are currently used
for verification of level volume of waste inside the bin [1][2][3].
Waste, especially household and commercial waste, is a heterogeneous mixture of
different kinds of materials. On the one hand it contains reusable or recyclable pieces of
plastic, ferrous- or nonferrous metals, wood or textiles, which could be a substitute for natural
resources. On the other hand disturbing materials like pieces containing PVC, papers, heavy
metals or toxic materials are included, alumunium can, glass, too.

Solid waste management is a complex process because it involves many technologies

and disciplines. These include technologies associated with the control of generation,
handling, storage, collection, transfer, transportation, processing, and disposal of solid wastes.
Waste management system aggressively moving towards in computerization production over
the past century. However, due to the working environment, waste characterization, or costs,
there are still tasks, which have remained largely untouched by computerization. Waste is
currently classified in terms of the Minimum Requirements for the Handling, Classification
and Disposal of Hazardous Waste[1][4][5][6].
Common steps of waste treatment are comminution, sizing, sorting and conditioning,
whereas sorting is the most important step. For a successful sorting process, every particle in
the mass flow has to be considered. The sorting criteria are specific attributes like
conductibility, susceptibility, density, size, shape, texture, color, mass or a combination of
Image processing will be applied for waste level verification based on several
researchers working in various applications in image processing (Shylaja et al. 2011; Hannan
et al. 2011; Arebey et al. 2010;Hamarneh et al. 1999; Jiazhi et al. 2007)[1][2]. Image analysis
is a part in image processing stage, by using the specific algorithm to process digital image
presented a method to analyze the effect of drying on shrinkage, color and image texture
which were classified into classes depending on external image feature (Jiazhi et al. 2007)[1]
In this work, we investigate the potential offered by using information outside of the
visible spectrum, specifically near-infrared (NIR) images. Several studies have shown that
near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is capable to meet the aforementioned sorting requirements
for material classifiaction [7][10][11][12]. In this paper, we classify several different types of
waste materials such as alumunium can, paper, glass, and etc.
Image classification using NIR information has been widely used in remote sensing.
As opposed to our method where, the image is single channel in the NIR range, in remote
sensing it is multispectral and contains the spectral information of the samples being
observed in the visible and NIR part of the spectrum. Other scientific applications of nearinfrared for material classification focus on near- infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), where in a
small part of the sample is placed inside the spectroscope and the near-infrared light is
employed to measure spectral characteristics of test objects [9][10][11].

Near infrared is the portion of the radiation spectrum that ranges from 700 to 1100
nm. Digital camera sensors are sensitive to this part of thelight spectrum[11]. In order to
capture near infrared images, the hot-mirror has to be removed from the camera.
All the images were taken under controlled viewpoint and illumination conditions and
their analysis was conducted in both the frequency and spatial domain. Image features
include the relation between materials intensity in the NIR and luma in the color images,
texture (in the frequency domain), and color[12].

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a fast and non-destructive analytical method.
Infrared spectroscopy is a technique based on the vibrations of the atoms of a molecule. An
infrared spectrum is commonly obtained by passing infrared radiation through a sample and
determining what fraction of the incident radiation is absorbed at a particular energy. The
energy at which any peak in an absorption spectrum appears corresponds to the frequency of
a vibration of a part of a sample molecule.
Qualitative and quantitative near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic methods require the
application of multivariate calibration algorithms commonly referred to as chemometric
methods to model spectral response to chemical or physical properties of a calibration,
teaching, or learning sample set.
The identification of unique wavelength regions where changes in the response of the
near-infrared spectrometer are proportional to changes in the concentration of chemical
components, or changes in the physical characteristics of samples under analysis, is required
for a scientific understanding of cause and effect, even for routine method development.

Fig.1 Basic Instruments Configuration

The first step to developing an analytical method using NIR is to measure a spectrum
of the sample using an NIR spectrophotometer. It is helpful to note that the near-infrared
spectrum obtained by using a spectrophotometer is the result of the convolution of the
measuring instrument function with the unique optical and chemical characteristics of the
sample measured.
The sample participates as an optical element in the spectrometer. The resultant
spectrum contains information specific to the molecular vibrational aspects of the sample, its
physical properties, and its unique interaction with the measuring instrument. Relating the
spectra to the chemical structure of the measured samples is referred to as spectrastructure

Fig.2 NIRS Library Development Activities

This correlation or interpretation of spectra converts the abstract absorption data
(spectrum) into structural information representing the molecular details about a measured
sample. Interpretive spectroscopy of this sort provides a basis for the establishment of known
cause-and-effect relationships between the spectrometer response (spectrum) and the
molecular properties of the sample.

Fig.3 NIRS Calibaration Flow Chart

When performing multivariate calibrations, analytically valid calibration models
require a relationship between X (the instrument response data or spectral data) and Y (the
reference data); probability tells us only if X and Y appear to be related. If no causeeffect
relationship exists between X and Y, the analytical method will have no true predictive
significance. Interpretation of NIR spectra provide the knowledge basis for understanding the
cause-and-effect of molecular structure as it relates to specific types of absorptions in the
NIR. Interpretive spectroscopy is a key intellectual process in approaching NIR
measurements if one is to achieve an analytical understanding of these measurements.

Main task of the computer in NIR spectroscopy, aside from driving the instrument or
collecting data, is to interpret the spectra using a variety of multivariate mathematical
techniques. These techniques are used to produce a mathematical calibration model.
The NIR spectroscopy algorithms used to interpret optical data for absorbing
samples may be explained as different approaches to relating sample absorbance ( A ) at
specific wavelengths to analyte concentrations via Beers law. To continue:
A = M c ~ (1)
A = absorbancc (optical density)
M = molar absorptivity
c = molar concentration of absorber
d = sample pathlength
and thus
So the multiregression equation commonly used for calibration is:
Y = Bo + Bi(- log Rj) + E
Y = percent concentration of absorber
Bo = intercept from regression
Bi = regression coefficient
i = index of the wavelength used and its corresponding reflectance (Ri)
N = total number of wavelengths used in regression
E = random error
This is actually a form of Beers law with each B term containing both pathlength and molar
absorptivity (extinction coefficient) terms.
Most simply, the concentration is related to the optical data as
Conc. = change in concentration/change in absorbance * absorbance + some error
Conc. = K * absorbance + some error
K the regression coefficient is equal to the change in concentration divided by the
change in absorbance.

Fig 4. Illustration of overview System NIRS for classification of

Glass,Paper and Alumunium Can.

1. Infrared spectroscopy is certainly one of the most important analytical techniques
available to todays scientists. One of the great advantages of infrared spectroscopy is
that virtually any sample in virtually any state may be studied.
2. Higher energy levels because radiation levels from black body emitters peak at shorter
3. High sensitivity photo conductive detectors function in the NIR but not in the mid-IR.
4. Perhaps most important, low cost materials such as glass and quartz transmit NIR
radiation and can be used as cell windows, focusing lenses and optical fibers.
5. Liquids, solutions, pastes, powders, films, fibres, gases and surfaces can all be
examined with a judicious choice of sampling technique. As a consequence of the
improved instrumentation, a variety of new sensitive techniques have now been
developed in order to examine formerly intractable samples.
6. NIRS is generally chosen for its speed, its low cost and its non-destructive
characteristic towards the analyzed sample. On one hand, the interest in NIR has
increased thanks to the instrument improvements and the development of fibre optics
that allow the delocalization of the measurements.
7. On the other hand it has increased because of the computer progresses and the
development of new mathematical methods allowing data treatment.

1. The major weakness of the NIR region is that the absorption bands occurring there are
the overtones of the fundamental bands residing in the mid-IR region. As a result, they
are relatively weak and not clearly delineated. This makes quantitative calculations
complex and calibration procedures quite laborious and not transferable from one
instrument to another.
2. If samples were not dried prior to NIR analysis, the changes in hydrogen bonding due
to the effects of sample temperature, ionic strength, and analyte concentration would
complicate the interpretation of over-lappinng IR spectral bands.
3. Changes in hydrogen bonding bring about real and apparent band shifts as well as
flattening or broadening of band shapes. The overtone and combination molecular
absorptions found within then IR region inherently have significantly lower intensity
as compared to the fundamental IR absorptions

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