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Air Knife Waste Separation

An adaptable system to remove lighter contaminants from your waste stream.

Solution Overview 

The air knife’s main function is to remove low value fractions from the material stream. Typically installed at a conveyor junction, the air knife consists of an input air volume channelled through an adjustable nozzle, working in conjunction with an extraction hood, all mounted inside a single enclosure.

The air knife is employed to remove lightweight unpickable items such as paper, plastic and foil from the material stream. The input air creates a high velocity airstream through which the falling material has to travel. The lighter material fractions are blown or separated from the falling material and are captured by the extraction hood and conveyed away. The heavier material is unaffected by the incoming airstream and falls onto the conveyor below.

The Impact air knife solution can be adopted and applied to a wide variety of material streams including, domestic comingled recyclables and C&D recycling operations.


  • Wide range of material applications
  • Fully adjustable both via manual dampers and electronic fan speed controls
  • Significant reduction in manual sorting labour requirements and costs
  • Significantly improves the performance of downstream processes by removing unwanted contaminants
  • Custom designed enclosures to suit a variety of Airknife locations
  • High material throughput capabilities
  • Low maintenance
  • Quiet operation
  • Used in conjunction with the Impact range of material separators and dust filtration

Case Study

Plasterboard Recycling – Airknife Separation

Impact Air Systems were contacted by Hamilton Waste & Recycling Ltd, operating in extensive waste collection and recycling facilities in East Lothian.

David Hamilton, director of Hamilton Waste & Recycling commented:

“We are delighted with the air separation and dust extraction technology that Impact Air Systems provided for our plasterboard recycling system. Not only are we delighted with the performance of the system, but also the service we received from Impact, from our initial discussions through to the commissioning of the plant.  Impact’s system has certainly surpassed our expectations and we at Hamilton Waste & Recycling Ltd will be looking first at Impact Air Systems for any future air separation and dust extraction systems.”