This paper elucidates the theoretical principles behind the calculation of the size of a representative sample of granular solid waste. The key concept is the number of particles that must be present in a sub-portion of matter to be representative of a larger portion of matter. This depends on the fraction of particles in the waste batch showing the properties of interest, which shall be measured. A representative sample must include a fraction of particles of interest reliably similar to that of the waste batch to be characterized, with a controlled variability. In this context, it is demonstrated that the number of particles of interest that must be collected in a representative sample is 100. From this requirement, the mass of a representative sample can be calculated based on the knowledge of the frequency of particles of interest of the waste lot to be characterized. Data on particles concentrations in different samples of WEEE plastic scraps exemplifies how the presence in the sample of enough rare particles showing the property of interest is key to ensure reliable measurements. Further, the assumptions made on the controlled degree of variability to determine the minimum number of particles are discussed based on data on achievable intra- and inter-laboratory variability of analytical standards for waste characterization. Accordingly, the mass of laboratory samples and test portions recommended in published sampling plans or analytical standards are assessed for the occurring number of particles.

Sampling and sub-sampling of granular waste: size of a representative sample in terms of number of particles

Beggio, Giovanni
2021

Abstract

This paper elucidates the theoretical principles behind the calculation of the size of a representative sample of granular solid waste. The key concept is the number of particles that must be present in a sub-portion of matter to be representative of a larger portion of matter. This depends on the fraction of particles in the waste batch showing the properties of interest, which shall be measured. A representative sample must include a fraction of particles of interest reliably similar to that of the waste batch to be characterized, with a controlled variability. In this context, it is demonstrated that the number of particles of interest that must be collected in a representative sample is 100. From this requirement, the mass of a representative sample can be calculated based on the knowledge of the frequency of particles of interest of the waste lot to be characterized. Data on particles concentrations in different samples of WEEE plastic scraps exemplifies how the presence in the sample of enough rare particles showing the property of interest is key to ensure reliable measurements. Further, the assumptions made on the controlled degree of variability to determine the minimum number of particles are discussed based on data on achievable intra- and inter-laboratory variability of analytical standards for waste characterization. Accordingly, the mass of laboratory samples and test portions recommended in published sampling plans or analytical standards are assessed for the occurring number of particles.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3511221
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 7
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact