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The potential and limitations of critical raw material recycling : the case of LED lamps

  • Supply risks and environmental concerns drive the interest in critical raw material recycling in the European Union. Globally, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is projected to increase by almost 40% until 2030. This waste stream can be a source of secondary raw materials. The determination of the economic feasibility of recycling and recovering specific materials is a data-intensive, time-consuming, and case-specific task. This study introduced a two-part evaluation scheme consisting of upper continental crust concentrations and raw material prices as a simple tool to indicate the potential and limitations of critical raw material recycling. It was applied to the case of light-emitting diodes (LED) lamps in the EU. ASupply risks and environmental concerns drive the interest in critical raw material recycling in the European Union. Globally, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is projected to increase by almost 40% until 2030. This waste stream can be a source of secondary raw materials. The determination of the economic feasibility of recycling and recovering specific materials is a data-intensive, time-consuming, and case-specific task. This study introduced a two-part evaluation scheme consisting of upper continental crust concentrations and raw material prices as a simple tool to indicate the potential and limitations of critical raw material recycling. It was applied to the case of light-emitting diodes (LED) lamps in the EU. A material flow analysis was conducted, and the projected waste amounts were analyzed using the new scheme. Indium, gallium, and the rare earth elements appeared in low concentrations and low absolute masses and showed only a small revenue potential. Precious metals represented the largest revenue share. Future research should confirm the validity and usefulness of the evaluation scheme.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Julia S. Nikulski, Michael Ritthoff, Nadja von Gries
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-77429
Year of Publication:2021
Language:English
Source Title (English):Resources
Volume:10
Issue:4
Article Number:37
External link:https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10040037
Divisions:Kreislaufwirtschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
OpenAIRE:OpenAIRE
Licence:License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International