In Germany, currently about ten million e-book readers are in use. Dismantling trials were undertaken to assess the recycling potential of these devices. Ten discarded e-book readers from five different manufacturers were acquired for manual dismantling, out of which nine were actually dismantled, whereas the tenth sample was reactivated by hard reset. During the trials the e-book readers were tested on various dismantling options such as required time, connection accessibility, destruction during dismantling and materials identification. Due to the length of the dismantling time, apart from some zinc parts, manual dismantling is not economical. This is mainly caused by the high number of connections which needed to be opened. Typical dismantling characteristics were 10.7 dismantling steps per device, with arithmetic mean duration of 53.4 seconds per dismantling step. Thus from a purely economic perspective, mechanical recycling should be preferred to manual dismantling for recycling.
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