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About this book

This book gives up-to-date information and broad views on e-waste recycling and management using the latest techniques for industrialist and academicians. It describes the problems of e-waste generated by all global living communities and its impact on our ecosystems and discusses recycling techniques in detail to reduce its effect as well as proper management of e-waste to save the environment. It also considers future technological expectations from e-waste recycling and management technologies.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Solution and Challenges in Recycling Waste Cathode-Ray Tube

The introduction of liquid-crystal display (LCD) for television and personal computer monitor has gained momentum in sales and distribution due to its portability and energy efficiency over traditional bulky cathode-ray tube (CRT) used in the manufacture of television and personal computer. The disposal of the cathode-ray tube is further having a major challenge due to its hazardous characteristics resulting from the composition of glass used in cathode-ray tubes. There are various recycling technologies available to extract toxic lead from funnel glass of cathode-ray tube. This chapter explores the status of cathode-ray tube, disposal, and environmental issues followed by potential challenges of segregating funnel and panel glass of cathode-ray tube. Separation of funnel and panel glass from the cathode-ray tube based on open-loop and closed-loop process is discussed with pros and cons. Cathode-ray tube glass-ceramic brick and concrete, vitrification glass to stabilize nuclear waste, and fluxing materials such as silica flux are gaining momentum on the reuse of cathode-ray tube under closed-loop process. The diamond cutting method for segregation of funnel glass from panel glass is highly recommended among the various potential segregation technologies available due to its vacuum adsorption and dust recovery capacity, automatic edge searching, and laser positioning. The study finds that emerging technology using furnace and chemicals for extraction of toxic lead from the cathode-ray tube is a promising method for management of recycling in an environmentally sustainable way without any residual waste.
Shahriar Shams

Chapter 2. Reconfigurable Recycling Systems of E-waste

E-waste collected from households must be properly processed in recycling plants to acquire high-purity output materials and hazardous substances removed. It requires a systematic approach to the disassembly process and wastes classification and categorization. Big variety of shapes and materials used in the equipment need processing lines including manual and automated sections. The main purpose of the machines used on the processing lines is to shred equipment into small size fraction and then separate each material depending on the physical properties. In such case, the output material from the E-waste disassembling plants can be recycled and used in new parts or components. This chapter includes a description of methods of disassembly focused on E-waste recycling in compliance with environmental standards. The required steps of the end-of-life products disassembly vary depending on the category of waste equipment. To show these differences, the chapter includes two case studies showing the configuration of a layout of E-waste processing lines with possible options to reconfigure them. The variants of the system’s configuration depend on the volume of the waste stream, labor cost, and required purity of output materials. Economic efficiency indicator of E-waste processing indicates big differences in potential profit from recycling E-waste mainly depending on labor cost. Example of calculation of this indicator has been presented in this chapter on cooling appliances recycling for four European countries.
Piotr Nowakowski

Chapter 3. An Economic Assessment of Present and Future Electronic-Waste Streams: Japan’s Experience

In this chapter, we discuss some of the most important factors, including legal, statistical, economic, and organizational factors, that affect the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment or more broadly the recycling of general Electronic-waste in Japan and other countries. In doing so, we emphasize the policy importance of incorporating manufacturing supply chains in the design of environmental management of production systems.
We also point out that the rates of collecting and recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment are relatively low in Japan as well as in the European Union countries. This chapter puts forward some recommendations that need to be taken into account in the public policy debate in order that the current low rates are to be improved.
Hitoshi Hayami, Masao Nakamura

Chapter 4. Recent Technologies in Electronic-Waste Management

The electrical and electronic industry generates more than 50 million metric tonnes of Electronic-waste annually from discarded and obsolete equipment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 7 million tonnes of electronic equipment become obsolete each year, making Electronic-waste the most rapidly growing waste stream in the world. Electronic-waste often contains hazardous materials as well as base metals such as zinc, copper and iron that can reach up to 60.2% in Electronic-waste products such as refrigerators, washing machines and TVs. Global legislation and regulations play an important role in Electronic-waste recycling strategies and cover 66% of electronic industry practices; most importantly to be mentioned are waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive, restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) directive and registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) directive regulations.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are classified into four categories which are photovoltaic (PV) panels, cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and light-emitting diode (LED) displays, computers and laptops and cell phones. Photovoltaic panels are a common silicon-based electronic equipment with 65% recycling rate. The recycling process starts with glass and aluminium recovery followed by thermal treatment at 650° C. Another category is liquid crystal displays and light-emitting diode displays which consume 70% of global indium production, while its recycling requires manual sorting and separation, solvent extraction and acid leaching, respectively. Additionally, cell phones have the lowest recycling rate due to the complexity of recycling caused by compact design and high production rate. Lithium is considered the most valuable recycling material in cell phones and smart batteries. In terms of viable Electronic-waste thermal treatment, thermal plasma consumes 2 kWh/kg in both pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling processes. It plays an important role in the recovery of heavy metals such as silver, gold, lead and copper due to high energy density, gas flux temperature and ionization that increases reactivity.
Mohamed Aboughaly, Hossam A. Gabbar

Chapter 5. Recycling Challenges for Electronic Consumer Products to E-Waste: A Developing Countries’ Perspective

Recycling and sustainable development issues are increasing in importance around the world. This aspect is more prominent in developing countries, in which there are many informal recycling activities and few environmental legislations regulating waste management. This chapter discusses the recycling challenges regarding the adoption of e-waste reverse logistics under the perspective of developing countries. For this purpose, we gathered information from papers published in international databases and reports such as the United Nations Environment Programme and Global e-waste Monitor, thus identifying data available to American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico), South Africa and Asian countries (China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore). As key findings we can point out the categorization of the barriers into financial/economics, environmental, market related, legal, policy related, management, knowledge related and technical and technological related. As main contributions of this chapter, we can highlight (i) the compilation of information related to recycling challenges of e-waste in developing countries, and (ii) the identification of some solutions and actions to overcome these barriers is also performed, which can be useful for practitioners and researchers in this field.
Patricia Guarnieri, Lúcio Camara e Silva, Lúcia Helena Xavier, Gisele Lorena Diniz Chaves

Chapter 6. Chemical Recycling of Electronic-Waste for Clean Fuel Production

Electronic-waste was the main waste stream raising concern to the researchers globally. Improper recycling and disposal techniques resulted in solemn effects on the atmosphere and public well-being. This chapter explains the systematic methods used for management of Electronic-waste. Electronic-waste managing would be an ideal start-up business platform toward energy production and metal recovery. The recycling pathways are designed by considering the current industrial reality and design strategies. Chemical recycling is a compilation of pyrolysis, catalytic cracking/upgrading, gasification, and chemolysis methods. Pyrolyzing of Electronic-waste prior to catalytic cracking method yielded high-quality oil. This oil can be further upgraded into clean fuels. Integrated process (pyrolysis and catalytic upgrading) results in considerable financial and ecological benefits during processing Electronic-waste into clean fuels.
Jayaseelan Arun, Kannappan Panchamoorthy Gopinath

Chapter 7. Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in European Union Countries: A Comparison

Over the last decades, the increasing volume of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has become a major matter of concern worldwide. In the European case, a specific legislation has been developed in order to address the environmental problems associated with the proper management of this particular form of hazardous waste (Directive 2012/19/EU). Accordingly, it has introduced specific targets for the reuse and recycling and recovery of WEEE, which European countries should include in their national policies.
The aim of this chapter is to contribute to the literature on the management of WEEE by comparing the performance of the different European Union countries according to the targets set in the regulation of the Union’s environmental policy on WEEE. To this end, we use the traditional nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in order to measure technical efficiency for the first time in the literature. We use a sample of 30 European countries for the year 2014, with the purpose of comparing their performance, ranking the countries, and identifying their level of inefficiency. Our results suggest that European countries are highly efficient in the implementation of the WEEE Directive and management of the recycling and recovery of WEEE. However, considering the performance of different waste categories, we observe significant differences in WEEE efficiency among countries. Specifically, more efforts are needed to achieve higher efficiency levels from small equipment, lights, electrical and electronic tools, and medical devices.
Isabel Narbón-Perpiñá, Diego Prior

Chapter 8. E-Waste Management from Macroscopic to Microscopic Scale

Increased demand for electrical and electronic equipment as well as a reduction in the end of life of most electrical products has led to the generation of large amount of E-waste. These wastes contain both beneficial and hazardous components. Therefore, there should be proper management of E-waste in order to protect man and the environment. In this review, we addressed the various categories deployed towards effective E-waste management such as collection and disposal of dangerous portions and recovery of precious metals and energy. The benefits, challenges and future of E-waste management were also highlighted.
Chukwudi O. Onwosi, Victor C. Igbokwe, Tochukwu N. Nwagu, Joyce N. Odimba, Charles O. Nwuche

Chapter 9. Recycling Processes for the Recovery of Metal from E-waste of the LED Industry

Increasingly used today, the light-emitting diode (LED) technology today replaces other technologies and has gained a notable market share. This growth in use implies an increased demand for specific materials used in LED manufacturer, aiming at improved performance of devices. However, most materials used in LED manufacture are considered critical in terms of availability, since they are increasingly sought after by the industry. Chemical elements like gallium (Ga) and indium (In), rare earth elements like yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce), and precious metals such as gold (Au) and silver (Ag) are used in LED devices. An additional difficulty concerns the methods used to sort and reuse these materials, especially due to the small amounts used. This poses a considerable challenge in the full recycling of LED devices. Research is carried out to develop sorting and recovery methods for critical metals generated during the production of LED devices and at the end of life of these devices. Some of the most important methods developed for this purpose include pyrometallurgical (pyrolysis), hydrometallurgical (acid leaching), and biotechnological technologies (microbial leaching).
Emanuele Caroline Araújo dos Santos, Tamires Augustin da Silveira, Angéli Viviani Colling, Carlos Alberto Mendes Moraes, Feliciane Andrade Brehm

Chapter 10. E-waste Management and the Conservation of Geochemical Scarce Resources

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) generates very complex waste due to the wide variety of components such as metals, polymers, ceramic materials, and composite elements. In addition, the growing consumption of these devices due to technological development increases the rate they are disposed of. When improperly disposed of, waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) may trigger environmental impacts and negative effects on health. Also, the expansion of the electronic industry is based on the extraction of natural resources, some of which are running increasingly scarce. In this scenario, recycling stands as an alternative in the effort to recover economically interesting materials such as metals, which are abundant in waste electric and electronic equipment. This text discusses the current scenario in the electrical and electronic equipment industry and generation of waste electric and electronic equipment considering the implications of resource management and environment, social, and economic impact in this production chain.
Tamires Augustin da Silveira, Emanuele Caroline Araújo dos Santos, Angéli Viviani Colling, Carlos Alberto Mendes Moraes, Feliciane Andrade Brehm

Chapter 11. Sustainable Electronic-Waste Management: Implications on Environmental and Human Health

The increasing level of Electronic-waste and its improper disposal and unsafe treatment pose significant risks to the environment and human health. They raise several challenges to the sustainable development goals. Electronic-waste is considered one of the fastest-growing pollution problems all over the world as per the United Nations environment programme estimates. This rapid growth is influenced by planned product extinction, lower prices, and change of lifestyle. Unfortunately, a major amount of Electronic-waste is recycled in the informal sector and results in toxic exposures to the recyclers, especially to women and children. Electronic-waste consists of valuable metals as well as environmental contaminants especially polybrominated diphenyl ether and polychlorinated biphenyls. The chemical composition of Electronic-waste changes with the innovation of new technologies and pressure from environmental organizations. As the reprocessing and recycling technologies with minimal environmental impacts are found to be expensive, rich countries export unknown quantities of Electronic-waste to developing countries, where recycling techniques including burning and dissolution in strong acids result in localized contaminations of water and food chains. This chapter deals with the generation of electronic-waste and its disposal pathways, and it especially covers the various contaminants that affect human health as well as our environment.
K. Grace Pavithra, Panneer Selvam Sundar Rajan, D. Balaji, K. P. Gopinath

Chapter 12. E-waste and Their Implications on the Environment and Human Health

Rapid influx of modern technology in the past few decades has led to an exponential increase in the usage of the electrical and electronic equipment on a global level. This unprecedented increase, on one hand, has revolutionized the field of communication and information technology, providing a major boost to business and economic activities; however, it has also led to the generation of one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world, popularly referred to as E-waste. Constituents of E-waste are both hazardous and nonhazardous and valuable, comprising of toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Hg, As, Pb, Se), radioactive active substances, halogenated compounds (polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chlorofluorocarbon, etc.), plastics, glass, ceramics, rubber, ferrous and non-ferrous metals (Al, Cu) and precious metals like Au, Ag, and Pt. With 20–50 million tonnes of global E-waste generation and an anticipated growth of 33%, the problem of rapidly growing E-waste is an issue faced by both developed and developing countries of the world. Additionally, unscientific and crude disposal and recycling practices for management of E-waste have severe implications for the environment and human health resulting from release and exposure to toxic emissions and constituents. In view of the above, the present chapter attempts to provide a brief insight on the global trends of E-waste generation, critical issues and challenges associated with E-waste and its effects on environmental and human health, thereby highlighting the need for sustainable environmental management of this newer waste stream.
Barkha Vaish, Bhavisha Sharma, Pooja Singh, Rajeev Pratap Singh


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