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State-of-the-art Recycling Technologies

The state-of-the-art recycling of e-waste comprises three steps:




The first step in the recycling process is the removal of critical components from the e-waste in order to avoid dilution of and / or contamination with toxic substances during the downstream processes. Critical components include, e.g., lead glass from CRT screens, CFC gases from refrigerators, light bulbs and batteries.




Mechanical processing is the next step in e-waste treatment, normally an industrial large scale operation to obtain concentrates of recyclable materials in a dedicated fraction and also to further separate hazardous materials. Typical components of a mechanical processing plant are crushing units, shredders, magnetic- and eddy-current- and air-separators. The gas emissions are filtered and effluents are treated to minimize environmental impact.



Source: Umicore


The third step of e-waste recycling is refining. Refining of resources in e-waste is possible and the technical solutions exist to get back raw with minimal environmental impact. Most of the fractions need to be refined or conditioned in order to be sold as secondary raw materials or to be disposed of in a final disposal site, respectively. During the refining process, to three flows of materials is paid attention: Metals, plastics and glass.



For more detailed information, please visit the website of the Swiss e-waste competence:


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