CHAPTER 8: WEEE Waste Recovery
Published:18 Jul 2013
An overview of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) with respect to elemental sustainability associated with liquid crystal displays (LCDs) is given. Modern day electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is resource intensive, based on approximately 60% of the elements of the Periodic Table including those deemed to be critical: cobalt; gallium; germanium; indium; platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium and osmium); rare earths (including yttrium and scandium) and tantalum. The chapter contextualises the success of LCDs, a multi‐billion industry, with the future problems that it now faces with respect to limited resources. LCDs are reliant on indium and now increasingly rare earths which are found in magnets and light emitting diode backlights. Distribution and quantities of critical metals found in a variety of LCDs are presented. Recovery rates for both indium and rare earths are less than 1% and technologies for indium recovery from LCDs are discussed.