Last September 7th – 9th the Electronic Goes Green 2016 Conference was held in Berlin. Electronics Goes Green is the world’s leading conference on electronics & environment that offers an opportunity to show results and innovative green solutions. The event also showcases the future trends and solutions towards sustainable development in the electronics sector.
Waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) contains a series many of valuable materials and substances and some of them are currently not recycled properly. The Fraunhofer IVV aims to close the loop for PC/ABS from housing polymers coming from WEEE. Martin Schlummer presented the current state of the work at the Conference Electronic Goes Green 2016 in Berlin. The results show that the solvent-based CreaSolv® Process can be applied to selectively dissolve PC/ABS from mixed WEEE plastics fractions. After separation of non-target materials pure PC/ABS is recovered from the polymer solution whereas the solvent is recycled within the process.
Fraunhofer IVV and partners in the CloseWEEE consortium held presentations in the event.
Find the articles presented by Fraunhofer below:
Recovery of PC/ABS from WEEE Plastic Shred by CreaSolv® Process
As of 2010 Eurostat reported that 3.3M tonnes of WEEE is collected in the EU annually. Many components of WEEE effective recycling technologies have already been developed and put into practice (e.g. copper, gold, polypropylene, polystyrene) there are significant valuable components which are not exploited yet.
These include PC/ABS, plastics used as standard casing material for modern consumer electronics. PC/ABS is currently collected with halogen-rich WEEE plastics and not recovered yet. The recovery of PC/ABS as a secondary polymeric raw material is highly challenging as even small shares of foreign materials cause significant negative effects on mechanical material properties.
Currently, the European CloseWEEE project investigates innovative sorting and recycling techniques capable of recovering highly pure PC/ABS.
This paper presents results indicating that pre-treatment of mixed shred of WEEE by x-ray transition (XRT) and density sorting enables an effective pre-concentration of the target polymer PC/ABS. XRT provides a fraction of halogen-free polymers, whereas subsequent sorting by a sink and float approach enriches PC/ABS further to a purity of 80%. The chain of purifying processes is finalised by the solvent-based Creasolv® process.
Recovery of Bromine and Antimony from WEEE Plastics
Current technologies for recycling plastics from WEEE aim at the major polymer types, i.e. ABS, PS and PP, which are free of brominated flame retardants (BFR), are separated from the mixed plastics stream by means of density separation and/or spectroscopic sorters and leave a fraction containing significant amounts of flame retarded ABS, PS.
As high industrial consumption faces limited supply and accessibility, antimony has been identified as a critical element in the EU and therefore is an interesting target element in urban mining approaches. Separation of fraction of concentrated BFR free of metals enables bromine recovery from those fractions in pyrolytic processes producing bromine for new and safe bromine-based flame retardants (like PolyFR).
The technological approach of the project bases on a dissolution based recycling concept (CreaSolv) that allows to selectively extract ABS and PS from the halogen fraction. At the current project stage, the technical feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated in laboratory scale. It has been upscaled recently to small technical scale using a decanter centrifuge. Results show, that application of centrifugal forces separates Sb2O3 to more than 90 % from the dissolved polymers whereas BFR stay in solution.
CloseWEEE is conducting a survey that will help identify barriers and limitations of reusing recycled polymers (halogenated and non-halogenated), as well as limitations and constraints in the use of recovered additives in new applications which will determine the viability of cost efficient solutions in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) market.
The questionnaires are short (less than 20 questions- 10 minutes), and as a participant you will:
– Receive the full report of the Market Research
– Subscribe to our Newsletter with relevant information about the WEEE market
– Participate in a prize draw to win a €500 Amazon Coupon*
– Include your company’s name on the list of supporters of this H2020 European project**
We have targeted five (5) different collectives. Please click on the one that better suits the nature of your company/organisation.
WEEE Managers: the authorised organisations in charge of the treatment of the WEEE streams after collection. WEEE managers can receive the WEEE streams from authorised collection facilities or from E&E producers.
Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WEEEmanagers
Plastic Converters: Converters are considered in this survey as the end user (companies) of the recovered/recycled materials (from WEEEs if possible) for a second life in E&E applications.
Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Plasticconv
Standardisation and Certification bodies:
Standardisation bodies are public or private organisations that propose, develop, establish, monitor and/or coordinate the voluntary standards.
Certification bodies are those organisations which audit and certify that material and products comply with relevant standards.
Policy makers and Public Bodies are in charge of the formulation, implementation and transposition of the legislation, regulation and directives and the effectiveness of these.
Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/standardcert
Original Design Manufacturers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (ODM/OEM): organisations which are in charge of the product manufacture. The difference between ODM and OEM is that ODM designs the product while OEM manufactures on behalf of the selling companies.
Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ODMOEM
Suppliers of Additives: group specialized in the market of additives for application in plastics for EEEs.
Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/addssuppliers
If you know a person who will be suitable to take the survey, don’t hesitate and forward it!
* All completed surveys will be entered into the prize drawn to win a €500 Amazon Coupon, click here to see terms and conditions.
** Please send an email to infoCLOSEWEEE@exergy.uk.com with your company’s logo and website. Subject: Supporter
Vertech and Exergy on behalf of the CLOSEWEEE consortium are glad to present the project at the “NEW_INNONET PROJECT STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE: TOWARDS NEARZERO WASTE AT EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL LEVEL” on June 8 and 9.
The NEW_InnoNet project is funded by the EU Programme Horizon 2020 as an initiative to establish a European platform for stakeholders, aiming to show how the concept of the circular economy can be enhanced and stimulated. In this interactive event, different actors, including companies, researchers and government organisations, will meet together and discuss about the future of the circular economy in Europe. Different lines will be covered during the conference: barriers for the European circular economy, plastics in the circular economy, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and End of Life Vehicles (ELV) among others.
For more information visit: http://www.newinnonet.eu/ShowEvent.aspx?eveid=1016
RWM (September 13th-15th 2016, NEC in Birmingham) is Europe’s premier event for resource efficiency and waste management solutions, covering a three-day event which brings together the entire industry to help influence the all aspects of the waste hierarchy. In partnership with CIWM, it spans each element of the industry and is shaped around the demands of this rapidly growing sector.
More info: http://www.rwmexhibition.com/
According to the Department of Business (BIS) in the UK, the predicted household waste collected in 2016 will be 16,000 tonnes higher than it was in 2015. Regarding the information gathered by BIS, the overall 2016 target is below the required collection level needed to achieve the EU’s 45% target for the year, which stands at around 730,000 tonnes.
However, the Environmental Agency subsequently published its provisional WEEE collection figures at the start of March, which suggested that schemes may have collected some tonnages on top of that which was posted as WEEE evidence. Consequently, the data suggested that collections had in fact topped 521,000 tonnes.
BIS has opted to further increase the collection target for WEEE to a total of 544,341 tonnes for 2016. This represents an increase of close to 37,000 tonnes, when compared to the 2015 collection target.
Closing loops in the circular economy: Recovery of an extended range of high-tech materials under research
There are a massive amount of electronic devices going onto the market today. Nearly 60 million televisions were sold in Europe last year alone. Sooner or later these devices will return as electronics waste. In the past years, the recycling industry has developed to recover many metals such as ferrometals, copper, aluminum, precious metals, along with some selected plastics from these devices, but currently ignores many other important materials. The recently launched €5.9million project, CloseWEEE, will facilitate recovery and re-use of these materials and ensure the electronics manufacturing and recycling industry plays a key role in the drive towards a circular economy.
The project brings together experts from across Europe. Disassembling of electronic devices will be facilitated through the development of an online Recycler Information Center by iFixit in cooperation with the D.R.Z – Dismantling and Recycling-Centre. Sound disassembly guides will be provided to assist workers on the disassembly line to dismantle electronic devices rapidly. Reusing of previously under-recovered high grade polymers, such as PC/ABS, and antimony compounds used as flame retardants, from electronics waste without the usual problematic quality compromises will be investigated by major TV manufacturer, TP Vision. Recycling of batteries for recovery of graphite and other materials will be addressed by recycling experts, Accurec through development of advanced staged recycling processes.
As part of the project, Exergy Ltd. will undertake industrial scale-up of the developed processes and facilitate future commercialisation of the developments in collaboration with the other project partners.
The CloseWEEE project is among the first projects to be launched under the latest European research programme, Horizon 2020.
New economy models are being created and set up in Europe since the EU’s circular economy package has been laid down and updated in December 2015. These new models are significantly different from the traditional “wear and tear” models, where resources do not return to the loop or are recycled.
In relation to the EU’s Circular Economy Package and aiming to make a better use of our planet’s resources, Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEEs) are key elements. Within these WEEE streams which includes phones, computers and TVs among others, are several valuable and expensive materials which are found in a few places on our planet and can be potentially recovered and reused, e.g. rare earths and metals. On the other hand, hazardous compounds both for human health and for the environment are also found. Both reasons are sufficient to address an effective and correct treatment when the end of life (EoL) is achieved in these electrical and electronic products.
Especially, two EU Directives have been set within the WEEE framework: the WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) which introduces the schemes and targets for collection, recycling and recovery for all types of electrical goods and appliances. Also theRestriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) (2002/95/EC), which restricts the use of certain substances in E&E equipment.
The CloseWEEE project is in alignment with both EU Directives. Valuable materials such as plastics (PC/ABS, ABS), critical metals and additives among others are effectively recovered in this project and prepared for a second life. Circular economy scheme is achieved and the loop is closed.