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      Mechanical recycling of waste electric and electronic equipment: a review

      Journal of Hazardous Materials
      Elsevier BV

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          The production of electric and electronic equipment (EEE) is one of the fastest growing areas. This development has resulted in an increase of waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE). In view of the environmental problems involved in the management of WEEE, many counties and organizations have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery of such wastes so as to reduce disposal. Recycling of WEEE is an important subject not only from the point of waste treatment but also from the recovery of valuable materials.WEEE is diverse and complex, in terms of materials and components makeup as well as the original equipment's manufacturing processes. Characterization of this waste stream is of paramount importance for developing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly recycling system. In this paper, the physical and particle properties of WEEE are presented. Selective disassembly, targeting on singling out hazardous and/or valuable components, is an indispensable process in the practice of recycling of WEEE. Disassembly process planning and innovation of disassembly facilities are most active research areas. Mechanical/physical processing, based on the characterization of WEEE, provides an alternative means of recovering valuable materials. Mechanical processes, such as screening, shape separation, magnetic separation, Eddy current separation, electrostatic separation, and jigging have been widely utilized in recycling industry. However, recycling of WEEE is only beginning. For maximum separation of materials, WEEE should be shredded to small, even fine particles, generally below 5 or 10mm. Therefore, a discussion of mechanical separation processes for fine particles is highlighted in this paper. Consumer electronic equipment (brown goods), such as television sets, video recorders, are most common. It is very costly to perform manual dismantling of those products, due to the fact that brown goods contain very low-grade precious metals and copper. It is expected that a mechanical recycling process will be developed for the upgrading of low metal content scraps.

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          Journal of Hazardous Materials
          Journal of Hazardous Materials
          Elsevier BV
          May 2003
          May 2003
          : 99
          : 3
          : 243-263
          © 2003




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