Topic Editors

College of Materials Science and Environmental Engineering, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou 310018, China
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain

The Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management and Treatment

Abstract submission deadline
30 September 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 December 2024
Viewed by
10457

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rapid technological innovation has greatly shortened the life cycle of electronic products. The massive generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has displayed exponential growth with a rate of more than 3–5% annually. In 2016, the global amount of electronic waste, so called e-waste, was approximately 44.7 million metric tons (Mt) and has reached 57 Mt in 2021. In the past few decades, informal e-waste burning had resulted in substantially high levels of air pollution identified at the treatment points and, in turn, posed a threat to the environment and public health. Recently, many advanced technologies have been developed to facilitate metal recovery from WPCBs, including pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, physico-mechanical separation, electrolysis, supercritical fluid, and bioleaching. Among them, the pyrometallurgical processes are generally operated at 300–900 °C and have the disadvantage of high energy consumption and expensive capital investment. Hydrometallurgical processes use cyanide, halide, thiourea, and thiosulfate to recover metals, consuming large amounts of chemical reagents, as well as producing a large volume of effluents. Mechanical beneficiation operations, such as gravity air classifiers, eddy current separation, and magnetic separation have been widely used in e-waste recycling plants worldwide. However, the recovered metals are mixed, and need be refined. Therefore, more in-depth research on e-waste management and treatment need be conducted, including novel techniques development, fate of pollutants and control strategies, the economic appraisal, etc.

In this Topic, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Crushing and separation;
  • Bioleaching;
  • Metal recovery;
  • Thermal treatment and kinetics;
  • Fate of pollutants and control strategies;
  • Solidification/Stabilization;
  • Polymer composites preparation;
  • Circular economy;
  • Policies.
Dr. Zhitong Yao
Dr. Nuria Ortuño García
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • electronic waste
  • WEEE
  • metal recovery
  • flame retardant
  • circular economy

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Electronics
electronics
2.9 4.7 2012 15.6 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Processes
processes
3.5 4.7 2013 13.7 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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12 pages, 649 KiB  
Article
Precious Metals Recovery Process from Electronic Boards: Case Study of a Non-Profit Organization (QC, Canada)
by Caroline Blais, Anh Quan Le Dinh, Éric Loranger and Georges Abdul-Nour
Sustainability 2024, 16(6), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16062509 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 768
Abstract
The growth in the consumption of electronic products in recent years has resulted in increasing electronic device waste. At the same time, there is a decrease in the availability of raw metals required to produce electronic boards. Recycling through the recovery of precious [...] Read more.
The growth in the consumption of electronic products in recent years has resulted in increasing electronic device waste. At the same time, there is a decrease in the availability of raw metals required to produce electronic boards. Recycling through the recovery of precious and critical metals contained in electronic board waste is a solution, but the processes need to be safer for the environment. This paper presents the steps that lead to investment in the development of an eco-friendly and cost-effective process for recovering precious metals from end-of-life electronic telecommunications cards. Social organizations can also become involved in the recycling of electronic cards, thus enabling the integration of marginalized people into society. We examine the case of a non-profit organization whose mission is to help people living with mental health problems through the recycling of end-of-life telecommunication devices. This recycling process must operate within constraints specific to this organization and to the employment of people with mental health issues. The literature review showed that considering ecological and economic factors, the hydrometallurgical process appeared to be a logical choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic The Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management and Treatment)
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16 pages, 1140 KiB  
Review
Comprehensive Review of Crystalline Silicon Solar Panel Recycling: From Historical Context to Advanced Techniques
by Pin-Han Chen, Wei-Sheng Chen, Cheng-Han Lee and Jun-Yi Wu
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010060 - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2890
Abstract
This review addresses the growing need for the efficient recycling of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules (PVMs), in the context of global solar energy adoption and the impending surge in end-of-life (EoL) panel waste. It examines current recycling methodologies and associated challenges, given PVMs’ [...] Read more.
This review addresses the growing need for the efficient recycling of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules (PVMs), in the context of global solar energy adoption and the impending surge in end-of-life (EoL) panel waste. It examines current recycling methodologies and associated challenges, given PVMs’ finite lifespan and the anticipated rise in solar panel waste. The study explores various recycling methods—mechanical, thermal, and chemical—each with unique advantages and limitations. Mechanical recycling, while efficient, faces economic and environmental constraints. Thermal methods, particularly pyrolysis, effectively break down organic materials but are energy-intensive. Chemical processes are adept at recovering high-purity materials but struggle with ecological and cost considerations. The review also highlights multifaceted challenges in recycling, including hazardous by-product generation, environmental impact, and the economic feasibility of recycling infrastructures. The conclusion emphasizes the need for innovative, sustainable, and economically viable recycling technologies. Such advancements, alongside global standards and policy development, are crucial for the long-term sustainability of solar energy and effective management of PVM waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic The Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management and Treatment)
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38 pages, 3029 KiB  
Review
Li-Ion Battery Cathode Recycling: An Emerging Response to Growing Metal Demand and Accumulating Battery Waste
by Nikita Akhmetov, Anton Manakhov and Abdulaziz S. Al-Qasim
Electronics 2023, 12(5), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12051152 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6459
Abstract
Due to the accumulation of waste mobile devices, the increasing production of electric vehicles, and the development of stationary energy storage systems, the recycling of end-of-life Li-ion batteries (EOL LIBs) has recently become an intensively emerging research field. The increasing number of LIBs [...] Read more.
Due to the accumulation of waste mobile devices, the increasing production of electric vehicles, and the development of stationary energy storage systems, the recycling of end-of-life Li-ion batteries (EOL LIBs) has recently become an intensively emerging research field. The increasing number of LIBs produced accelerates the resources’ depletion and provokes pollution. To prevent this, the global communities are concerned with expanding and improving the LIBs recycling industry, whose biggest problems are either large gaseous emissions and energy consumption or toxic reagents and low recycling yields. These issues are most likely solvable by upgrading or changing the core recycling technology, introducing effective benign chemicals, and reducing cathode losses. In this review, we analyze and discuss various LIB recycling approaches, emphasizing cathode processing. After a brief introduction (LIB’s design, environmental impact, commercialized processes), we discuss the technological aspects of LIB’s pretreatment, sorting and dissolving of the cathode, separation of leached elements, and obtaining high-purity materials. Covering the whole LIB recycling line, we analyze the proven and emerging approaches and compare pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and cathode’s direct restoration methods. We believe that the comprehensive insight into the LIB recycling technologies made here will accelerate their further development and implementation in the large-scale battery industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic The Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management and Treatment)
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