Researchers at Yale Call for International Policy for Specialty Metals Recycling
September 25, 2012 9:11 AM
comment(s) - last by
Researchers called for deposits on electronics and other ways to promote electronics recycling
A group of researchers from Yale University is calling for an international policy on the recycling of scarce specialty metals critical in the production of certain consumer electronics devices and other goods. The special metals include rare earth elements such as indium, gallium, and germanium.
“A recycling rate of zero for specialty metals is alarming when we consider that their use is growing quickly,” said co-author Barbara Reck, a research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
These metals are used in small amounts for precise technological devices such as red phosphors, high-strength magnets, thin-film solar cells, and computer chips. According to the researchers, the recycling and recovery of these specialty metals is technologically and economically challenging so attempts to recycle the metals are seldom made.
"Specialty metals are used in products in only small amounts, but their value typically does not provide enough incentive to invest in a complicated recovery process. Also, the technology to do so is untested,” said Thomas Graedel, the study’s other co-author and Clifton R. Musser Professor of Industrial Ecology.
The researchers are calling for improved designs for recycling, deposits on consumer goods, recycling targets for the specialty metals, and financial incentives for the industry to employee state-of-the-art techniques for the recycling of the metals.
“Metals are infinitely recyclable in principle, but, in practice, recycling is often inefficient or essentially non-existent because of limits imposed by social behavior, product design, recycling technologies and the thermodynamics of separation,” said Reck.
Efforts to recycle these rare earth elements and specialty metals could increase as prices for rare earth metals climb. China has most of the world's rare earth deposits and has started to
how much of this rare earth material it sells to help drive prices up.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: So Much Waste
9/25/2012 11:06:28 AM
Well as the article alludes to, the main reason is profitability. As the value of rare metals increase more companies will start to do it.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
China Cuts Off World's Rare Earth Metal Supply
October 21, 2011, 12:40 AM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
Pepsi Smartphone? Empty Calories Coming Soon to the Midrange
October 12, 2015, 11:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information