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.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
China Cuts Off World's Rare Earth Metal Supply
October 21, 2011, 12:40 AM
New Reversible "Type-C" USB Plug Coming in Mid-2014
December 4, 2013, 10:38 AM
IDC Reports PC Shipments Will Decline by Double Digits in 2013
December 4, 2013, 10:18 AM
Canon EOS M2 Digital Camera Unveiled In Japan
December 3, 2013, 11:10 AM
Applebee's to Place Tablets at Each Table for Paying the Check, Ordering Food
December 3, 2013, 10:01 AM
Quick Note: Sony PS4 Sells 2.1 Million Units
December 3, 2013, 8:16 AM
UK iPhone Sales Show 5S Preference by Three-to-One Over 5C
December 2, 2013, 10:55 AM
Most Popular Articles
NSA Snares Americans' Porn Viewing Histories in Effort to Target Muslims
December 1, 2013, 9:00 PM
Coalition of 20+ Tech Firms Backs MRAM as Potential DRAM, NAND Replacement
November 29, 2013, 11:59 PM
Fed Up With Cheating OEMs, Microsoft Trolls Chromebooks in New Ad
November 27, 2013, 4:09 PM
Xbox? PCs? Mobile? Microsoft Wants One Windows to Rule Them All
November 25, 2013, 8:21 PM
Seattle Restaurant Bans Google Glass, Tells Wearers to "Just shut up and get out"
November 27, 2013, 10:27 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
U.S. Army Developing Cyber, Electronic War Arsenal
Oct 31, 2013, 4:49 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information