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 12:51:40 PM
International Policy - since when have we been able to all get together on almost anything?
RE: So Much Waste
9/25/2012 1:11:46 PM
I view that largely as a good thing.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
China Cuts Off World's Rare Earth Metal Supply
October 21, 2011, 12:40 AM
Apple's iPad Air 2 Features Triple-core A8X Processor, 2GB of RAM
October 21, 2014, 8:32 PM
Toshiba Launches 11”, 2-in-1 Convertible PC for $329
October 21, 2014, 2:11 PM
Microsoft Begins Shifting Nokia Lumia Branding to "Microsoft Lumia"
October 21, 2014, 10:52 AM
Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Product Portfolio, Performance in Letter to Employees
October 21, 2014, 8:05 AM
Buoyed by Strong iPhone Sales, Apple Reports Revenue of $42.1B, $8.5B in Profit for Fiscal Q4
October 20, 2014, 5:21 PM
Windows 8.1 + Android "Sell Mini PC" w/ Bay Trail Creates New PC Form Factor
October 20, 2014, 5:07 PM
Most Popular Articles
Cool Science Video of the Day: Carnivorous Leech Eats Giant Jungle Worm
October 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
HBO, CBS Lead Charge to Ditch Cable
October 16, 2014, 4:40 PM
PS4 "Masamune" Update 2.0 Will Bring New Music and Customization Features
October 17, 2014, 1:05 PM
Report: 2015 Ford Focus Electric MSRP Slashed by $6,000, Will Retail for $29,995
October 18, 2014, 6:23 PM
Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, 27" iMac with Retina Display
October 16, 2014, 1:22 PM
Latest Blog Posts
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
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information