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Characterisation and materials flow management for waste electrical and electronic equipment plastics from German dismantling centres

: Arends, Dagmar; Schlummer, Martin; Mäurer, Andreas; Markowski, Jens; Wagenknecht, Udo


Waste management & research 33 (2015), No.9, pp.775-784
ISSN: 0734-242X
ISSN: 1399-3070
ISSN: 1096-3669
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Waste electrical and electronic equipment is a complex waste stream and treatment options that work for one waste category or product may not be appropriate for others. A comprehensive case study has been performed for plastic-rich fractions that are treated in German dismantling centres. Plastics from TVs, monitors and printers and small household appliances have been characterised extensively. Based on the characterisation results, state-of-the-art treatment technologies have been combined to design an optimised recycling and upgrade process for each input fraction. High-impact polystyrene from TV casings that complies with the European directive on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) was produced by applying continuous density separation with yields of about 60%. Valuable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/polycarbonate can be extracted from monitor and printer casings by near-infrared-based sorting. Polyolefins and/or a halogen-free fraction of mixed styrenics can be sorted out by density separation from monitors and printers and small household appliances. Emerging separation technologies are discussed to improve recycling results.