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Explorative study into the sustainable use and substitution of soldering metals in electronics

Ecological and economical consequences of the ban of lead in electronics and lessons to be learned for the future
: Deubzer, O.

Delft, 2007, 286 pp.
Delft, TU, Diss., 2007
ISBN: 978-90-5155-031-3
Fraunhofer IZM ()
lead-free soldering; sustainability; global energy; consumption; soldering; RoHS; directive

The Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS Directive), among other substances, bans the use of lead in the electrical and electronics industry. This explorative study assesses the worldwide environmental and economical effects of the substitution of lead in solders and finishes. It shows the worldwide additional cost of lead-free soldering compared to soldering with lead-containing solders and finishes. Also the additional consumption of tin, silver, bismuth and other metals as well as the worldwide additional energy consumption for lead-free soldering has been studied in detail. A third main subject addressed is how lead-free soldering changes the potential toxicity and the risk of hazardous impacts from waste of electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE). The methodical framework developed enables evaluation the environmental and economical impacts for the three perspectives of sustainable development: efficiency, consistency and sufficiency. In these three domains, a comparison was made between lead/free and soldering with lead-containing solders and finishes. The study develops recommendations for the stakeholders in the manufacturing industry, recyclers and governments on the proper implementation of lead-free soldering. Finally, this work presents the knowledge and methodical basis for governments to enable decisions on restrictions of hazardous materials that contribute to sustainable development.