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Pyrolysis of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) for recovering metals and energy

Previous achievements and current approaches
: Hense, Peter; Reh, Katharina; Franke, Matthias; Hornung, Andreas

Lehner, M. ; Montanuniversität Leoben:
ISFR 2015, 8th International Symposium on Feedstock Recycling of Polymeric Materials. Book of Abstracts : September 7th - 10th, 2015 at Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Leoben, Austria
Leoben, 2015
ISBN: 978-3-200-04143-1
International Symposium on Feedstock Recycling of Polymeric Materials (ISFR) <8, 2015, Leoben>
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Sulzbach-Rosenberg ()
pyrolysis; WEEE; solid residuals; metal recycling; ecological assessment

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide. This waste stream contains a number of economically relevant base, precious and high-tech metals. However, only a limited number of these metals can be recovered by mechanical treatment. The pyrolysis technology allows a baring and an accumulation of metals from WEEE-fractions without oxidation as well as the generation of high calorific gases and liquids for energetic utilization in a combined heat and power plant. Recovered metals can be used in pyro-metallurgical recycling processes to recover secondary raw materials. In this article, results from pyrolysis batch tests with residuals from a treatment of WEEE are presented. In an ecological assessment the environmental performance of the pyrolysis process is compared to a treatment in a municipal waste incinerator. The results of the ecological assessment clearly evidence that a thermo-chemical treatment of residuals from a WEEE treatment presents a promising option concerning environmental aspects of global warming potential, acidification potential and abiotic resource depletion potential.