Thermochemical modelling and experimental validation of in situ indium volatilization by released halides during pyrolysis of smartphone displays
The present study focuses on the pyrolysis of discarded smartphone displays in order to investigate if a halogenation and volatilization of indium is possible without a supplementary halogenation agent. After the conduction of several pyrolysis experiments it was found that the indium evaporation is highly temperature-dependent. At temperatures of 750 °C or higher the indium concentration in the pyrolysis residue was pushed below the detection limit of 20 ppm, which proved that a complete indium volatilization by using only the halides originating from the plastic fraction of the displays is possible. A continuous analysis of the pyrolysis gas via FTIR showed that the amounts of HBr, HCl and CO increase strongly at elevated temperatures. The subsequent thermodynamic consideration by means of FactSage confirmed the synergetic effect of CO on the halogenation of indium oxide. Furthermore, HBr is predicted to be a stronger halogenation agent compared to HCl.