General

The actual recycling infrastructures for WEEE are set up with the aim to recycle the bulk metals ferrous, aluminium, copper and interested engineering plastics. Moreover the more toxic metals, such as mercury, cadmium and lead are concentrated and also valuable metals, such as gold, silver and precious metals are recycled. Till now the critical metals e.g. indium, gallium, yttrium and europium, are lost in slags, ashes and other waste residues.

Europe is considered to be a fertile ground for establishing an advanced infrastructure for the recycling of more metals from E-waste as (1) it is an important and growing market for PV, SSL and electronics, (2) there is a recognised need to extend on manufacturing technology with high added value to remain globally competitive, (3) it will contribute to become less dependent for raw materials supply from non-EU countries, (4) there is a positive attitude towards recycling and the necessary waste collection systems, and (5) there is a need for the overall reduction of waste.
With the results of the RECLAIM project it has been proven that with a balanced application of dismantling, diminution, sorting and separation techniques the critical metals can be concentrated to such a level that the implementation of a sequential hydrometallurgical step becomes challenging. With the help of dedicated leaching, extraction, and purification techniques the concentrated critical metals are gained in such a compound and/ or purity that further, advanced application in comparable products or other new products/materials becomes possible. It is technically possible to recycle metals, which are applied in rather low concentrations in PV, SSL and electronics waste.
The results of economic and environmental assessments illustrate and support the successful introduction of the designed and developed additional technical operations in a running WEEE treatment infrastructure.
It is economically interesting to enlarge the actual WEEE infrastructure with central or regional hydrometallurgical activities. SMEs can be involved in the enlargement of the recycling activities. This successful technical innovation will have a positive spin-off regarding other starting technological developments in the circular economy.
For the PV, SSL and electronics industry, implementation of the results will imply a relief of the supply pressure for the considered metals, stabilise pricing and mitigate sourcing risks.
The social impact of the intensification of recycling activities for this kind of waste in Europe will bring some relief to the environmental disaster and exploitation of people under unhealthy and harsh working conditions in such regions as Guiyu (often referred to as “the E-waste capital of China” or “electronics graveyard”) and may mark the end of this intrinsically unsustainable practice. New, attractive recycling activities in Europe can reduce the exports and can lower the unemployment in several European countries. This will provide additional educational and training opportunities. It will encourage more regional recycling activities for other discarded products and waste streams. The economic, environmental and social benefit for such a more regional, circular approach will have a recognizable, positive impact on society.


Dissemination

Dissemination event ‘Green Electronics 2013’

The dissemination event ‘Green Electronics 2013’ for the FP7 project ‘ZeroWIN’ took place in Budapest and Szentendre from November 4-6, 2013. This platform, where experts with industrial and academic background from all over the world met each other to share knowledge, was used to give general information about RECLAIM to interested attendees and to distribute information about the next dissemination event, the ‘Going Green – CARE INNOVATION 2014’ in Vienna.


Dissemination event at Going Green – CARE INNOVATION 2014

A successful half day dissemination event was organized on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in the framework of the international conference Going Green – CARE INNOVATION 2014 in Vienna (AT). The preparatory work started with preparing the full papers and later on also the presentations:

The dissemination event was well attended (about 50-80 persons were always present).


Dissemination event at Coolrec Belgium in Mechelen/Tisselt (2016)


Organisation of a successful RECLAIM dissemination event at Kasteel Tivoli and Coolrec Belgium in Mechelen/Tisselt on June 2, 2016, in which the pilot lines were presented, including a visit to the Indium/gallium pilot on site.
The event attracted around 84 persons from government, companies and universities.

Morning session: welcome, presentations and discussion:             

Afternoon session: visit to the to Coolrec Belgium in Tisselt:

The presentations have been uploaded to the RECLAIM website.

Dissemination event at EGG 2016 (Electronics Goes Green, Berlin, Sept. 7-9, 2016)

Electronics Goes Green 2016 (September 7-9, 2016, Berlin) conference has been used to disseminate the final results after pilot trials. In this conference we had three RECLAIM presentations: 

Other dissemination activities

In addition, presentations have been given at several other conferences, which have been reported in the plan for use and dissemination.

 

Exploitation of results

At the General Meeting in Bucharest (RO) on June 18, 2014 a successful Exploitation Strategy Seminar took place with the support of the consultant Peter Mogyorosi. The results were further developed during this period to a PUDF – Plan for Using and Disseminating the Foreground.
Main conclusions of the first RECLAIM Exploitation Workshop: