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B. Bookhagen, D. Bastian, P. Buchholz, M. Faulstich, C. Opper, J. Irrgeher, T. Prohaska, and C. Koeberl (2020)

Metallic resources in smartphones

Resources Policy, 68.

53 metallic elements from smartphones were investigated with regard to metal prices, metal production, and content in comparison to mined ores. The metal content of the 7.42 billion smartphone devices sold from 2012 to 2017 could theoretically maintain the global supply for 91 days for Ga, 73 days for Ta, 23 days for Pd, 14 days for Au, and 6 days for REE. The pure metal value of a single smartphone device for the investigated metals currently sums to 1.13 US $; it averaged at 1.05 US $ from 2012 to 2017 with the highest value of 1.32 US $ in 2012. The Au content is low (16.83 mg per device), yet constitutes the highest value with a current share of approximately 72% of total value for all measured metals, followed by Pd (10%). Approximately 82% of total metal value can be recycled with current standard recycling methods for Au, Cu, Pd, Pt, which only comprise 6 wt% of the total device. The printed circuit board (pcb) contains 90% of the measured Au, 98% of Cu, 99% of Pd, 86% of In, and 93% of Ta. The Au, Pd, Cu, Pt, Ta, In, Ga contents in a smartphone pcb are significantly higher than the metal content in currently mined ores. Magnets contain 96% of the measured REE and 40% of the measured Ga, with higher concentrations than ores for REE and Ga. For Co and Ge, metal content in smartphones (w/o batteries) is lower than in ores.

Metal prices, Ore grades, Recycling, Smartphones, Technology metals, WEEE

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Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Ulysea S.L. - Informática

The Material Limits of Energy Transition: Thanatia

Antonio Valero Capilla, Alicia Valero Delgado and Guiomar Calvo

This book provides a holistic view of raw mineral depletion in the context of renewable energy transistion.

The material limits Thanatia


Thanatia. Los límites minerales del planeta

mites minerales del planeta

 Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado interviewed by Adrián Almazán

We need a material transition, not only energetic, that restores nature and effectively reuses materials. Gaia must be cared for by extending life on Earth and slowing its degradation towards Thanatia.

Thanatia los limites


Thermodynamics for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Cover Thermodynamics

Wojciech Stanek (Editor)

This book examines ways of assessing the rational management of nonrenewable resources. Integrating numerous methods, it systematically exposes the strengths of exergy analysis in resources management.

Thanatia: The Destiny of the Earth's Mineral Resources

Cover Thanatia

A Thermodynamic Cradle-to-Cradle Assessment by (author): Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado

Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today.