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Perrine Chancerel, Max Marwede, Nils F Nissen, and Klaus D Lang (2015)

Estimating the quantities of critical metals embedded in ICT and consumer equipment

Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 98:9-18.

The manufacturing of Electrical and Electronic Equipment is dependent on the supply of several technology metals that are classified as critical. Recycling is key strategy to secure the long-term supply of these metals. To determine the recycling potential, the mass and the economic value of nine metals and metal families contained in information and communications technology and consumer equipment sold in Germany in 2007 and 2012 were estimated under consideration of uncertainties. The study focused on the critical metals and metal families cobalt, gallium, indium, palladium and rare earth elements (REE), as well as tantalum and the lead metals tin, gold and silver. The estimation was based on data on sales volumes of 126 products, on the mass or surface of the assemblies containing the target metals (populated printed circuit boards, panels and backlighting systems of flat displays, batteries and magnets in drives and loudspeakers) and on the mass fraction of metal in the assemblies. The estimations show that gold is by far the most important carrier of economic value. Flat televisions, desktop computers, laptops and smartphones contain a large part of the target metals. Recommendations for improving recycling were formulated. Besides the technological barriers, enhancing or enabling the recovery of indium, gallium, REE and tantalum requires the creation of economic incentives, because it is very unlikely that the revenues expectable from the production of secondary metals can cover the process costs.

Critical metals, Electronic products, Recycling, Resources

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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.