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Xuan Zhu, Ruth Lane, and T. T Werner (2017)

Modelling in-use stocks and spatial distributions of household electronic devices and their contained metals based on household survey data

Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 120:27-37.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) contains a significant amount of critical and precious metals. Recovery of these metal resources is important for both environmental and economic reasons. However, the potential for metal recovery from the distributed resource of used electronic devices in households has not been well understood. This paper explores such potential through modelling in-use stocks and spatial distributions of metal resources in household electronic devices based on household survey data, using Australia as a case study. We focused on ten categories of electronic devices: smart mobile phones, plain mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, flat screen TVs, CRT TVs, monitors, hand held music players and game devices. Regression models were built using demographic variables as predictors to estimate the amount of electronic devices currently in use in households, and the bottom-up approach was employed to estimate the stocks of forty three metals contained in the devices. A set of maps were produced to show the estimated distribution of the resource of in-use household electronic devices and specific metals of interest contained in these devices. We find that some metals such as Platinum-group elements have more stocks in Australian household devices than the potential stocks in Australian mineral deposits. There is some intrinsic resource value contained in Australian household electronic goods, and interest in recovery of these particular metals might come sooner than for others.

Bottom-up approach, Critical metals, Household electronic devices, In-use stock, Material stock analysis, Spatial analysis

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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.