Next Article in Journal
Global Patterns of Material Flows and their Socio-Economic and Environmental Implications: A MFA Study on All Countries World-Wide from 1980 to 2009
Next Article in Special Issue
The Status of Industrial Ecology in Australia: Barriers and Enablers
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Towards Responsible Steel: Preliminary Insights
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Resources 2014, 3(1), 291-318; doi:10.3390/resources3010291

Recycling Potentials of Critical Metals-Analyzing Secondary Flows from Selected Applications

1
Department of Technological Design and Development, Faculty of Production Engineering, University of Bremen, Bremen D-28359, Germany
2
ARTEC–Research Center for Sustainability Studies, Bremen D-28359, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [540 KB, uploaded 14 March 2014]   |  

Abstract

Metal mobilization in general, as well as the number of metals used in products to increase performance and provide sometimes unique functionalities, has increased steadily in the past decades. Materials, such as indium, gallium, platinum group metals (PGM), and rare earths (RE), are used ever more frequently in high-tech applications and their criticality as a function of economic importance and supply risks has been highlighted in various studies. Nevertheless, recycling rates are often below one percent. Against this background, secondary flows of critical metals from three different end-of-life products up to 2020 are modeled and losses along the products’ end-of-life (EOL) chain are identified. Two established applications of PGM and RE–industrial catalysts and thermal barrier coatings–and CIGS photovoltaic cells as a relatively new product have been analyzed. In addition to a quantification of future EOL flows, the analysis showed that a relatively well working recycling system exists for PGM-bearing catalysts, while a complete loss of critical metals occurs for the other applications. The reasons include a lack of economic incentives, technologically caused material dissipation and other technological challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical metals; recycling; secondary material flows; material flow analysis; industrial catalysts; CIGS photovoltaic cells; thermal barrier coatings (TBC); industrial ecology critical metals; recycling; secondary material flows; material flow analysis; industrial catalysts; CIGS photovoltaic cells; thermal barrier coatings (TBC); industrial ecology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zimmermann, T.; Gößling-Reisemann, S. Recycling Potentials of Critical Metals-Analyzing Secondary Flows from Selected Applications. Resources 2014, 3, 291-318.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Resources EISSN 2079-9276 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top