Next Article in Journal
Validation of a Miniaturized Spectrometer for Trace Detection of Explosives by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Previous Article in Journal
Tie-Up Cycles in Long-Term Mating. Part I: Theory
Previous Article in Special Issue
Bridging the Gap between Eco-Design and the Human Thinking System
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Challenges 2016, 7(1), 13;

Potential for Reuse of E-Plastics through Processing by Compression Molding

Department of Technology, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: William Bullock and Joy J. Scrogum
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 7 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste — Impact, Policy and Green Design)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2617 KB, uploaded 19 May 2016]   |  


The amounts of e-waste, consisting of metal (e-metals) and plastic (e-plastics) streams from electronic goods, are increasing in the United States and elsewhere. The e-metals waste streams are being recycled to a reasonable degree due to the value of precious metals. E-plastic waste streams currently are not recycled or reused to a significant extent. As a result, most e-plastics are disposed of by landfilling or thermal treatment, or sent overseas for alleged recycling or reuse, any of which could result in unsafe worker exposure and release into the environment. Two of the major barriers to e-plastics’ reuse or recycling are the mixed plastic content and the presence in the e-plastics of flame retardants (FR), of which two classes in particular, the brominated flame retardants (BFR) and organo-phosphorus flame retardants (OPFR), have associated health concerns. The major goal of this project is to investigate the possibility of direct reuse of e-plastics in compression molding. Preliminary data generated have identified a molding procedure that yields remanufactured e-plastics having a tensile strength of 29.3 MPa. This moderate strength level is suspected to be due to inclusions of plastic bits that did not melt and internal voids from out-gassing. Handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was utilized to characterize elemental components in the e-plastics tested for compression molding. Several high “hits” for Br were found that could not be predicted visually. The preliminary XRF data for BFR and OPFR in this work are helpful for environmental and occupational hazard assessments of compression molding activities. Additionally, methods are suggested to characterize the metals, BFR, and OPFR content of the e-plastics using several different additional laboratory analytical techniques to determine the suitability for cost-effective and easy-to-use technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE); e-plastics; compression molding; recycling; flame retardants; GC-MS; XRF Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE); e-plastics; compression molding; recycling; flame retardants; GC-MS; XRF

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Mills, W.; Tatara, R.A. Potential for Reuse of E-Plastics through Processing by Compression Molding. Challenges 2016, 7, 13.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Challenges EISSN 2078-1547 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top