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Resources 2018, 7(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7030059

Shedding Light on the Anthropogenic Europium Cycle in the EU–28. Marking Product Turnover and Energy Progress in the Lighting Sector

Department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari”, Alma Mater Studiorum–University of Bologna, 20136 Bologna, Italy
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Received: 12 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract

Phase-out strategies for incandescent bulbs in favor of advanced energy-efficiency lighting systems such as fluorescent lamps and solid-state technology have considerably reduced the energy use for lighting, but have also resulted in dependence on many critical materials like rare earth elements and shifted the attention to sustainable use and recovery of resources. In this work, a dynamic material flow model was developed to analyze the socio-economic metabolism of europium in the EU–28. The analysis shows that europium marked product turnover and progress in lighting efficiency, with this element being employed both in traditional and novel lighting technology to provide luminescence. The results also demonstrate that the current anthropogenic reserve could constitute an attractive source of secondary europium with substantial potentials for environmental benefits. However, nonexistent recycling and market forces hinder strategies for material circularity. In particular, the transition from fluorescent lamps to solid-state technology is quickly decreasing the demand for europium. This trend adds further constraints to the creation of a sustainable recycling industry for europium, with primary sources that might remain the preferable route to supply phosphors to future lighting systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorescent lamps; light emitting diodes; energy efficiency; cathode ray tubes; in-use stock; REEs fluorescent lamps; light emitting diodes; energy efficiency; cathode ray tubes; in-use stock; REEs
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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).

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Ciacci, L.; Vassura, I.; Passarini, F. Shedding Light on the Anthropogenic Europium Cycle in the EU–28. Marking Product Turnover and Energy Progress in the Lighting Sector. Resources 2018, 7, 59.

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