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Applied WEEE pre-treatment methods: opportunities to maximizing the recovery of critical metals

Batinic, Bernad, 1969-, Vaccari M., Savvilotidou Vasiliki, Kousaiti Athanasia, Gidarakos Evaggelos, Marinkovic T., Fiore S.

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Year 2018
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation B. Batinic, M. Vaccari, V. Savvilotidou, A. Kousaiti, E. Gidarakos, T. Marinkovic and S. Fiore, "Applied WEEE pre-treatment methods: opportunities to maximizing the recovery of critical metals," Global Nest J., vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 706-711, Sep. 2018. doi: 10.30955/gnj.002589
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WEEE is a fast-growing waste stream that includes potentially hazardous substances, but also valuable secondary raw materials, which can be recovered by adequate recycling and recovery treatment. In the last years, the research interest has moved from the conventional recycling (recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastic, glass and other “mass relevant” fractions presented in WEEE), to the innovational recycling, aimed to recover trace elements, such as critical metals (CMs) and rare earth elements (REEs). Currently, the majority of CMs and REEs are lost during the pre-treatment processes. In this paper, an overview of the most relevant e-waste categories and products in terms of CMs and REEs presence, a description of currently applied pre-treatment methods and fate of the observed group of metals during pre-processing phase, as well as general recommendation in order to avoid losses of CMs and REEs within the WEEE treatment chain, are elaborated.