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Newsletter #1. July, 2016
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Why we need CloseWEEE?

Waste of electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) is a complex waste stream comprising of metal, glass, wood, and plastic, as well as others including several hazardous components.

In 2012, Eurostat reported that 9.5M tonnes of waste electric and electronic equipment was produced in Europe, by far exceeding the 3.3 M tonnes of collected waste.

WEEE contains significant amounts of highly valuable materials and hazardous compounds. For that reason, the recovery of secondary raw materials from WEEE is mandatory and has been requested by the European WEEE directive (2012/19/EU).

CloseWEEE is developing integrated solutions for pre-processing of electronic equipment, closing the loop of post-consumer high-grade plastics, whilst recovering critical raw materials including antimony and graphite.

CloseWEEE focuses on secondary raw materials and aims at improving the separation and recovery of the following target materials:

  • Advanced recovery of valuable plastic streams (PC-ABS and ABS) which do not have an scheduled recycling system yet
  • Resource-efficient and innovative recovery of additives, critical minerals, and metals from WEEE streams
  • Improve the flow of information to recyclers through a Recycler Information Center in order to make recycling procedures quicker and safer
Why we need to know about circular economies?
In this passionate speech, Janet Gunter explains the concept of "Restart Parties", community self-repair events, where all kinds of electronics are taken apart and repaired by owners together with volunteer repairers, with the aim of reducing e-waste, promoting increased lifespan and sharing repair skills. 

Play video
How CloseWEEE will improve the information flow to recyclers?
One of CloseWEEE's goals is to improve the flow of information to recyclers through a Recyclers Information Center (RIC) in order to make recycling procedures quicker and safer.

The online platform will be developed by iFixit GmbH (www.ifixit.com) in collaboration with Fraunhofer IZM (www.izm.fraunhofer.de), and DRZ Wien (www.drz-wien.at).
The platform is intended to constitute a centralised source of visually illustrated, multilingual information
The RIC platform will contribute information that improves the safeness, efficiency, and speed of the procedures for reusing, harvesting, and treating of WEEE with a view to recycle its material content.  The platform will also include information on the presence of hazardous substances, disassembly procedures both for generic product categories and for specific product models, state of the art options, technologies for recovery of fractions, and disposal of hazardous materials commonly found in WEEE.

This information will be converted from a variety of formats into the standardised open source format IEEE 1874, also known as oManual (www.omanual.org).

 
By providing this information in a centralised manner, the project aims to improve the efficiency of manual disassembly and/or pre-separation both in the case of repair/reuse and recycling. In the first case, this would allow for more cost-effective repair and/or harvesting of components; in the second case, better pre-processing is expected to lead to higher quality of recycled fractions.
The RIC Platform offers specific benefits to the various target user groups, which range from small manual e-waste dismantling facilities to large-scale processors, recyclers, and refurbishers as well as academia and the government
Specifically, it can help reduce the ecological footprint of WEEE treatment in the EU while preserving long-term profitability for WEEE operators.

A beta version of the platform is currently being tested and will be presented at a workshop aimed at e-waste treatment operators, which will be organised in September at DRZ in Vienna. The official launch of the platform is scheduled for next autumn.
All interested parties are kindly invited to contact
thomas.opsomer@ifixit.com
for further information
Recent study raises the question of consumer safety vs resouce efficiency
A recent study shows that a large portion of Brominated Flame Retardants ends up in PCR plastics which raises the question of consumer safety vs resource efficiency. 
 
"A mass flow analysis showed that, from the initial content of POP-BDEs in the products destined for recycling, around one-fifth can be transferred to the new products made from recycled plastics. Indeed, these BFRs were found in various new products, including children’s toys".

Read the article
What is new?

Coolrec is specialized in all different types of WEEE-treatments in 4 countries with 8 locations in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany. In Waalwijk (The Netherlands) it has a plastic recycling company with a capacity of treatment of plastics up to 60.000 ton a year. On 3 lines with 5 shifts we process 24/7 different types of plastics such as PP, HDPE, HIPS and ABS.

Coolrec is involved into CloseWEEE project to investigate all possibilities of its implementation and itnow it is using sink/float techniques and novelty since last year is electrostatically separation of ABS and HIPS into a high purity. Regarding the flame retardants there is still a challenge remaining as WEEE-Directive legislation has a ban of using certain types of flame retardants. As there are no distinction techniques available in the market nowadays the way of chemical recycling as still the best alternative.
Sitraplas is evaluating the flow properties and the processability of the recovered polymer through compounding.

Moreover, Sitraplas is working on developing new compound formulations including the recovered polymers in order to produce polymer compounds suitable for E&E applications as well as studying the industrial scale up.
 
Accurec is developing a novel recycling process for End-of-Life Li-ion batteries, aiming to optimize the recovery rate of critical metals and minerals (Co, Li, Cu and graphite). After designing the process chain, Accurec is performing at present verification tests of the processing steps. The first results are expected in 2017. 
 
Tecnalia is developing an Halogen-free flame retardants system based in the synergic effect of Phosphorus based flame retardants (TPP (triphenyl phosphate), RDP (Resorcinol Bis- (Diphenyl Phosphate)), BDP (Bisphenol A Bis-(Diphenyl Phosphate)), and RDX (Resorcinol bis(2,6-dixylenyl phosphate)) and nanoparticles  for PC-ABS recovered compounds. The inclusion of properly dispersed nanoparticles has been demonstrated to reduce significantly the heat release rate as well as a reduced tendency for dripping of flaming polymer parts during material burning. The mechanism involved in nanocomposites fire retardance is based on formation of a ceramic protective, insulating layer on the surface of the burning material resulting from coalescence of nanofillers enclosing char from surface polymer charring. Several HFFR systems has been developed for V0 classification according UL94 standard.. 
 
The Electronics Goes Green 2016+ will be carried out between September 7th and 9th 2016 in Berlin, Germany. It is the world’s leading conference on electronics & the environment and offers a place to show your results and innovative solutions for specific green versions. The event also showcases the future trends and solutions towards sustainable development in electronics sector for the community. 

Fraunhofer, IVV, DRZ Wien, iFixit are holding presentations on this conference.
 
For further information, please visit:
 http://electronicsgoesgreen.org/conference-topics/
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