End-of-life light emitting diode (LED) associated with its electronic product is a new type of electronic waste (E-waste) and contains considerable amounts of valuable and hazardous metals. Although the quantity of a single LED is small, the total number of end-of-life LEDs is extremely significant that requires proper management and recycling from both resource and environmental points of view. Particularly, metals recycling from electronic waste has been considered as a preferred option to ensure sustainable supply of critical materials. In this research, it demonstrates a methodology to evaluate the criticality and recyclability of various types of end-of-life LEDs. Two factors, i.e. the resource index and technology index, were introduced into identifying the criticality of different types of waste LEDs, which indicates the potentials for effective metals recycling. Furthermore, combined statistical entropy and grading, the recyclability is assessed to identify the viability for metals recycling from different types of end-of-life LEDs. The results of the proposed evaluation methodology suggest that green/high luminous intensity LED exhibits significant potential for metal recycling and blue/high luminous intensity LED exhibits the lowest recycling difficulty. The aims of the research are expected to assist manufacturers and policy-makers improving the recycling effectiveness of waste LEDs especially in the metals recycling stage and developing effective waste management systems and strategies in the end-of-life stage.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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