Possibilities of recycling LED diodes

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Mariola Saternus, PhD DSC, Joanna Willner PhD, Agnieszka Fornalczyk PhD, Magdalena Lisińska MsC

LED technology is widely used in various fields of industries. It is now one of the fastest growing technologies. LEDs increasingly replace light bulbs, halogen lamps, fluorescent lamps and are widely used at traffic lights, car lighting, decorative lighting, office or home lighting as an energyefficient light source. Unlike fluorescent lamps LEDs have low power consumption, very high quality of continuous light, which is warm and pleasant. LEDs are made from safe materials, unlike fluorescent lamps which contain harmful mercury. In the background of growing popularity and increasing use of LED diodes, their amount will grow in post-consumer waste stream.

Currently LEDs are made from a variety of semiconductor materials, that combine the elements gallium, aluminum and indium with arsenic, phosphorus and nitrogen. Other components enclosed in the LEDs device contain additional metals such as iron, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, silver, gold and rare earth elements. In case of uncontrolled treatment and under favorable environmental conditions, the material may exhibit toxic properties. On the other hand, the quantitative and qualitative composition of LEDs makes this material attractive in terms of recovery of the above-mentioned metals.

It is therefore necessary to take needed steps aiming at comprehensive assessment in dealing with this type of material, regarding both environmental impact as well as potential for extraction and recovery of valuable metals. Bearing in mind the growing demand for critical and rare earth metals, search for and development of new recycling strategy, focused on the recovery of valuable metals, while maintaining environmental standards, should be a priority. So the paper focuses mainly on metals concentrations in the LEDs and the possibilities to recover them.

Diese Kategorie durchsuchen: Recycling / Waste