Estimation of the Potential Recoverable Amount of Critical Metals from Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment in Lithuania
Keywords:critical metals, WEEE, recovery, recycling
The criticality of some materials, defined it the European Union Raw Materials Initiative is relevant for the industry of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) from 2 perspectives: on the one hand the identified metals are necessary for the development of new technologies; on the onther hand – a potential risk exist to face the supply shortage of these materials, what could negatively impact EEE industry. The waste of EEE (WEEE) is one of the best sources for critical metals (CMs), as secondary raw materials, extraction. Therefore, this paper analyses the availability of CMs in the WEEE collected in Lithuania. The total amount of CMs contained in WEEE is estimated based on 2 methodologies and the amounts in 2020 are forecasted. It was evaluated how much CMs recovered from WEEE generated in Lithuania could cover the demand of European decarbonisation technologies in 2020. The estimated modest amounts of CMs, which is determined by a relatively small country in which WEEE management sytem is still in the development phase, shows the need for future research in order to analyse the best availabale technologies or other waste management alternatives in order to retrieve CMs.
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