End-of-life resource recovery from emerging electronic products

a case study of robotic vacuum cleaners

Keshav Parajuly, Komal Habib, Ciprian Cimpan, Gang Liu, Henrik Wenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Integrating product design with appropriate end-of-life (EoL) processing is widely recognized to have huge potentials in improving resource recovery from electronic products. In this study, we investigate both the product characteristics and EoL processing of robotic vacuum cleaner (RVC), as a case of emerging electronic product, in order to understand the recovery fate of different materials and its linkage to product design. Ten different brands of RVC were dismantled and their material composition and design profiles were studied. Another 125 RVCs (349 kg) were used for an experimental trial at a conventional ‘shred-and-separate’ type preprocessing plant in Denmark. A detailed material flow analysis was performed throughout the recycling chain. The results show a mismatch between product design and EoL processing, and the lack of practical implementation of ‘Design for EoL’ thinking. In the best-case scenario, only 47% of the total materials in RVCs are ultimately recycled. While this low material recovery is mainly due to the lower plastic recycling rate, other market realities and the complex material flows in the recycling chain also contribute to it. The study provides a robust methodological approach for assessing the EoL performance based on the knowledge of a product and its complex recycling chain. The lessons learned can be used to support both the design and EoL processing of products with similar features, which carry a high potential for resource recovery, especially at the initial stage of the recycling chain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume137
Pages (from-to)652-666
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Vacuum cleaners
robotics
Robotics
Recovery
Recycling
resource
Product design
recycling
Processing
material flow analysis
product
electronics
End of life
Resources
plastic
Chemical analysis

Keywords

  • Robotic vacuum cleaner
  • Material flow analysis
  • Material recovery
  • Design for end-of-life
  • Design for recycling
  • WEEE

Cite this

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title = "End-of-life resource recovery from emerging electronic products: a case study of robotic vacuum cleaners",
abstract = "Integrating product design with appropriate end-of-life (EoL) processing is widely recognized to have huge potentials in improving resource recovery from electronic products. In this study, we investigate both the product characteristics and EoL processing of robotic vacuum cleaner (RVC), as a case of emerging electronic product, in order to understand the recovery fate of different materials and its linkage to product design. Ten different brands of RVC were dismantled and their material composition and design profiles were studied. Another 125 RVCs (349 kg) were used for an experimental trial at a conventional ‘shred-and-separate’ type preprocessing plant in Denmark. A detailed material flow analysis was performed throughout the recycling chain. The results show a mismatch between product design and EoL processing, and the lack of practical implementation of ‘Design for EoL’ thinking. In the best-case scenario, only 47{\%} of the total materials in RVCs are ultimately recycled. While this low material recovery is mainly due to the lower plastic recycling rate, other market realities and the complex material flows in the recycling chain also contribute to it. The study provides a robust methodological approach for assessing the EoL performance based on the knowledge of a product and its complex recycling chain. The lessons learned can be used to support both the design and EoL processing of products with similar features, which carry a high potential for resource recovery, especially at the initial stage of the recycling chain.",
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author = "Keshav Parajuly and Komal Habib and Ciprian Cimpan and Gang Liu and Henrik Wenzel",
year = "2016",
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pages = "652--666",
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End-of-life resource recovery from emerging electronic products : a case study of robotic vacuum cleaners. / Parajuly, Keshav; Habib, Komal; Cimpan, Ciprian; Liu, Gang; Wenzel, Henrik.

In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 137, 2016, p. 652-666.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - End-of-life resource recovery from emerging electronic products

T2 - a case study of robotic vacuum cleaners

AU - Parajuly, Keshav

AU - Habib, Komal

AU - Cimpan, Ciprian

AU - Liu, Gang

AU - Wenzel, Henrik

PY - 2016

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AB - Integrating product design with appropriate end-of-life (EoL) processing is widely recognized to have huge potentials in improving resource recovery from electronic products. In this study, we investigate both the product characteristics and EoL processing of robotic vacuum cleaner (RVC), as a case of emerging electronic product, in order to understand the recovery fate of different materials and its linkage to product design. Ten different brands of RVC were dismantled and their material composition and design profiles were studied. Another 125 RVCs (349 kg) were used for an experimental trial at a conventional ‘shred-and-separate’ type preprocessing plant in Denmark. A detailed material flow analysis was performed throughout the recycling chain. The results show a mismatch between product design and EoL processing, and the lack of practical implementation of ‘Design for EoL’ thinking. In the best-case scenario, only 47% of the total materials in RVCs are ultimately recycled. While this low material recovery is mainly due to the lower plastic recycling rate, other market realities and the complex material flows in the recycling chain also contribute to it. The study provides a robust methodological approach for assessing the EoL performance based on the knowledge of a product and its complex recycling chain. The lessons learned can be used to support both the design and EoL processing of products with similar features, which carry a high potential for resource recovery, especially at the initial stage of the recycling chain.

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SN - 0959-6526

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