E-Waste Processing Techniques

On October 1, 2011, in E Waste Management, by Sushant

E-waste processing techniques are being rapidly developed in developed and developing countries to tackle the problem of e-waste. E-waste, which is a word for the electrical and electronic equipments which are discarded by modern society, pose a large problem for disposal. Since these are non biodegradable substances which can prove toxic to the environment if allowed to accumulate in landfills, these need to be recycled or processed in different ways to reduced their toxic effects on the environment and finally on the health of humans and animals.

E-waste recycling process is a vital way of ensuring that the harmful chemicals and materials involved in electronic and electrical equipments cannot cause harm to the environment. Also, it helps better utilization and re-use of materials which can help to prevent more mining activities in developing countries which is again damaging to the environment.

E-Waste Processing Techniques In developing countries the electronic waste is processed by initially dismantling the different equipments and breaking them down into the smallest of components. In most cases, such appliances can be broken down into their frames, circuit boards, plastic casings and power supplies such as batteries. Many of such stripping activity takes place by hand though many automatic shredding equipments have now come into use. However, in developing countries such processes are mostly worked upon by hand and this increases the exposure to toxic chemicals by workers. Humans are also able to identify and segregate the different parts of appliances which is not always possible to automate. However, such manual handling must be conducted under strict health and hygiene standards.

In most e-waste processing techniques, bulk shredders help to break down big and bulky appliances and mechanical separators are used along with granulating machines and screens which help to separate materials such as glass, plastic, metals, which re then forwarded to smelting plants. Magnets, eddying currents and other forms of detectors are used to separate the different forms of materials. Batteries and other forms of toxic materials are removed to be treated separately. Often emissions and harmful smoke from such discarded appliances are enclosed and treated before the treated air is allowed to escape. The cathode ray tubes have leaded glass which finds reuse in car batteries, lead wheel weights or other items. After all forms of toxic items are eliminated the reusable elements are then sorted and forwarded to smelting plants and foundries to be reused as safe construction materials.

In such ways disposal of e-waste can be controlled and processing techniques used to make the most of such discarded appliances and their components.

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