Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New challenge for producers of refrigerators


The European Union has introduced a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The directive makes producers responsible for the recycling of the electrical and electronic equipment that they put on the market. The results from a study of refrigerators made by CIT Elektronik, Chalmers Industriteknik in Sweden, indicate that the targets of the WEEE directive can not be achieved with the ordinary shredders used today. The study is based on the situation in Sweden, but it will be much the same in other European countries.

CIT Ekologik AB has on commission of Stiftelsen Svenskt Kretslopp, and in cooperation with Electrolux Home Products Operations AB, carried out a comparative cost benefit analysis of recycling electrical and electronic equipment. The main objective of this study has been to assess and compare the environmental and economic performance of recycling of two similar electrical or electronic products, in order to enhance the knowledge of the costs for recycling.

The production of electrical and electronic products is one of the most rapid growing domains of manufacturing industry in the western world today. The rapid growth of consumption of electrical and electronic products increases the generation of waste as well. In January 2003, the European Union introduced a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The directive makes producers responsible for the recycling of the electrical and electronic equipment that they put on the market. By 2006 producers will have to meet recycling and recovery targets mandated by this directive.

In the study two similar products have been analysed in order to:
• compare the economic costs for the recycling of the products,
• study if there are any environmental differences when recycling the products.

The study comprises an environmental analysis based on life cycle assessment (LCA), economic analysis, and a cost benefit analysis. Two types of refrigerators, containing the cooling agents hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) and hydrocarbons (HC) respectively, have been studied. The refrigerators are assumed to be collected from the Swedish households and to be recycled in Sweden. The results of this study show i.a.:
  • that the targets of the WEEE directive for material recycling of refrigerators will not be achieved if the ordinary shredders of today are used,

  • that glass, plastics, and PURfoam (polyuretan foam) must be recycled to a greater extent than today. One problem is that there are difficulties in recycling PURfoam and a lack of use of recovered foam toda,.

  • that the targets of the WEEE directive for material recycling of refrigerators can be achieved if the refrigerator shredders of today are complemented with additional technology,

  • that the targets of the WEEE directive for material recycling of refrigerators decrease the environmental load and the environmental costs, but increase the business economic costs.

Jorun Fahle | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>