Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is considered to increase drastically in the coming decades. WEEE contains considerable quantities of valuable components used in high-tech applications that currently are not recycled. Europe needs to improve and develop Recovery, Recycling and Reuse of critical materials in order to avoid the dependency on imports, high prices and risk of supply imposed by countries owning mineral reserves. RECYVAL-NANO project will develop an innovative recycling process for recovery and reuse of indium, yttrium and neodymium metals from Flat Panels Displays (FPD), one of the most growing waste sources. The project will be addressed not only to the recovery of these critical elements, but also the recycling process developed will result in the direct extraction of metallorganic precursors for direct reuse in the production of high added value nanoparticles that is ITO, Y2O3:Eu3+ and Nd-Fe-B. The project will develop an integral study of the recycling process, starting with logistic issues of the waste collection, optimising mechanical sorting technologies and developing innovative ones for the recovery and concentration of smaller fractions containing indium, yttrium and neodymium, developing simplified solvent extraction routes based on tailored chemical extraction agents able to extract a 95 % of the key metal in a metallorganic extracted solutions, and using these extracted solutions as precursors in the direct production of advanced nanoparticles. RECYVAL-NANO will validate the recycling process developed through the construction, optimisation and demonstration of full pilot lines for mechanical recycling of FPDs and hydrometallurgical metal recovery processes. Finally, the demonstration of the superior performance application of ITO, Y2O3:Eu3+ and Nd-Fe-B nanoparticles in electronic applications of transparent conductors, LEDs and permanent magnets respectively will complete the entire cycle of the project.
The RECYVAL-NANO project, supported by the European Commission under contract number NMP2-SE-2012-310312 has a total budget of 4.411.639,60 €. The project will have a whole duration of four years (December 2012 to November 2016) and the EC contribution amounts to 3.141.676,45 €.