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Material Hygiene: An EcoDesign mindset for recycling of products
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Elements.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In recent years the end-of-life phase has come into focus. European Union directives have been issued regulating certain product groups and producer responsibility. Vehicles and electronic products are the first to be identified and targeted. EU environmental legislation acts as a driver for increased reuse, recycling and recovery. The overall aim of the presented activities has been to increase the effectiveness of current recycling practices, both in terms of design changes and end-of-life treatment process suggestions. A “pre-step” operation has been suggested, in order to either salvage valuable (or toxic) material or to remove diluting bulk material. As this thesis is focused on the recycling of white-goods specifically dishwashers the suggested prestep would be removal of valuable copper prior to shredding. A life cycle assessment (LCA) study has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to determine if using a pre-step is beneficial from an environmental point of view or not. Furthermore, an experiment on the usability of recycled polymers from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been performed. Based on this work polymer recycling process suggestions are presented. Based on research in the fields of design for recycling, design for disassembly and EcoDesign the material hygiene (MH) concept of design for recycling is formulated. This concept is tested on a disassembly field study carried out at a waste collection facility and a polymer recycling experiment at a refrigerator fragmentation plant. Five MH factors are suggested: MH Mix, MH Identification, MH Resources, and MH Weight and MH Map. Additionally, a MH mind-set is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , xii, 82 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2008:07
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9529ISBN: 978-91-7415-172-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9529DiVA: diva2:117402
Public defence
2008-11-28, Sal M2, KTH, Brinellvägen 64, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100816Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Material Hygiene: An EcoDesign Mindset for Optimized Material Use
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Material Hygiene: An EcoDesign Mindset for Optimized Material Use
2006 (English)In: Proceedings of 13th CIRP Life Cycle Engineering 2006 volume 2, 2006, 389-392 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Materials are a strategic resource and the increasing prices for metals call for an optimized materials use.The prices for materials due to demands, growing faster than the production of virgin material, have putrecycling in focus. The mindset “material hygiene” is a pedagogical concept aimed at managingcompromises necessary to optimize materials use in products. Consideration to the entire life cycle of aproduct must be taken in order to avoid sub-optimization. This paper will discuss material hygiene aspectsin terms of disassembly and recycling of domestic appliances, especially dishwashers.

Keyword
Material Hygiene, Disassembly, Recycling
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9374 (URN)
Note
QC 20100813Available from: 2008-10-27 Created: 2008-10-27 Last updated: 2010-08-16Bibliographically approved
2. Material Hygiene: Improving recycling of WEEE demonstrated on dishwashers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Material Hygiene: Improving recycling of WEEE demonstrated on dishwashers
2009 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 17, no 1, 26-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There must be a change in attitude towards end-of-life products. The view that these products pose a liability must be changed. Secondary material is valuable as raw material. Thus, activities encouraging changes in opinion are important.

Two major EU directives guide the recycling process; the Directive of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) and the Directive of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Both focus on the input of the recycling system, not on what is coming out of the system.

The WEEE Directive is the legislation on the European level that governs the handling and processing of these types of products. The WEEE Directive is not only aimed at stricter handling and reduction of hazardous materials but also encourages EU member states to support technical development in order to facilitate increased recycling.

In order to properly address these issues a mind-set, material hygiene, has been introduced. The basic idea is to act, in every life cycle phase of the product, towards highest possible efficiency in recycling. The outcome of useful material is in focus.

A study on dishwashers is made with copper outcome as target. The results are based on Swedish conditions but general conclusions can be made. Limited design efforts can raise the outcome of valuable materials, if the recycling process is organized in an optimal manner.

A theoretical concept of disassembly structures is used to draw general conclusions on the case study. Increasing product recycling suitability is one side of the problem: another is increasing effectiveness of handling and processing of end-of-life products.

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of "material hygiene" and based on that demonstrate a method for grading structural properties in a recycling perspective. The findings presented in this paper are based on a field study in which a number of dishwashers were disassembled and analyzed.

Keyword
Recycling; Design; Material hygiene; EcoDesign
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9524 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.02.010 (DOI)000260189300003 ()2-s2.0-50849111419 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100816Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Reducing Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling: Case Study on Dishwashers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reducing Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling: Case Study on Dishwashers
2010 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 14, no 2, 258-269 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Collection and treatment of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is regulated in the European Union by the WEEE Directive. Producers are responsible for take-back and recycling of discarded equipment. Valuable materials are, however, at risk of "getting lost" in current processes. Thus, strategies to minimize losses are sought after. The material hygiene (MH) concept was introduced to address this issue. Structural features, which are important for the outcome of reuse, recovery, and recycling, were investigated in an earlier field study of discarded dishwashers. It was proposed that a prestep, manual removal of copper prior to shredding could increase the purity of recovered material fractions. This article builds on the field study and theoretical reasoning underlying the MH concept. Dishwashers are assumed to be designed for disassembly when the prestep is introduced. A limited life cycle assessment was performed to determine whether the proposed prestep may be environmentally beneficial in a life cycle perspective. Two alternatives were analyzed: Case 1: the current shredding process. Case 2: prestep removal of copper before shredding. Targeted disassembly prior to shredding may reduce the abiotic depletion and global warming potential in a life cycle perspective. The prestep results in increased copper recovery, but, more important, copper contamination of the recovered steel fractions is reduced. The results also highlight the importance of minimizing energy consumption in all process stages.

Keyword
copper removal, design for environment (DfE), industrial ecology, life, cycle assessment (LCA), material hygiene, shredding, extended producer responsibility, weee
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19404 (URN)10.1111/j.1530-9290.2009.00191.x (DOI)000277002900010 ()2-s2.0-77954492438 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100525. Tidigare titel: Reducing life cycle environmental impacts of WEEE recycling by introducing a targeted disassembly operation: Case study on dishwashersAvailable from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Polymer recycling of sorted WEEE at a refrigerator recycling plant
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Polymer recycling of sorted WEEE at a refrigerator recycling plant
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9527 (URN)
Note

QC 20100816

Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2017-06-27Bibliographically approved
5. Improved recycling with life cycle information tagged to the product
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improved recycling with life cycle information tagged to the product
2010 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 18, no 4, 346-354 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Rising demand for product means that the recycling of materials is now more important than ever, saving a lot of energy embedded in materials, thus reducing CO(2) emissions. Providing relevant information can raise the recycling efficiency, which is too low at present. A Recycling Information Matrix (RIM) concentrating on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is suggested in order to facilitate and improve materials recycling. Each RIM focuses on a recycling target, and for each type of product a WEEE vector is constructed. The WEEE vector contains nine hexadecimal numbers where core-recycling info is stored. The WEEE vector can provide direct recycling information escorting the product. Another possibility is to individually identify every single product via RFID technology, giving the potential to look for relevant recycling information in databases. This offers the opportunity to add waste-handling information after the product has entered the market. This would be useful, for example, in tracking substances regarded as non-toxic at time of production which might later be proven to be the opposite. This paper is based on study visits at recycling facilities in Sweden and on many student EcoDesign projects including disassembly of consumer products. Research is done on a focused disassembly of dishwashers and on a polymer recycling experiment at a recycling plant for freezers and refrigerators. Possible escort memories are also studied, especially Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID).

Keyword
Recycling efficiency; EcoDesign; Waste electrical and electronic equipment; WEEE; Design Environment; Product development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9528 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.10.023 (DOI)000275770400007 ()2-s2.0-75149114954 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100816. Updated from submitted to published, 20120315. Previous title: Improved recycling with escort memoriesAvailable from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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