Environmental and Cost Assessment in Recycling of End-of-life LED Bulbs
The 9th biennial conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) and the 25th annual conference of the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), Chicago, Illinois, USA from June 25-29, 2017.
Industries have started to accumulate end of life LED bulbs recently containing critical and precious metals in their chips in addition to the other important materials. Since combination of rare earth materials are complex and often challenging to separate profitably, company may not be willing to recycle precious metals, leading to poor sustainability index of the LED products. Up to date, few studies conducted life cycle assessment and life cycle costing to understand the life cycle impacts and costs of the LED bulbs without detailing the end of life stages and processes that could estimate the environmental benefits and economic profitability in the end of life options of LED bulbs. While researches on optimum recycling process dedicated to LED bulbs recycling are underway, it is important to assess such recycling process from environmental and economic perspectives to understand the recovery potentials of the metals in recycled resources. This study will focus the end of life LED bulbs to estimate the environmental and economic impacts using life cycle assessment and costing methods. This study will encourage companies to recycle LED bulbs and, on the other hand, promote sustainability through the recovery of rare earth resources.