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Resources, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-339

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Resources in 2013
Resources 2014, 3(1), 180-181; doi:10.3390/resources3010180
Received: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Resources would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle “Norm-Oriented Interpretation Learning” and Resource Use: The Concept of “Open-Didactic Exploration” as a Contribution to Raising Awareness of a Responsible Resource Use
Resources 2014, 3(1), 1-30; doi:10.3390/resources3010001
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 17 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is widely accepted that environmental awareness is essential, yet does not inevitably lead to responsible use of resources. Additional factors on the individual level include the meaning constructed by the term “resources” and the individual and social norms that influence the relevant
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It is widely accepted that environmental awareness is essential, yet does not inevitably lead to responsible use of resources. Additional factors on the individual level include the meaning constructed by the term “resources” and the individual and social norms that influence the relevant behavior. Current didactic concepts do not take into account such aspects. Therefore, this article uses a didactic-psychological approach for designing an educational concept for raising awareness for a responsible use of natural resources. Combining insights of environmental psychology and of constructivist didactics, a general principal of “norm-oriented interpretation learning” is outlined to enrich the didactic debate on responsible and efficient resource use. Based on the presentation of a qualifying module for resource efficiency consultants as a practical example of resource education, a new didactical approach, namely “open-didactic exploration” (short form: ODE) is introduced. The article discusses the theory-based elements of ODE and illustrates a step by step process for designing educational materials. This adds to the theoretical debate about a didactic design for resource oriented education. Furthermore, this method can be directly used by practitioners developing education and training material (e.g., teachers, trainers in vocational education). The Wuppertal Institute developed and applied this method in numerous projects. The conclusion and outlook discusses future expectations and scope of the introduced ODE method as a contribution to foster “norm-oriented interpretation learning”, suggesting perspectives for further development. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Meta-Analysis of Hedonic Studies to Assess the Property Value Effects of Low Impact Development
Resources 2014, 3(1), 31-61; doi:10.3390/resources3010031
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 24 December 2013 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stormwater runoff from urban areas is a significant source of water pollution in the United States. Many states are promoting low impact development (LID) practices, which provide a variety of direct and ancillary ecosystem services. We describe a meta-analysis designed to evaluate the
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Stormwater runoff from urban areas is a significant source of water pollution in the United States. Many states are promoting low impact development (LID) practices, which provide a variety of direct and ancillary ecosystem services. We describe a meta-analysis designed to evaluate the property value benefits of LID practices that reduce impervious surfaces and increase vegetated areas in developments, and present an example application to a hypothetical land use scenario. From the many hedonic property valuation studies of the benefits of general open space, we identified 35 studies that valued open spaces that were similar in nature to the small, dispersed open spaces characteristic of LID. The meta-regression estimates the percent change in a home’s value for an observed percent change in open space within a specific radius of a parcel, based on changes expected to result from LID approaches that increase green spaces. Our results indicate that the design and characteristics of a project affect the magnitude of benefits, and that values decline with distance. More broadly, the meta-analysis shows percent change and proximity are robust determinants of household willingness to pay for aesthetic and other services associated with local availability of small, dispersed open spaces resulting from LID, but that values for other features, including type of vegetation and recreational use may be site-specific. Policymakers and developers could draw on our synthesis of site characteristics’ effects to maximize benefits from open space associated with LID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Service Valuation, Its Measurement and Uses)
Open AccessArticle What Gives You a Social Licence? An Exploration of the Social Licence to Operate in the Australian Mining Industry
Resources 2014, 3(1), 62-80; doi:10.3390/resources3010062
Received: 10 November 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article analyses the ways in which major, multinational mining companies operating within Australia understand sustainable development and articulate their “social licence to operate”. The article contributes a novel perspective to ongoing discussions about the social licence by exploring the ways in which
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This article analyses the ways in which major, multinational mining companies operating within Australia understand sustainable development and articulate their “social licence to operate”. The article contributes a novel perspective to ongoing discussions about the social licence by exploring the ways in which leading Australian mining companies define and assert their social licences through sustainable development discourse. A content and discourse analysis of 18 sustainability reports across a four year period, supplemented by qualitative interview data, draws out these issues. While most companies use these reports to confirm beliefs in the necessity of a social licence, the ways in which the licence is specifically defined and maintained are not generally made explicit. Additionally, key theoretical criteria required for a social licence, such as free, prior and informed consent, appear to be overlooked. In conclusion, the article suggests ways in which criteria for a social licence within the mining industry could be defined more clearly and raises consequent questions to shape future research. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Atmospheric Stability on the Accuracy of Wind Speed Extrapolation Methods
Resources 2014, 3(1), 81-105; doi:10.3390/resources3010081
Received: 3 December 2013 / Revised: 25 December 2013 / Accepted: 8 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (4158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The building of utility-scale wind farms requires knowledge of the wind speed climatology at hub height (typically 80–100 m). As most wind speed measurements are taken at 10 m above ground level, efforts are being made to relate 10-m measurements to approximate hub-height
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The building of utility-scale wind farms requires knowledge of the wind speed climatology at hub height (typically 80–100 m). As most wind speed measurements are taken at 10 m above ground level, efforts are being made to relate 10-m measurements to approximate hub-height wind speeds. One common extrapolation method is the power law, which uses a shear parameter to estimate the wind shear between a reference height and hub height. The shear parameter is dependent on atmospheric stability and should ideally be determined independently for different atmospheric stability regimes. In this paper, data from the Oklahoma Mesonet are used to classify atmospheric stability and to develop stability-dependent power law fits for a nearby tall tower. Shear exponents developed from one month of data are applied to data from different seasons to determine the robustness of the power law method. In addition, similarity theory-based methods are investigated as possible alternatives to the power law. Results indicate that the power law method performs better than similarity theory methods, particularly under stable conditions, and can easily be applied to wind speed data from different seasons. In addition, the importance of using co-located near-surface and hub-height wind speed measurements to develop extrapolation fits is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
Open AccessArticle Revisiting Rebound Effects from Material Resource Use. Indications for Germany Considering Social Heterogeneity
Resources 2014, 3(1), 106-122; doi:10.3390/resources3010106
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 7 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (305 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In contrast to the original investigation by William Stanley Jevons, compensations of energy savings due to improved energy efficiency are mostly analyzed by providing energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. In support of a sustainable resource management, this paper analyzes so-called rebound effects
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In contrast to the original investigation by William Stanley Jevons, compensations of energy savings due to improved energy efficiency are mostly analyzed by providing energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. In support of a sustainable resource management, this paper analyzes so-called rebound effects based on resource use. Material flows and associated expenditures by households allow for calculating resource intensities and marginal propensities to consume. Marginal propensities to consume are estimated from data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in order to account for indirect rebound effects for food, housing and mobility. Resource intensities are estimated in terms of total material requirements per household final consumption expenditures along the Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose (COICOP). Eventually, rebound effects are indicated on the basis of published saving scenarios in resource and energy demand for Germany. In sum, compensations due to rebound effects are lowest for food while the highest compensations are induced for mobility. This is foremost the result of a relatively high resource intensity of food and a relatively low resource intensity in mobility. Findings are provided by giving various propensity scenarios in order to cope with income differences in Germany. The author concludes that policies on resource conservation need to reconsider rebound effects under the aspect of social heterogeneity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social and Environmental Impact of the Rare Earth Industries
Resources 2014, 3(1), 123-134; doi:10.3390/resources3010123
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 13 February 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of rare earth elements in various technologies continues to grow despite some alternatives being found for particular uses. Given a history of ecological concerns about pollution from rare earth mines, particularly in China, there are growing social and environmental concerns about
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The use of rare earth elements in various technologies continues to grow despite some alternatives being found for particular uses. Given a history of ecological concerns about pollution from rare earth mines, particularly in China, there are growing social and environmental concerns about the growth of the mining and mineral processing in this sector. This is best exemplified by the recent social and environmental conflict surrounding the development of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Kuantan, Malaysia which led to international activism and claims of environmental and social injustice. This paper analyses the structure of environmental and social conflicts surrounding rare earth minerals and opportunities for improving the social and environmental performance of the sector. Many of these elements are used for green technologies. Opportunities exist that offer a more circular supply chain following industrial ecological principles through which reuse and recycling of the materials can provide a means of mitigating social and environmental conflicts in this sector. In addition, public engagement processes that recognize community concerns about radiation, and transparent scientifically predicated decision-making through an appropriate governance structure within regulatory organizations are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle The Nagoya Protocol: Fragmentation or Consolidation?
Resources 2014, 3(1), 135-151; doi:10.3390/resources3010135
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 1 February 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 17 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In October, 2010, a protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of genetic resources was adopted, the so-called Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Before
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In October, 2010, a protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of genetic resources was adopted, the so-called Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Before the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol, the governance architecture of ABS was already characterized by a multifaceted institutional environment. The use of genetic resources is confronted with many issues (conservation, research and development, intellectual property rights, food security, health issues, climate change) that are governed by different institutions and agreements. The Nagoya Protocol contributes to increased fragmentation. However, the question arises whether this new regulatory framework can help to advance the implementation of the ABS provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This paper attempts to find an answer to that question by following three analytical steps. First, it analyzes the causes of change against the background of theories of institutional change. Second, it aims to assess the typology of the architecture in order to find out if this new set of rules will contribute to a more synergistic, cooperative or conflictive architecture of ABS governance. Third, the paper looks at the problem of “fit” and identifies criteria that can be used to assess the new ABS governance architecture with regard to its effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equitable and Sustainable Use of Genetic Resources)
Open AccessArticle Farming System Evolution and Adaptive Capacity: Insights for Adaptation Support
Resources 2014, 3(1), 182-214; doi:10.3390/resources3010182
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies of climate impacts on agriculture and adaptation often provide current or future assessments, ignoring the historical contexts farming systems are situated within. We investigate how historical trends have influenced farming system adaptive capacity in Uganda using data from household surveys, semi-structured interviews,
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Studies of climate impacts on agriculture and adaptation often provide current or future assessments, ignoring the historical contexts farming systems are situated within. We investigate how historical trends have influenced farming system adaptive capacity in Uganda using data from household surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus-group discussions and observations. By comparing two farming systems, we note three major findings: (1) similar trends in farming system evolution have had differential impacts on the diversity of farming systems; (2) trends have contributed to the erosion of informal social and cultural institutions and an increasing dependence on formal institutions; and (3) trade-offs between components of adaptive capacity are made at the farm-scale, thus influencing farming system adaptive capacity. To identify the actual impacts of future climate change and variability, it is important to recognize the dynamic nature of adaptation. In practice, areas identified for further adaptation support include: shift away from one-size-fits-all approach the identification and integration of appropriate modern farming method; a greater focus on building inclusive formal and informal institutions; and a more nuanced understanding regarding the roles and decision-making processes of influential, but external, actors. More research is needed to understand farm-scale trade-offs and the resulting impacts across spatial and temporal scales. Full article
Open AccessArticle Consideration of Wind Speed Variability in Creating a Regional Aggregate Wind Power Time Series
Resources 2014, 3(1), 215-234; doi:10.3390/resources3010215
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 29 January 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For the purposes of understanding the impacts on the electricity network, estimates of hourly aggregate wind power generation for a region are required. However, the availability of wind production data for the UK is limited, and studies often rely on measured wind speeds
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For the purposes of understanding the impacts on the electricity network, estimates of hourly aggregate wind power generation for a region are required. However, the availability of wind production data for the UK is limited, and studies often rely on measured wind speeds from a network of meteorological (met) stations. Another option is to use historical wind speeds from a reanalysis dataset, with a resolution of around 40–50 km. Mesoscale models offer a potentially more desirable solution, with a homogeneous set of wind speeds covering a wide area at resolutions of 1–50 km, but they are computationally expensive to run at high resolution. An understanding of the most appropriate choice of data requires knowledge of the variability in time and space and how well that is represented by the choice of model. Here it is demonstrated that in regions offshore, or in relatively smooth terrain where variability in wind speeds is smaller, lower resolution models or single point records may suffice to represent aggregate power generation in a sub-region. The need for high resolution modelling in areas of complex terrain where spatial and temporal variability is higher is emphasised, particularly when the distribution of wind generation capacity is uneven over the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
Open AccessArticle GIS and Urban Mining
Resources 2014, 3(1), 235-247; doi:10.3390/resources3010235
Received: 5 December 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 3 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Geographical information systems (GIS) are a kind of location intelligence technology that supports systematic collection, integration, analysis and sharing of spatial data. They provide an effective tool for characterising and visualising geographical distributions of recyclable resources or materials dispersed across urban environments in
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Geographical information systems (GIS) are a kind of location intelligence technology that supports systematic collection, integration, analysis and sharing of spatial data. They provide an effective tool for characterising and visualising geographical distributions of recyclable resources or materials dispersed across urban environments in what may be described as “urban mines”. As logistics can be a key barrier to recycling, GIS are critical for capturing and analysing location intelligence about the distribution and values of recyclable resources and associated collection systems to effectively empower and inform the policy makers and the broader community with comprehensive, accurate and accessible information. This paper reviews the functionality of modern GIS, discusses the potential role of GIS in urban mining studies, and describes how GIS can be used to measure, report, analyse and visualise the spatial or geographical characteristics of dispersed stocks of recyclable waste and their collection and recovery systems. Such information can then be used to model material flows and assess the social and environmental impacts of urban mining. Issues and challenges in the use of GIS for urban mining are also to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle Business Model Innovation to Create and Capture Resource Value in Future Circular Material Chains
Resources 2014, 3(1), 248-274; doi:10.3390/resources3010248
Received: 19 January 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article briefly discusses the origins and development of the business model concept resulting in a high level definition. Against this backdrop, frameworks from the literature around green business models with examples of green business models and the business model innovation process are
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This article briefly discusses the origins and development of the business model concept resulting in a high level definition. Against this backdrop, frameworks from the literature around green business models with examples of green business models and the business model innovation process are presented. The article then discusses the origins and meaning of different "green" concepts relevant for the circular value chain concluding with a high level definition. The article finally outline the process by which a business model for a circular value chain can be developed taking into account the social dilemma that exist in these type of situations. The article concludes with the specific questions that need to be answered in order to create an appropriate business model for a circular value chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle Towards Responsible Steel: Preliminary Insights
Resources 2014, 3(1), 275-290; doi:10.3390/resources3010275
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1066 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the structures and processes underpinning the attempt of the Australian steel industry to establish a certification scheme for Responsible Steel. We take it as a case example of how collective action and collaboration along a supply chain has the potential
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This paper examines the structures and processes underpinning the attempt of the Australian steel industry to establish a certification scheme for Responsible Steel. We take it as a case example of how collective action and collaboration along a supply chain has the potential to be a win-win situation for the environment and for the competitiveness of an industry sector. The paper identifies the drivers that have prompted key stakeholders from all major sectors of the Australian steel product life cycle from mining through steel manufacturing, processing, product fabrication, use and re-use, and recycling to collaborate in the establishment of the Steel Stewardship Forum (SSF), the structure established to lead the development of the certification scheme. The development of this initiative is indicative of the wider shift to sustainability-related certification schemes as a means of garnering legitimacy and market advantage and provides detailed insights into both the drivers for and the challenges associated with such initiatives. Findings from the paper contribute to our understanding of the shift to sustainable supply chains as it is interpreted through institutional and institutional entrepreneurship theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle Recycling Potentials of Critical Metals-Analyzing Secondary Flows from Selected Applications
Resources 2014, 3(1), 291-318; doi:10.3390/resources3010291
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (540 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Metal mobilization in general, as well as the number of metals used in products to increase performance and provide sometimes unique functionalities, has increased steadily in the past decades. Materials, such as indium, gallium, platinum group metals (PGM), and rare earths (RE), are
[...] Read more.
Metal mobilization in general, as well as the number of metals used in products to increase performance and provide sometimes unique functionalities, has increased steadily in the past decades. Materials, such as indium, gallium, platinum group metals (PGM), and rare earths (RE), are used ever more frequently in high-tech applications and their criticality as a function of economic importance and supply risks has been highlighted in various studies. Nevertheless, recycling rates are often below one percent. Against this background, secondary flows of critical metals from three different end-of-life products up to 2020 are modeled and losses along the products’ end-of-life (EOL) chain are identified. Two established applications of PGM and RE–industrial catalysts and thermal barrier coatings–and CIGS photovoltaic cells as a relatively new product have been analyzed. In addition to a quantification of future EOL flows, the analysis showed that a relatively well working recycling system exists for PGM-bearing catalysts, while a complete loss of critical metals occurs for the other applications. The reasons include a lack of economic incentives, technologically caused material dissipation and other technological challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle Global Patterns of Material Flows and their Socio-Economic and Environmental Implications: A MFA Study on All Countries World-Wide from 1980 to 2009
Resources 2014, 3(1), 319-339; doi:10.3390/resources3010319
Received: 17 December 2013 / Revised: 8 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1394 KB) | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses world-wide patterns of material extraction, trade, consumption and productivity based on a new data set for economy-wide material flows, covering used materials for all countries world-wide between 1980 and 2009. We show that global material extraction has grown by more
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This paper assesses world-wide patterns of material extraction, trade, consumption and productivity based on a new data set for economy-wide material flows, covering used materials for all countries world-wide between 1980 and 2009. We show that global material extraction has grown by more than 90% over the past 30 years and is reaching almost 70 billion tonnes today. Also, trade volumes in physical terms have increased by a factor of 2.5 over the past 30 years, and in 2009, 9.3 billion tonnes of raw materials and products were traded around the globe. China has turned into the biggest consumer of materials world-wide and together with the US, India, Brazil and Russia, consumes more than 50% of all globally extracted materials. We also show that the per-capita consumption levels are very uneven, with a factor of more than 60 between the country with the lowest and highest consumption in 2009. On average, each human being consumed 10 tonnes of materials in 2009, 2 tonnes more than in 1980. We discuss whether decoupling of economies’ growth from resource use has occurred and analyse interrelations of material use with human development. Finally, we elaborate on key environmental problems related to various material groups. Full article

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Metal Extraction Processes for Electronic Waste and Existing Industrial Routes: A Review and Australian Perspective
Resources 2014, 3(1), 152-179; doi:10.3390/resources3010152
Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 5 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (1641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The useful life of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has been shortened as a consequence of the advancement in technology and change in consumer patterns. This has resulted in the generation of large quantities of electronic waste (e-waste) that needs to be managed.
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The useful life of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has been shortened as a consequence of the advancement in technology and change in consumer patterns. This has resulted in the generation of large quantities of electronic waste (e-waste) that needs to be managed. The handling of e-waste including combustion in incinerators, disposing in landfill or exporting overseas is no longer permitted due to environmental pollution and global legislations. Additionally, the presence of precious metals (PMs) makes e-waste recycling attractive economically. In this paper, current metallurgical processes for the extraction of metals from e-waste, including existing industrial routes, are reviewed. In the first part of this paper, the definition, composition and classifications of e-wastes are described. In the second part, separation of metals from e-waste using mechanical processing, hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical routes are critically analyzed. Pyrometallurgical routes are comparatively economical and eco-efficient if the hazardous emissions are controlled. Currently, pyrometallurgical routes are used initially for the segregation and upgrading of PMs (gold and silver) into base metals (BMs) (copper, lead and nickel) and followed by hydrometallurgical and electrometallurgical processing for the recovery of pure base and PMs. For the recycling of e-waste in Australia, challenges such as collection, transportation, liberation of metal fractions, and installation of integrated smelting and refining facilities are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wealth from Waste: Urban Metal Resources and Industrial Ecology)
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