Recycling of rare earths from fluorescent lamps: Value analysis of closing-the-loop under demand and supply uncertainties

Erika Machacek, Jessika Luth Richter, Komal Habib, Polina Klossek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rare earth element (REE) recycling remains low at 1%, despite significant uncertainties related to future supply and demand and EU 2020 energy efficiency objectives. We use a global production network framework of REE flows from mine to REE phosphors in energy-efficient lamps to illustrate the potential of closed-loop recycling for secondary supply under different scenarios of primary supply and forecasted demand for LEDs, CFLs and LFLs. We find that different End-of-Life Recycling Rate scenarios for REE secondary supply range between meeting forecasted REE demand and filling primary supply gaps, and competing with primary supply. Our argument centres on diversifying REE sourcing with recycling and the choice between primary and secondary supply. We stress that secondary REE phosphor supply requires further policy support for lamp collection and a discussion of the value of REE phosphor recycling which underlies its economic feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume104
Issue numberPart A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Energy-efficient lamps
  • Global production network
  • Rare earth elements
  • Recycling
  • Resource conservation

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources

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