Biotechnological strategies for the recovery of valuable and critical raw materials from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) – A review

Arda Işıldar*, Eric D. van Hullebusch, Markus Lenz, Gijs Du Laing, Alessandra Marra, Alessandra Cesaro, Sandeep Panda, Ata Akcil, Mehmet Ali Kucuker, Kerstin Kuchta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Critical raw materials (CRMs) are essential in the development of novel high-tech applications. They are essential in sustainable materials and green technologies, including renewable energy, emissionfree electric vehicles and energy-efficient lighting. However, the sustainable supply of CRMs is a major concern. Recycling end-of-life devices is an integral element of the CRMs supply policy of many countries. Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is an important secondary source of CRMs. Currently, pyrometallurgical processes are used to recycle metals from WEEE. These processes are deemed imperfect, energy-intensive and non-selective towards CRMs. Biotechnologies are a promising alternative to the current industrial best available technologies (BAT). In this review, we present the current frontiers in CRMs recovery from WEEE using biotechnology, the biochemical fundamentals of these bio-based technologies and discuss recent research and development (R&D) activities. These technologies encompass biologically induced leaching (bioleaching) from various matrices,biomass-induced sorption (biosorption), and bioelectrochemical systems (BES).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-481
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Bioleaching
  • Bioprecipitation
  • Biosorption
  • Biotechnologies
  • Critical metals
  • Electronic waste

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