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Characterization of End of Life Personal Computers for Optimum Resource Recovery

P. Parthasarathy, Anantha Murthy K.S, Keshav A Bulbule


The End of Life Personal Computers (EOL-PCs) generated by Information and Communication Technology (ICT), end up in waste streams and form a part of E-waste. This waste forms a secondary resource for many metals and non metals recovered through recycling processes. The computers have undergone revolutionary change in size, shape, configuration and its material content, particularly from the last two decades. However, the Handy-Harmann data of 1966 related to quality and quantity of the material used in manufacturing of computer has been very old and not updated since 1966. This may result in inefficient resource recovery and partially treated waste containing hazardous substances may end up in unauthorized landfill or water bodies causing permanent damage to the environment. Therefore, an attempt has been made to characterize the EOL-PCs model P-III which form a major part of E-waste even today. The results obtained help assessment of economic viability of recoverable and recyclable quantities of metals viz., Fe, Cu, Al, Au, Ag, Pd, etc., non metals like plastics and glass from P-III model computers. The paper also discusses comparative study of latest characterization of EOL-PCs with Handy-Harmann data of 1996.


E-Waste; EOL PCs Characterization; Resource Recovery; Metals & Non-metals; Handy-Harmann

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Greenpeace Press Release 23rd May 2005

E-Waste Assessment in India -GTZ-MAIT-IMRB Press Release, Nov, 2007

Ha NN, Agusa T, Ramu K, Tu NPC, Murata S, Bulbule KA, Parthasarathy P, Takahashi S, Subramanian A, Tanabe S. Contamination by trace elements at e-waste recycling sites in Bangalore,India. Chemoshere. 2009, 76:9-15

Parthasarathy P, Keshav A Bulbule and Anantha Murthy KS. E-Waste Recycling-Best option for Resource Recovery and Sustainable environment. Res J Chem Environ. 2008, 12 (1):93-98


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