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Freiberg: Innovative procedure which permits the recycling of rare earth metals from smartphone and LCD monitors

Together with the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology has developed a procedure which permits the environmentally friendly and economically profitable joint recycling of vacuum tube and LCD monitors. Screens of old TV sets contain about 30 percent of lead. Small amounts of the valuable metals indium and tin are found in LCD monitors. The solution for recycling lead glass and LCDs excels with its simplicity: With a pyrometallurgical method, both devices are melted together in a furnace. This creates mixed glass, which can be used as glass ceramics, and a plumbiferous phase, which contains all the metals. This, in turn, permits the subsequent recovery of indium or tin.

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