Time-series product and substance flow analyses of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment in China

Habuer, Jun Nakatani, Yuichi Moriguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Given the amounts of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (EoL-EEE) being generated and their contents of both harmful and valuable materials, the EoL-EEE issue should be regarded not only as an emerging environmental problem but also as a resource management strategy in China. At present, in order to provide the basis for managing EoL-EEE at both product and substance levels in China, it is necessary to carry out a quantitative analysis on EoL-EEE and to determine how much of it will be generated and how much materials and substances it contains. In this study, the possession and obsolescence amounts of five types of household appliance (HA) including television (TV) sets and the amounts of substances contained in EoL TV sets were estimated using time-series product flow analysis (PFA) and substance flow analysis (SFA). The results of PFA indicated that the total possession amounts of those five types of HAs will exceed 3.1 billion units in 2030, which will be two times higher than those in 2010. In addition, it was estimated that cumulatively over 4.8-5.1 billion units of these five types of EoL HA would be obsoleted between 2010-2030. The results of SFA on TV sets indicated that the generated amounts of most of the less common metals and a part of common metals such as copper (Cu) would tend to decrease, whereas those of other common metals such as iron (Fe) as well as precious metals would tend to increase in EoL TV sets in 2015-2030. The results of this study provide a quantitative basis for helping decision makers develop strategic policies for the management of EoL-EEE considering both environmental and resource aspects. Moreover, a calculation scheme of obsolete HAs presented in this study can be applied to estimate other types of EoL durable good. Meanwhile, the frameworks of this study will help not only the policy decision makers in the Chinese government but also those in developing countries that are facing similar problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalWaste Management
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • Household appliance
  • Obsolescence amount
  • Product flow analysis
  • Substance flow analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal

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