Characterization of material outputs from an electronics demanufacturing facility

Sanchoy K. Das, Shibu Matthew

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In a typical disassembly facility there are two classes of outputs, (i) retrieved parts or subsystems and (ii) material waste. The material waste is shipped out to either a material reclamation facility or a landfill site. A clear definition of this material output is essential to the modeling and analysis of a disassembly facility. These definitions will determine the appropriate disassembly plan, process economics, and handling requirements. In this paper we introduce and define the majority of outputs from electronic disassembly plants. The work is based on studies conducted at several commercial facilities. For each output the purity thresholds, the most likely recycling paths, and the potential reuse values are discussed. Recycling costs tend to increase as the purity of the entering material drops. One of the purposes of disassembly therefore, is to enhance the purity of the output bins. Consider the case of copper, where three output bins are required. Copper foil and trim - contains shielding and wrapping material. Copper high - contains less than 1% contamination and hence contains parts which are made exclusively of copper, the copper is smelted down to bars which are reused in industry. Copper mix - contains up to 30% contamination. The market price ratio between high and mix copper is typically 8:1. A disassembly planner must therefore address several questions in the context of the bins, such as. Is it economical to further disassemble a subassembly so as to increase purity? Is there enough mass to warrant maintaining a high copper bin? We expect the results of this paper will permit the development of assignment type disassembly planning models. We identify eight classes of output bins: ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, sources of precious metals, packaging materials, glass and ceramics, plastics, hazardous parts, and paper. Specific bins are discussed in detail. Common sources of these outputs are also discussed, and the relative market value is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 7th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE-1999 - Danvers, MA, USA
Duration: May 11 1999May 13 1999


ConferenceProceedings of the 1999 7th IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, ISEE-1999
CityDanvers, MA, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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