Process of electronic waste or e-waste and extracting valuble metals


Do you know the meaning of e- waste ? We all use electronic products in our day to day life. When they become old or useless we will throw them away. But, do you know how e- waste will impact the environment and how e-waste can be recycled to produce useful metals from them. This article will help you to know these details.

India is the second largest market for mobile phones and there are nearly 100 crore telecom customers. India being one of the top international centers for IT Services, Computer usage is also high. Household usage of electronics is also increasing day by day.

People are changing a mobile phone every six months, a new TV for every two years or a changing a computer etc. But, do you ever think where these old electronics are going. All these used electronic products also called e- waste are becoming lakhs of tons every year. India is in fifth place in e-waste generation in the world. According to the ASSOCHAM-KPMG estimate, the e-waste is generating at 30% increase a year and may become 52 lakh metric tonnes by 2020. According to experts, if we can recycle this e-waste, we can generate useful metals out of them . If we leave this e- waste, it may cause harm to the environment.

How this e-waste is defined?

The used electronic products which are not in use, which are in repair and not useful, which are useless are considered as e-waste. The used electronics which are considered as e-waste are as follows:
  • Computers

  • Mobile phones

  • Chargers

  • CD/DVD

  • Eye phones/Head phones

  • LCD/Plasma screens

  • TV's, AC, Refrigerator etc.

  • From where this e-waste is being generated

  • Household generated - 16%

  • Government, private sector companies and
    Government offices - 74%

  • Percentage of e-waste generated from various Electronic products

  • Computers - 70%

  • Telecom devices - 12%

  • Electrical appliances - 8%

  • Medical devices. - 7%

  • Household electronics - 4%

  • In India 18 lakh tonnes of e-waste is generating every year

    How this e-waste is generated world wide


  • As of now every year, 93.50 million tonnes of e-wste is generated world wide.

  • It is estimated by 2018, 130 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated.

  • By recycling e-waste in that is gathered in 2014, 300 tonnes of gold is extracted.

  • Problems with recycling e-waste in India

  • In India, domestically 95% of the industries are unorganized.

  • There are no well established Technologies to recycle e-waste in India

  • Organizations are not able to follow advanced technologies which makes workers to get affected by diseases

  • Prolong working with metals like mercury, cadmium and glass also leads to diseases.

  • What can be extracted by recycling e-waste

  • Many valuable metals like Gold, Silver, Palladium and Steel are present in the e-waste

  • There are many business opportunities in extracting and reducing of valuable metals from the E-Waste

  • Domestically only 1-5% of the total E-Waste generated is being recycled.

  • Currently, the domestic E-Waste processing industry is only Rs. 30,000 crores, but it is expected to reach Rs. 1,25,000 cores by 2020.

  • Various valuable metals extracted from e-waste world-wide

  • Iron, Steel. - 16,500 Kilo tonnes

  • Copper. - 1,900 Kilo tonnes

  • Aluminium. - 220. Kilo tonnes

  • Gold. - 0.3 Kilo tonnes

  • Silver. - 1.0. Kilo tonnes

  • So the government has to take responsibility to encourage industries for recycling of e-waste , as they may harm the environment and as recycling them will provide some valuable metals.


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