Electronic waste: hazards and opportunities for urban mining.

Iattoni, Giulia (2019) Electronic waste: hazards and opportunities for urban mining. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Ingegneria per l'ambiente e il territorio [LM-DM270], Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Since a couple of decades, society has been revolutionized by electrical and electronic equipment: it is ubiquitous and once discarded it contributes to generate one of the fastest-growing waste stream categories at this time. The purpose of this study is to discuss the complex nature of the WEEE sector intended as indispensable resource, including also the specific hazards that must be considered for a proper and valorising management. The first chapter introduces the wide background of urban waste in terms of production, collection and disposal. Then, an overview on the flows, classification and legal framework of electronic waste is provided. In the second chapter the analysis will focus on the improper management of e-waste which is extremely intensive and risky, therefore several possible situations will be qualitatively investigated in terms of environmental impacts and risks for human health. The third chapter will explore the concept of urban mining secondary raw materials in the context of e-waste, pointing out the current state of innovation, future challenges and present limitations. The fourth and last chapter of the study applies the Life Cycle Assessment methodology on waste mobile phones for three different End-of-Life scenarios. The aim is to demonstrate through a scientifically based tool the concepts presented in the previous part of the thesis and to outline the environmental benefits of components and materials recovery in terms of saved emissions through the evaluation of three impact categories: Global Warming Potential, Acidification Potential and Ecological Scarcity. Given from one hand the huge quantities involved in the WEEE sector in terms of volumes and impacts, and from the other the scarcity and increasing demand of raw materials, it is reasonable to consider e-waste as a key element to work on in order to adress some of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Iattoni, Giulia
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Earth resources engineering
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
E-waste,Circular economy,Mobile phone,Life Cycle Assessment,Urban Mining,Hazards,Environmental impacts,Saved emissions,Material composition
Data di discussione della Tesi
15 Marzo 2019

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