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Liquid crystal display re-use and recycling (ReLCD)


Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are widely used in notebooks, organizers, mobile phones, pocket calculators, measuring and control instruments, electronic games, hand-held miniature TVs, audio-video equipment, large signboards, automotive displays and more and more also for PC monitors and TVs. According to a study from Stanford Resources (San Jose, California) the annual value of LCD-products reached 35 billion EUR in 2002,about 30% of this within the European Union, representing a total area of 2,1 million m2 Liquid Crystal Displays. An annual increase rate of about 15% is estimated for the next years (up to 4,1 million m2 in 2005).As LCDs are already on the market for several years, larger quantities of the more than 2,5 billion LCDs are coming into their End-of-Life stage for treatment. In 2005 this figure will become even more dramatic - 40.000 tons of LCD-modules contained in 2 million tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) or about 30% of total WEEE within EU. An amount which is representing 400 milliona EUR costs for incineration. Currently the only method used to deal with redundant LCD units is incineration or landfill. Both are expensive and causes emissions intothe atmosphere (global warming) respectively water contamination (Class II) and difficulties in biodegradation. Up to now there is no recycling solution for LC-Displays available. As a consequence European Commission requests the disassembly of LCDs with an area bigger than 100 cm2 in the Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE Directive) of February13,2003. ReLCD will therefore develop novel processes for the disassembly, treatment and re-utilisation of LCDs as well as possibilities for the in-situ recovery of the 10-15% LCD production scrap which do not pass the final test before shipment. In addition design guidelines for the new generation of LCDs will be elaborated and discussed in the user group with seve

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