Recycling of Polymers from WEEE: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

  • Biswajit Debnath
  • Ranjana Chowdhury
  • Sadhan Kumar GhoshEmail author


Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) contains a nearly 23% polymers including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, high-impact polystyrene, polystyrene, poly vinyl chloride and polycarbonate. Every year the OEMs manufacture lighter version of Electrical and Electronic Equipments (EEE), and it is only possible by increasing the percentage of polymers and reducing the ferrous metals. The latest End-of-Life (EoL) electronics will have more polymers, and their recycling will become a future concern. However, it is already a problem that the polymers from WEEE are not recycled properly. The primary reason is that the polymer fraction recovered from WEEE is mixed polymer, and their identification is an issue. Different technologies have been developed by the researchers for recycling of WEEE polymers including pyrolysis, gasification and moulding. However, the commercializations of these processes are yet to be realized. Existing literature fails to demonstrate the issues and challenges behind this. Reviews on recycling of WEEE polymers are scant. In this paper, a detailed review of recycling of WEEE polymers has been presented. The issues and challenges pertaining to the recycling technologies of WEEE polymers have been critically discussed. The findings of this paper will be of importance to the research community and the stakeholders of WEEE industry.


WEEE Polymers Issues and challenges 



The authors would like to acknowledge the International Society of Waste Management, Air and Water (ISWMAW) for partially funding the work. Additionally, co-operation from Centre for Quality Management Systems (CQMS) Jadavpur University, Kolkata, is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Biswajit Debnath
    • 1
  • Ranjana Chowdhury
    • 1
  • Sadhan Kumar Ghosh
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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