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Disruptive Innovation Delivers Promising E-Waste Solution

innovember2012,atmiunveiledanewtechnologycalledevolv,acleantechsolutioncapableofhandlinge-wastecomponentsinasafeandenvironmentallyfriendlywayduringthe3rdannuale-wastemanagementsummitinlasvegas.

atmiisaglobalsupplierofspecialtysemiconductormaterials,andhigh-puritymaterialshandling,deliverysolutionsforthesemiconductorandbio-pharmaceuticalindustries,whichfocusesonsustainableandsafemanufacturingprocesses.

evolv,whichisbasedongreenchemicalprocesses,makesitpossibletobreakdown,recycle,andreusepreciousmetalsfromelectronicswastesuchasprintedwiringboards(pwbs),usinganenvironmentallyfriendlyprocess.

beforewediveintolearningabouthowthesystemworks,let'slookatsomefactsandfigures.thesestatspointtotheurgencyofunderstandingwhattheplanetanditspeoplearefacing,andwhyadisruptiveinnovationisimportant.herearejustafewreasonswhythistypeofsolutionshouldbedeployedandsupported:

  • ithasbeenpredictedthate-wastewillgrowtoover72millionmetrotonsworldwideby2014.
  • lessthan20percentofalle-wasteiscurrentlybeingrecycled.
  • china,india,andotherdevelopingcountriesarereceivingmostofthee-wasteshippedfromtheunitedstates.
  • e-wasteaccountsfor70percentofhazardousmaterialsinlandfills.
  • onemetrictonofusedmobilephones(~6,000handsetscontains340gofgold,3.5kgofsilver,140gofpalladium,and130kgofcopper.thisaccountstoacombinedvalueofover$28,000pertonofmobilephoneboards.

accordingtoanabstractatmisentmebyemail,thisishowevolvworks:

theprocessiscompletedinaclosed-loopsystemusingaseriesofchemicalbaths,anddesolderingtechniqueswhichreclaimmuchofthepreciousmetalcomponentsforreuse.thistechniqueis99percentsustainable,andcanbeimplementedlocally,directlyinamanufacturer'swarehouse.thisapproachalsohelpstorelievetheglobalissueofe-wastebeingbrokendowninpoorerregionsoftheworldwhereitaffectshumanwelfare,andtheenvironment.

watchthisvideodemonstrationtogetacrystalclearviewoftheevolvprocessinaction:

[replacedtest15]src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/52720836″width=”500″height=”281″>

theprocessshownincludesde-soldering,recoveryofcomponentsandchips,andreclaimingmetalwith99percentofmostmetals(includingold,silver,copper,palladium,lead,andtin),successfullyextractedat99.5percentpurity.thesemetalscanberecovered,andredeployedfaster,andsaferthaninmostotherprocess,andcanre-enterthesupplychainasprocess-ready materials.

theevolvsystem'steamledbydr.michaelkorzenski,seniordirectorofsustainabletechnologiesatatmi,isinsearchformarketopportunitiestohelpimprovethewaye-wasteiscurrentlydealtwitharoundtheglobe.

“ibelievewithaprocesslikeevolv–uniqueintheworldatthetimeofthiswriting–availabletodaytherearenomoreexcusesfornotproperlyrecyclingelectronicsinanenvironmentallyfriendlyway.makingastepforwardtoagreenerplanetforfuturegenerationsiseveryone'sresponsibility.”

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33 comments on “Disruptive Innovation Delivers Promising E-Waste Solution

  1. prabhakar_deosthali
    September 16, 2013

    This is great! If such automated system is available for e-waste recycling then it can be deployed by every major electronic manufacturer and there should be no need to send it countries like China or India. The E-waste could be locally recycled.

  2. Lavender
    September 17, 2013

    The heavy e-waste is the result of our rapid electronic business. The accelerated component obsolescence and phasing-out of consumer electronics put more weight on the E-waste polutions, and resources consumption. Hope more such solutions. 

  3. _hm
    September 17, 2013

    @Susan: Yes, it looks great. But as with all salient advantages, there must be few disadvantages or drawbacks. What are they?

    Has any third party has certified this technology?

     

  4. Eldredge
    September 17, 2013

    If the process is economical for the service provider, I'm sure it will do well. Seems like a good idea all the way around.

  5. Susan Fourtané
    September 18, 2013

    Prabhakar, 

    “This is great! If such automated system is available for e-waste recycling then it can be deployed by every major electronic manufacturer and there should be no need to send it countries like China or India. The E-waste could be locally recycled.”

    Yes, I also think it's great. And that's precisely the point of the eVolv system to avoid sending eWaste to countries like India, and China, where eWaste is doing so much damage to both the environment, and human health. 

    I really hope every electronic manufacturer take a step forward, and deploy this technology that promises to do so much good. Did you watch the video? 

    -Susan

  6. Susan Fourtané
    September 18, 2013

    Lily, 

    “The heavy e-waste is the result of our rapid electronic business.”

    Yes, that's right. There should be more solutions, like eVolv, coming up to fight the fast production of eWaste. But now we can be happy about this one, and the benefits it will bring to the electronics industry, and everyone else. 

    -Susan

  7. Susan Fourtané
    September 18, 2013

    Gee, _hm! 🙁

    What disadvantage, or drawback do you want to find in a system where it's clearly evident that is the solution for the eWaste problem we have discussed so many times here? What example of disadvantage in the deployment of this system can you think of?

    Honestly, while researching this wonderful new technology I couldn't find any disadvantages. Did you watch the video? If not, I strongly suggest you do. It shows you in detail exactly how it works.

    Now everything in this world has disadvantages, or drawbacks included.  

    -Susan

  8. Houngbo_Hospice
    September 18, 2013

    @SF,

    “Honestly, while researching this wonderful new technology I couldn't find any disadvantages.”

    I would like to believe that, but nothing is 100% efficient on earth. But overall the system seems promising. 😀

  9. _hm
    September 18, 2013

    @Susan:

    * Looks little slow

    * May be expensive for RoI

    * Do you have exapmple for EU customer list?

     

     

  10. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 19, 2013

    @Susan, I hope that this solution does ignite the imagination of manufacturers. Even if this is not THE solution for every manufacturer, it will certainly appeal to some and if nothing else it may get people to thinking about how new ways of dealing with e-waste can be implemented.

  11. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 19, 2013

    @Susan, i'm sure there's cost associated with this, at least at the outset At the same time, manufacturers need to think like global citizens with a long term view. In the long run, it's way more expensive to not do it…and the expense can be more profound than simple money.

  12. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 19, 2013

    @Susan, i'm sure there's cost associated with this, at least at the outset At the same time, manufacturers need to think like global citizens with a long term view. In the long run, it's way more expensive to not do it…and the expense can be more profound than simple money.

  13. Ashu001
    September 19, 2013

    Hailey,

    Who was the smart person who said -“In the Long-run we are all Dead”?

    LOL!

    Just feel that too many companies are struggling too much today to bother about additional costs here(and this recycling system especially if its not an Industry wide Solution won't find too many takers today).

    Regards

    Ashish.

  14. Susan Fourtané
    September 20, 2013

    Ashish, 

    What do you mean? That manufacturers prefer to save some money, and keep on polluting the environment, sending the eWaste to India, and China, and just ignore there is a solution that, in fact, is not that costly as you may be assuming? Because, how do you know?

    -Susan

  15. Ashu001
    September 20, 2013

    Susan,

    I know because I am super-smart and Super-Intelligent!!!!

    LOL!

    Just kidding!

    Actually its because of the cost Issue as well as the fact that you would need to rejig the Supply Chain once again to accomdate this new Material/Sources.

    Its not as easy as it seems,especially when so many Manufacturers are struggling with Wafer Thin Margins as well as Mega-aggressive Customers.

    Have you seen how much Apple Squeezes Suppliers in Asia???

    If they did take this whole thing in-house,it was a different story;but right now its very tough.

    That does'nt mean it can't be done.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  16. Susan Fourtané
    September 20, 2013

    Hailey, 

    Well, you don't expect a recycling sytem to be free, do you? Yet, it's affordable for any manufacturer. There is no more excuse for not recycling electronics properly.

    -Susan

  17. Susan Fourtané
    September 20, 2013

    Ashish, *sniff sniff* 🙁

    I thought you had a crystal ball, and you hadn't told me anything about it. 

    I think this system is great, and a solution for a problem everyone should be doing something about. 

     “you would need to rejig the Supply Chain once again to accomdate this new Material/Sources.” 

    Explain. 😀 And if who would take the whole thing in-house? 

    -Susan

  18. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 20, 2013

    @Ashish, it's funny that you should mention this quote. I heard a speaker the ohter night, journalist Bob Woodward (of Woodward/Berstein and Watergate fame). He mentioned that President Bush, when Woodward asked him what he thought history would make of his presidency, Bush reportedly responded “Who knows? We'll all be dead.”  So i know the answer to your probably rhetorical question!

  19. Ashu001
    September 21, 2013

    Hailey,

    Not at all surprised with the way a lot of High-Level People/Executives look at solving Critical Issues.

    I don't know who was the smart person who said it-They reach the Top because they are so irrational and Trigger-Happy.

    Trying to make sense of Half the Things they do;you Genuinely struggle.

    That's just the way it is (and has always been);Expecting Rationality at the Top is expecting too much!

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

  20. Ashu001
    September 21, 2013

    Susan,

    Today Six-Seven Firms have the potential to bring everything back in-house here.

    (By potential I mean Cash and Resources in place today).

    They are

    Google,Apple,HTC,Samsung ,Sony, Huawei and Microsoft.

    Will anyone of them chose to go down this path?

    Not so sure.

    But I would'nt bet against it.

    If that does'nt happen then I don't think this system will Catch on.

    Too many Moving parts in the Supply Chain leads to way too much Complexity.

    Regards

    Ashish.

     

    P.S Did you have to burst my bubble like that?

          LOL!!!

          Have Fun!

     

  21. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

     “know because I am super-smart and Super-Intelligent!!!!”

    I know that, because I am, too. 😀  

    -Susan

  22. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    HH, 

    “nothing is 100% efficient on earth. But overall the system seems promising. :D”

    That's a quite negative way of thinking. 🙁 I know you are for recycling, and a greener way of life. If you see any disadvantages I invite you to share them with me. I couldn't see any. 

    -Susan

  23. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

    “Expecting Rationality at the Top is expecting too much!”

    Most likely that's the reason of so many problems. Rationality should always lead. There is not other way to true success in business. 

    -Susan 

  24. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    _hm, 

    Would you care to explain why you think it's slow, and expensive? What proof do you have? And why wouldn't you justify the expense? Do you think the best solution is to keep on accumulating eWaste, shipping it to India, and China, where pullutes both humans, and the environment? You don't live there, do you? 

    -Susan

  25. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Hailey, 

    Why do you think this is not the solution for every manufacturer? And what would it be a better solution for them? 

    -Susan 

  26. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

    No, I still don't see it. 🙁 

    -Susan

  27. Ashu001
    September 22, 2013

    Susan,

    Its clear you have'nt spent much time up,close and personal with most Senior Executives.

    I have been lucky to do so.

    And believe me on this(we can fight over other issues happily) but on this one I know I am right.

    You need a tremendous degree of Irrationality inside of You to Reach the Top and Stay at the Top.

    Regards

    Ashish.

  28. Ashu001
    September 22, 2013

    Susan,

    When did I ever say that was'nt the case?

    LOL!

     

  29. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

    You are wrong on this one about me. I have spent good close time working with C-level execs in big, international companies, in different countries. You shouldn't pre-judge for my comments on rationality. Don't forget I always bring thoughts of reason into the topics.

    I didn't say you were not right. I said what it should be, which doesn't mean it's the reality of the matter. 

    -Susan

  30. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

    Never, but just in case you didn't know. 

    -Susan

  31. Ashu001
    September 22, 2013

    Susan,

    But that still brings the important question-Have you done Business with them?

    Being embedded with them as a Journalist does'nt get you the Hands on view of their Irrationality.

    For that you have to do Business with them regularly.

    That's when you realize how irrational they are.

     

  32. Susan Fourtané
    September 22, 2013

    Ashish, 

    I am not talking about being with them as a jouralist. I was close to them in business situations. I had another career before, and it involved being with executives daily, close to their work. I don't think I am interested in discussing this here. 

    Another thing is I don't like generalizing, and you are doing it so saying all of them are irrational. Don't apply the same to everyone, it's unfair. 

    -Susan

  33. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    September 23, 2013

    @Susan, i suspect that for small and mid-sized manufactures that this may present a budget challenge, at least initially. I don't think there's anything inherent in the technology or approach that would discourage them. Hopefully, larger organizations will make it common practice and then smaller organizations can hop on the bandwagon.

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