When agendas align: Critical materials and green electronics

King, Alexander
King, Alexander
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Ames Laboratory
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue

Modern electronic devices are constructed using a large palette of materials, some of which are considered “critical,” meaning that their supply-chains are tenuous to some degree and they cannot easily be substituted. The rare earth crisis of 2010–'11 brought worldwide attention to the challenge of dealing with critical materials, and resulted in several research programs being created, world wide, to find technological solutions to shortages of essential materials. Some of the approaches used to ensure the supply chains of critical materials are consistent with making electronics greener, some are neutral, and some can run counter to the greening of information devices. Some of the approaches applied to critical materials can also be applied to anacritical materials which are the opposite of critical materials in a particular sense: they are materials that need to be removed from production or eliminated from waste because they are oversupplied or have undesirable traits such as toxicity or contamination of recycle streams. We describe where critical materials strategies and greening strategies coincide, and evaluate the most significant roadblocks to success.

<p>This article is published as King, Alexander H. "When agendas align: critical materials and green electronics." In Electronics Goes Green 2016+(EGG), 2016, pp. 1-6. IEEE, 2016. <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1109" target="_blank">10.1109/EGG.2016.7829825</a>. Posted with permission.</p>
Green products, Recycling, Consumer electronics, Production, Neodymium, Magnetic separation, Industries