A REVIEW OF A CASE STUDY ON RARE EARTH ELEMENTS RECOVERY FROM SECONDARY RESOURCES IN EUROPEAN HYDROWEEE PROJECT
Keywords:Rare earth elements, recovery, waste electrical and electronic equipment, carbon reduction
Rare earth elements (REE) are high-value raw materials and of strategic importance in various applications, including emerging technologies globally. The fast-evolving and rapid technological changes have caused the demand for REE continuously increase. In the future, conventional deposits may no longer satisfy industrial demand. Therefore, a holistic study on REE recovery from potential secondary sources must be carried out. This paper presents the recent findings on the recovery of REE from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) or e-waste as an alternative to extraction from mines. The HydroWEEE project in Italy, funded by the European Union (EU) from 2009 until 2016, is used as the case study. The future perspectives regarding the circular economy, benefits, and challenges in implementing the recovery of REE from WEEE are also discussed.