University of Oulu

Ylä-Mella, J.; Pongrácz, E. Drivers and Constraints of Critical Materials Recycling: The Case of Indium. Resources 2016, 5, 34.

Drivers and constraints of critical materials recycling : the case of indium

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Author: Ylä-Mella, Jenni1; Pongrácz, Eva1
Organizations: 1Energy and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2016
Publish Date: 2018-03-28


Raw material criticality studies are receiving increasing attention because an increasing number of elements of great economic importance, performing essential functions face high supply risks. Scarcity of key materials is a potential barrier to large-scale deployment of sustainable energy and clean-tech technologies as resorting to several critical materials. As physical scarcity and geopolitical issues may present a barrier to the supply of critical metals, recycling is regarded as a possible solution to substitute primary resources for securing the long-term supply of critical metals. In this paper, the main drivers and constraints for critical materials recycling are analyzed from literature, considering indium as a case study of critical materials. This literature review shows that waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) could be a future source of critical metals; however, the reduction of dissipation of critical materials should have much higher priority. It is put forward that more attention should be paid to sustainable management of critical materials, especially improved practices at the waste management stage. This calls for not only more efficient WEEE recycling technologies, but also revising priorities in recycling strategies.

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Series: Resources
ISSN: 2079-9276
ISSN-E: 2079-9276
ISSN-L: 2079-9276
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Pages: 1 - 12
Article number: 34
DOI: 10.3390/resources5040034
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: Financial support of the Kone Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.
Copyright information: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (