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New Way Found for Recovering Indium from LCDs

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:41AM

An integral part of flat screens is the transparent conductor indium tin oxide (ITO), but it brings with it special challenges. For one thing, indium is a rare-earth metal, making it rather expensive and some estimate that in twenty years we will run out of it. Many new technologies are being investigated for replacing ITO, but now researchers have also found a way to potentially recover and recycle the element, as reported in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

According to the report, it is possible to recover indium by grinding up LCD glass into particles less than 75 micrometers in size, and submerging them in sulfuric acid heated to 122 ºF, along with other parameters. By using this method, the hope is that the display industry will be able to recycle the material instead of having to draw more from reserves. As it is expected that China alone will throw out 100 million displays between 2014 and 2020, the impact by recovering indium could be dramatic.

Source: American Chemical Society

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