IIT Delhi Researchers Develop Zero-Emission Technology to Manage and Recycle E-Waste

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E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in India with an annual growth rate of 3-5%. India is the third-largest producer of e-waste and has generated 3.23 MMT e-waste in 2019 alone. Rising consumerism and paltry e-waste management ecosystem in our country have placed us in a vulnerable state.

Team of researchers led by Prof. K. K. Pant in the Catalytic Reaction Engineering Laboratory at Chemical Engineering Department, IIT Delhi has develop zero-emission technology to manage and recycle E-waste to wealth.

Using this patented technology, the team has successfully installed a 10 kg/h (Kilogram per hour) pyrolysis plant for e-waste recycling at IIT Delhi. It converts all types of e-waste to combustible gases and a metal-rich solid residue.

The gaseous product obtained from the pilot plant is primarily composed of hydrogen and methane whereas the liquid product is rich in hydrocarbons suitable for energy generation. The pilot plant is also equipped with a scrubbing system that captures halogenated compounds traces in the combustible gases.

Recycling Process

Prof. K.K. Pant, Project Lead and Head of Chemical Engineering Department, IIT Delhi said, “Electronic waste (e-waste) generation is inevitable and if the problem is not addressed now, it will lead to mountains of solid waste sooner or later. The technology pioneered by our research group is an integrated approach that will provide an environment-friendly solution to treat e-waste with the added advantage of metal recovery and fuel production.  Besides providing a sustainable solution for e-waste recycling, successful implementation of this technology has the potential to generate large number of jobs in the waste recycling industry.”

This technology is an outcome of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, funded project and has been further included for a scale-up in the project supported by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA), Government of India under the Delhi Research Implementation and Innovation (DRIIV) initiative.

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