New Recycling Technology for Discarded Liquid Crystal Display Creates Green Economic Prosperity

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To cope with gradually increasing number of discarded Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) and promote handling technology that is more environmentally friendly and higher re-use value, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has hosted the Discarded LCD Panel Innovative Handling and Re-Use Technology Result Presentation on Nov 17th 2015 at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to publish research results achieved in the previous two years. The event invited LCD panel and recycling technology industries and experts to exchange ideas on recycling and re-use technology and provide new alternatives for future handling of discarded LCD panels.

According to statistics, over 99% of the display monitors, televisions and notebook computers sold in Taiwan contain LCD panels. Last year (2014), 1.146 million discarded monitors, notebook computers and televisions were recycled, amounting to 600 tons of discarded LCD panels. As Taiwan is a major producer of LCD panels, about 5400 tons of leftover materials are generated from discarded LCD panels, and therefore the annual production of discarded LCD panels is estimated to exceed 6000 tons. The raw materials contained in the discarded panels such as liquid crystals, Indium and glass are estimated to be worth NT$ 2.93 billion and has high re-use value, so it would not be feasible to use burying or physical handling methods.

As such, EPA adopted the continuous liquid crystal extraction system, developed by ITRI, in 2014 to increase the re-use value of recycled LCD panels. According to research results, after mixing, purification and re-manufacturing, the extracted liquid crystals are similar to ordinary new products. For key strategic metal, Indium, recycling rates has reached over 90% and can be used as coating material. As for panel glass, unlike conventional methods of using the glass in soil, cement or concrete mixture, innovative methods are adopted to improve the quality of the adsorbents to absorb the heavy metals such as lead in the wastewater. As these methods have proven feasible in the LCD recycling and re-use technology, industry cooperation will be promoted next to establish processing plants to process discarded LCD panels. After the accumulation of actual practice and experience, the method may be promoted internationally.

EPA reminds that to avoid illegal dismantling or stacking causing bodily harm or environment hazards, discarded LCD products should be properly discard and should not be stocked at home. If members of the public have any replaced LCD products, they may contact the local government cleaning team or authorized recycling and handling industries for recycling. For further information on resource recycling, please proceed to EPA resource recycling website (