Electronic Equipment and Gallium

Electronic Equipment and Gallium

There are many critical raw materials used in the electricity and electronic equipment sector (EEE) (Figure 95). Gallium is one such element. Gallium is widely used in integrated circuits and light emitting diodes (LEDs) for lighting. Other important product application associated with the EEE sector includes, e.g., magnets, flat screen displays, and optical fibres. 95% of the element gallium is used in the EEE sector alone.

Share of CRMs used in the electric and electronic equipment sector (CRM assessment 2017.)

Most of the gallium used in Europe is imported and the amounts of secondary materials functionally recycled which can contribute to the EU’s economy is quite low (2012 values). Compare this to the amount that still ends up in landfill and you can see there is more work needed to convert this process into a circular system (Figures below).

 

Simplified Sankey diagram for gallium.

 

The thin purple line represents the secondary materials functionally recycled back into the production chain.

 

Colour key to Sankey diagrams.