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  • Chimie ParisTech Logo
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
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E-Waste and Battery Recycling: Technology, Design, and Challenges

Learn all you need to know about sustainable recycling of e-waste and batteries, from dismantling devices to evaluating economics.

1,200 enrolled on this course

Directly above shot of a worker with old smart phone and tablets at table for recycling
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


See how recycling mobile devices is important to overall environmental design

Phones are an example of electronic devices with a short lifespan that contain many critical elements necessary for the production and storage of renewable energy and maintaining our standard of living. These resources are scarce and need to be recovered through recycling, which can be costly in terms of energy and emissions.

This four-week course from EIT RawMaterials introduces every element of WEEE recycling, from recycling lithium batteries to recovering plastics and trace metals. Current and emerging technologies will be examined to ensure a circular economy and good environmental design, now and well into the future.

Learn the basic principles of mobile phone recycling

During the first part of this course, you’ll cover the engineering aspects involved in mobile phone recycling. This includes identifying the mix and composition of materials.

You’ll also learn about the various recycling methods that are possible (dismantling, sorting, and element separation) and their associated risks and safety issues.

Understand the managerial aspects of recycling and eco-design

On the second part of this course, you’ll focus on mobile phone recycling strategies, learning how to use them to ensure intelligent environmental design.

You’ll see how incorporating eco-design principles leads to a sustainable circular economy, achieving the ultimate goal of less waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Be a part of sustainable environmental design

Ultimately, this course will show you how to deploy current and emerging technologies to deal with mobile phone WEEE in the most energy-efficient, emission-minimising ways possible.

After successfully completing this course, you’ll be equipped with the engineering and managerial knowledge to be part of the WEEE recycling solution.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Life in our modern-day digitalized society is based on the use of electronic devices for business, transport, entertainment and communication. They are constantly exchanged for newer and more advanced models. Today, only 20% of electronic waste is recycled. Meanwhile, we continue to extract the world’s finite resources at a rapid pace. This needs to change, and it needs to change now. We need to find another way to be able to produce all the elements that our society needs. Recycling is an important aspect of the future economy. This MOOC is devoted to technicians, to engineers, to researchers, or any student that wants to be involved in the world of recycling. You’ll learn about multiple recycling methods.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds We also dive into the industrial state of the art and future laboratory developments. It will be very good if they get the basic knowledge in the techniques, and also get inspired to use it either in their research or in their career. The electronics are part of our everyday life. What do you do without your mobile phone?

What topics will you cover?

This dynamic course will look at:

  • Waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), chemical content, and lithium batteries
  • Thermal recycling methods (pyrometallurgy)
  • Solution chemistry (hydrometallurgy) recycling
  • State-of-the-art industrial recycling
  • Emergent recycling methods
  • Risks, the environment, and responsible recycling

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the valuable chemicals that can be recycled in batteries and waste of electronic and electrical equipment
  • Compare the different recycling methods: mechanical, pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgy routes 
  • Calculate the energy cost of some recycling processes using simple thermodynamics 
  • Design and optimise new processes based on the combination of well proven techniques with new innovative solutions 
  • Assess the chemical risks and harmful emissions to the environment during the process of recycling WEEE 
  • Develop awareness of the necessity to recycle but also of the compromises to be made for efficient and safe recycling

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone working in laboratories and industries that will include mobile phone recycling in their research and industrial programmes. Students, chemical sector professionals, technicians, and engineers will all find it helpful.

Who will you learn with?

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry
Chimie Paristech

Who developed the course?

EIT RawMaterials

Initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), a body of the European Union, EIT RawMaterials is the largest European raw materials partnership.

Chimie ParisTech – PSL

Chimie ParisTech - PSL provides an original and complete education, from bachelor’s to doctorate degrees, while conducting cutting-edge research covering the entire spectrum of chemistry.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

NTNU is the largest of the eight universities in Norway, and, as its name suggests, has the main national responsibility for higher education in engineering and technology.

Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg conducts research and education in technology and natural sciences at a high international level.

In collaboration with

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What's included?

EIT RawMaterials are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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