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Economic aspects of metals recover

Daria Wieczorek
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  • Poznan University of Economics and Business, Faculty of Commodity Science, Department of Technology and Instrumental Analysis, al. Niepodległości 10, 61-875Poznań, Poland
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/ Dobrawa Kwaśniewska
  • Poznan University of Economics and Business, Faculty of Commodity Science, Department of Technology and Instrumental Analysis, al. Niepodległości 10, 61-875Poznań, Poland
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Published Online: 2018-03-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2018-0027


One of the modern economy models is circular economy in which wastes should be considered as resource and used in an efficient and sustainable way. This also concerns to metals included in scraps. However, the need for metal recovery from waste is not only the result of the latest economic trends but also the result of large and constantly changing demand for metals. Shrinking natural sources of metals, concentrations of ores in small number of countries in the world and resulting from this dependence on import, geopolitical situation, new technologies demands are only a few most important determinants that have been changing the structure of the metal market over years. In this chapter, authors focused on the presentation of economic aspects of metal recovery from various sources. The chapter presents the characteristic of metal market elements (supply, demand and price) and changes that took place over decades, underlining the structure of precious and highly desirable metal market elements. Balance between the demand and supply ensures price stability and rationalizes inflation. However, growing demand on many means that secure supply chains, such as recycling and material recovery, are essential to ensure continuity in the supply chain and guarantee unrestricted technological progress and innovation. The data included in this chapter presents also the concentration of different metals and group of metals in wastes pointing that recycling of waste can become one of the possibilities of acquiring missing and critical metals. Metal-laden wastes include a few groups: waste electrical and electronic equipments, catalysts of different application, introduced on chemical, petrochemical or automotive market, galvanic wastes and wastewaters. The profitability assessment of recycling processes is very complicated. Nevertheless cited data shows that profitability of recovery depends on the metal analyzed and the type of waste.

It must be underline that an optimized management of wastes is of a great importance for the global economy and allow achieving not only economic but also environmental and social benefits.

Keywords: circular economy; metal market elements; metal recovery


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-03-09

Citation Information: Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 3, Issue 4, 20180027, ISSN (Online) 2365-659X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2018-0027.

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