Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Prospective impacts of electronic textiles on recycling and disposal


Köhler, Andreas; Hilty, Lorenz; Bakker, Conny (2011). Prospective impacts of electronic textiles on recycling and disposal. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 15(4):496-511.

Abstract

SummaryElectronic textiles are a vanguard of an emerging generation of smart products. They consist of small electronic devices that are seamlessly embedded into clothing and technical textiles. E-textiles provide enhanced functions in a variety of unobtrusive and convenient ways. Like many high-tech products, e-textiles may evolve to become a mass market in the future. In this case, large amounts of difficult-to-recycle products will be discarded. That can result in new waste problems.This article examines the possible end-of-life implications of textile-integrated electronic waste. As a basis for assessment, the innovation trends of e-textiles are reviewed, and an overview of their material composition is provided. Next, scenarios are developed to estimate the magnitude of future e-textile waste streams. On that base, established disposal and recycling routes for e-waste and old textiles are assessed in regard to their capabilities to process a blended feedstock of electronic and textile materials. The results suggest that recycling old e-textiles will be difficult because valuable materials are dispersed in large amounts of heterogeneous textile waste. Moreover, the electronic components can act as contaminants in the recycling of textile materials.We recommend scrutinizing the innovation trend of technological convergence from the life cycle perspective. Technology developers and product designers should implement waste preventative measures at the early phases in the development process of the emerging technology.

Abstract

SummaryElectronic textiles are a vanguard of an emerging generation of smart products. They consist of small electronic devices that are seamlessly embedded into clothing and technical textiles. E-textiles provide enhanced functions in a variety of unobtrusive and convenient ways. Like many high-tech products, e-textiles may evolve to become a mass market in the future. In this case, large amounts of difficult-to-recycle products will be discarded. That can result in new waste problems.This article examines the possible end-of-life implications of textile-integrated electronic waste. As a basis for assessment, the innovation trends of e-textiles are reviewed, and an overview of their material composition is provided. Next, scenarios are developed to estimate the magnitude of future e-textile waste streams. On that base, established disposal and recycling routes for e-waste and old textiles are assessed in regard to their capabilities to process a blended feedstock of electronic and textile materials. The results suggest that recycling old e-textiles will be difficult because valuable materials are dispersed in large amounts of heterogeneous textile waste. Moreover, the electronic components can act as contaminants in the recycling of textile materials.We recommend scrutinizing the innovation trend of technological convergence from the life cycle perspective. Technology developers and product designers should implement waste preventative measures at the early phases in the development process of the emerging technology.

Statistics

Citations

21 citations in Web of Science®
24 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:09 Feb 2012 14:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:24
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1088-1980 (P) 1530-9290 (E)
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2011.00358.x
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:2076

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations