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Critical high-tech minerals (CHTMs) are raw materials that are essential for a future clean-energy transition and the manufacture of high-end products. Cellphones, one of the fastest growing electronic products, contain various CHTMs. Since 2019, India has surpassed the United States to become the second largest smartphone market in the world. An increasing and alarming number of excessive waste cellphones will be generated in India in the near future. In this study, the dynamic material flow analysis approach and the Weibull distribution are adopted to analyze the volumes of accumulated waste cellphones and the contained CHTMs based on the differentiation between smartphones and feature phones in India. Moreover, a market supply model is adopted to predict the future trends of CHTMs in waste cellphones. The results show a general upward tendency of waste cellphone volume in India, which indicates that various CHTMs contained in cellphone waste can be properly reused or recycled. Future implications based on the analysis results are provided for efficient cellphone management in India. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Pengwei He, Guangji Hu, Chang Wang, Kasun Hewage, Rehan Sadiq, Haibo Feng. Analyzing present and future availability of critical high-tech minerals in waste cellphones: A case study of India. Waste management (New York, N.Y.). 2021 Jan 01;119:275-284

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PMID: 33099072

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