Sustainable Planning of Precious and Rare Elements' Recycling from Waste Electronic Products: a Multi-objective Model and Application

Simsek E., Özdemir Z., Satoğlu Ş. I.

PROCESS INTEGRATION AND OPTIMIZATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY, vol.6, no.3, pp.723-735, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41660-022-00245-3
  • Page Numbers: pp.723-735
  • Keywords: Reverse logistics, Recycling, Waste electronic products, Precious and rare-earth elements, Multi-objective model, REVERSE LOGISTICS OPERATIONS, EPSILON-CONSTRAINT METHOD, LOOP SUPPLY CHAIN, NETWORK DESIGN, METALS
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The electronics industry, where the most important technological advancements have been made in the last decade, has a critical position within the framework of sustainability. Planning is made about a product's life cycle, starting from the design, manufacturing, usage, and end-of-life stages. At the end of the life cycle, reuse, remanufacture/repair, and recycle decisions must be made. Reverse logistics and recycling are a substantial part of this process. Therefore, countries have regulations that draw boundaries for reverse logistics operations, for raw materials recovery. For sustainable planning of the precious and rare-earth elements that have supply risk, economic, environmental, and social dimensions have to be considered, simultaneously. So, in this study, a multi-objective mathematical model is proposed to optimize the reverse logistics and recycling processes of the waste electronic products, to extract precious and rare-earth elements, for the first time in literature, for a future horizon, in compliance with the governmental regulations. A sustainable planning approach is used based on economic, environmental, and social aspects. An application for a real recycling facility was made that revealed the huge recovery potential from electronic waste, such that hundreds of kilograms of gold, silver, palladium, and platinum can be recovered by a single facility, in 4-year future horizon. Besides, some reasonable profit can be obtained, vast amount of hazardous materials can be prevented to be disposed of the nature, and employment can be provided. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study aiming at sustainable and multi-objective planning of precious and rare elements' recovery, from electronic products.