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Giving a Second Life to our Electrical Waste: Value Chains, Valorization, Circular Economy

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production
Closed for application


Recycling old computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices is now a reality in Europe. With the exponential growth of electronic waste (8%/year), the impact is clear on environment as well as on health issues for population. The omnipresence of these electronic devices in our daily lives and their batteries makes us aware of the danger associated with their recycling. This project covers two interacting disciplinary areas related to technological aspects and those dedicated to related services, in particular on existing recycling methods and the prospects for the development of future less polluting industries. We need to be able to better understand how these objects are designed and fabricated, the advanced technologies that need to be implemented, and the detection of toxic elements they contain. 

Our challenge 

The Challenge proposed consists in performing a survey for e-waste valorization, to identify the gain of productivity for the market, to analyze the potential development of circular economy in Hauts de France Region. First, an initial analysis of semi-industrial & technological platforms (as those existing on Valenciennes Campus, namely IEMN for microelectronics and LMCPA for materials engineering) as well as a visit to Veolia recovery/transformation sites, will make it possible to sensitize actors on the value chain from manufacturing to second life, to understand the waste recovery process of precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, indium, as well as plastics and glasses. Work program will include participation to the Challenge for Ecology & Technology (Recycling Vehicle Batteries, Industry 4.0 for e-Waste):

Expected impact

This project will cover different aspects relative to the opportunity to introduce innovative technologies for increasing the e-waste volume (industry 4.0 with AI, Internet of Things) for e-waste valorization, circular economy for start-up development and re-using the electronic devices, the sensibilization of young generation, the development of high education/ research activity in the third world, the international exchanges, the social impact, …

Objectives in terms of learning outcomes: 

  • Understanding the electronic manufacturing environment
  • Search and identification of all toxic products and valuable elements in e-waste
  • Better understanding of “electronic” recycling technologies
  • Jobs of the future in the environment – entrepreneurship

Targeted groups 

Public actors (regional and local communities, agriculture and industrial chambers…), private actors (students, farmers, industrials, start-ups, energy clusters…) and civil society (residents, NGOs…) must be involved in this project in one way or another.


Important Information

Information provided by Veolia Industry will be shared to the Team. The team will be asked to sign a non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The results to be published will be discussed with Veolia first. 

The project will run over a ten-week period:
February 2022: Kick-off
mid Mars 2022: First interim presentation
May 2022: Second interim presentation
end of June 2022: Closing event

Deadline for applications, including a short motivational statement: January 2022