Engineer to Share Latest Research for Recycling LCD Screens

Old TVs and monitors are becoming old TVs and monitors at record rates as screen size and new capabilities grow and prices shrink. Most of their toxins build up in landfills where they can leach into the environment. If it works sell it or donate it. If it doesn’t,  check with a local repair shop to see if they will refurbish it. See if you can return it to the store where you purchased it, or watch for a recycling day from your local waste management service. Commercial electronics recyclers may charge you to drop off your old TV.


As researchers are constantly improving television technology they are also advancing technology for recycling their complex remains at the end of their lives. At noon this Thursday, Sept. 5, Dr. Fu Zhao, Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University-West Lafayette will present “Recycling of Liquid Crystal Displays for Maximum Resource Recovery” as part of the ISTC’s Sustainable Technology Seminar Series “Sustainability in Action.”


Dr. Zhao will be speaking at ISTC with a live webinar of the presentation broadcast in Room 218 MEB).  You can also register at: to watch the broadcast live.


Here is Dr. Zhao’s abstract: “Hundreds of millions of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) will reach their end of life in the next few years, and most of them have cold cathode fluorescent lamps as the backlights. These mercury containing backlights bring challenges to the end of life treatment of LCDs. Communications with electronic waste recyclers indicate that recycling LCDs using available equipment and tools is not profitable in U.S. due to high equipment/labor cost. With the support of an EPA P3 Phase I grant, our team at Purdue University developed a four-step procedure for LCD disassembling. Appropriate tools for these steps have been designed and fabricated and the team was able to limit the total disassembling time to less than five minutes, the breakeven time suggested by e-waste recyclers. All the tools can be readily built using low-cost tools available on the market. The disassembling time can be shortened further after optimization. Toward the end of the talk, lessons learned from the project and challenges associated with developing sustainable electronic products will be discussed.”