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Purdue working on new ways to recycle flat-screens

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, October 15, 2012 - 8:28 am

WEST LAFAYETTE — A team of Purdue University researchers is taking on the coming wave of millions of discarded flat-screen televisions and monitors.

Seven Purdue researchers are developing new equipment and tools designed to disassemble and recycle older liquid crystal displays. Hundreds of millions of these LCD flat-screen displays will be junked in the years ahead as people buy newer models. And each of them contains both toxic materials and precious metals.

Two Purdue graduate students and five undergraduate engineering students are working on the federally funded research project. Their inventions will be tested by electronic waste recyclers.

LCD displays made before 2009 are backlit with cold cathode fluorescent lamps that contain mercury that's hazardous to dispose of or incinerate. They also contain gold and other expensive materials.