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Leaching assessments of toxic metals in waste plasma display panel glass.



The plasma display panel (PDP) is rapidly becoming obsolete, contributing in large amounts to the electronic waste stream. In order to assess the potential for environmental pollution due to hazardous metals leached from PDP glass, standardized leaching procedures, chemical speciation assessments, and bioavailability tests were conducted. According to the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), arsenic in back glass was present at 4.46 ± 0.22 mg/L, close to its regulation limit of 5 mg/L. Zn is not available in the TCLP, but its TCLP leaching concentration in back glass is 102.96 ± 5.34 mg/L. This is because more than 90% of Zn is in the soluble and exchangeable and carbonate fraction. We did not detect significant levels of Ag, Ba, or Cu in the TCLP leachate, and the main fraction of Ag and Ba is residual, more than 95%, while the fraction distribution of Cu changes SEP by SEP. Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA)- and diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Ag, As, Ba, Cu, Zn, and Ni indicate a lower biohazards potential. These results show that, according to the EPA regulations, PDP glass may not be classified as hazardous waste because none of the metals exceeded their thresholds in PDP leachate. However, the concentrations of As and Zn should be lowered in the manufacturing process and finished product to avoid potential pollution problems.


The plasma display panel is rapidly becoming obsolete because of the liquid crystal display. In this study, the leachability of heavy metals contained in the waste plasma display panel glass was first examined by standardized leaching tests, typical chemical speciation assessments, and bioavailability tests, providing fundamental data for waste PDP glass recovery, recycling, and reuse.

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