Episode 1 - The old CRT monitor

de | Dec. 10, 2013 | News

I think you all remember your first CRT monitor: it occupies half an office, black and white (the lucky ones benefited from the color one), but of which you were proud of the great need, it was only the last technology at that time. Later the technology evolved and you switched to an LCD monitor that does not take up much space, offers a much higher image quality, but have you ever wondered what happened to the old monitor after handing it over to an operator specializing in recycling such equipment? In the next part of the article we will move on to more serious things and will satisfy your curiosity, recounting but especially illustrating the stages that an old CRT monitor goes through once it enters the road of recycling.

But first we need to clarify why it is necessary to hand over the CRT monitor for recycling. The answer is within everyone's reach if we know like this contains dangerous substances like lead, mercury, phosphorus, cadmium, phosphor powder, but let's not forget condenser inside (contains different organic and inorganic acids).How can these substances affect us? Most of the time, the monitor that ended up in the landfill ends up being broken, thus releasing it toxic substances in the soil but also in atmosphere thus affecting the groundwater and the ozone layer. Also the appearance recovery of materials such as plastic, iron, aluminum, copper and others but also rare metals such as Ytrium and Eutropium (extracts from phosphor powder) not to be neglected, the re-entry into the economic cycle being a solid argument in favor of recycling.

Once received from the population the WEEE reaches authorized operators in the treatment of such equipment, they follow rules imposed at European level. As you will see in the following images, special attention is paid to the protective equipment that workers wear.

The entire process that a CRT monitor goes through once it has passed through the operator's gates consists of the following steps:

1.Weighing the amount of CRT monitors that will be subjected to the recycling process.

2.removal equipment to start processing them.

3.placing CRT monitors on the mobile band to be disassembled.

4.Treatment operations of the CRT monitor:

4.1. Depollution operation by removing external cables.

4.2. Disassembly operation - separation of the following elements, which are subsequently transmitted to operators specialized in their capitalization.

  • Plastic components (19%)
  • Iron components (5%)
  • Copper components (6%)
  • Aluminum components (1%)     
  • Capacitor (1%)
  • Printed circuit boards (6%)
  • CRT tube (57%)

4.3. The cathode ray tube processing operation consists of the following:

4.3.1 CRT tube transmission to another workbench to be processed.

4.3.2 Removal: deflection coil, electron gun  and implosion metal strip. The surface of the tube after the removal of the implosion strips is cleaned to prevent the elimination in the atmosphere of some dangerous compounds following the CRT tube treatment process.

4.3.3 The next step in the tube treatment operation is performed using Hot Band separation technology which separates the front from the conical one by applying a heat shock (nickel wire) directly on the soldering area between the two parts.


4.3.4 The final step in the CRT tube treatment process is aspiration of phosphor powder, which is considered a toxic substance.

5. The last step but also the most important is recovery recovered items, here you can see what they can turn into.

What does recycling a single TV (monitor) mean:

  • It saves 162,39 kWh (125,04 kWh for a monitor) of electricity. The same amount of electricity is emitted for 4 months of uninterrupted lighting by a 60 W bulb (3 months for a monitor).
  • Save energy sources. It is not necessary to exploit 2,89 liters of crude oil (3,05 liters for a monitor) and 4,38 kg of coal (2,86 kg for a monitor). The same amount of oil is emitted so that a car with a normal fuel consumption can go 22 km (23 km for a monitor).
  • It saves 745 liters of drinking water (757 liters for a monitor) and prevents the generation of the same amount of wastewater. The same amount of water is used for 10 showers.
  • Decreases the production of hazardous waste by 145kg for TV (163 kg for a monitor). The same amount of hazardous waste is produced annually by 36 households for a single TV (41 households for a monitor).
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions. By recycling a TV (monitor) they are no longer produced equiv. of 44kg CO2 (32,3kg for a monitor). The same amount of CO2 is emitted when a car travels 300 km.

The data are taken from a study presented by the Czech organization ASEKOL at the WEEE Forum in Zurich. 

That being said, in case you still have an old monitor around the house, don't forget he has to follow the recycling path and NOT another one!

The pictures were made with the support of Greenweee International.