The application of LEDs leads to significant energy reductions in the lighting sector. It is expected that the share of LEDs in the entire lighting market will continue to increase and the number of LED lamps put on the market will rise. However, a number of critical raw materials are used for their production, which currently cannot be recycled because no technical solution for the recycling of LEDs exists. The aim of the project "REDLED", which is funded by EIT RawMaterials, is the development of a recycling technology for LEDs. This will strengthen the raw materials independence of Europe and create a new supply for secondary resources as part of a circular economy.
The Wuppertal Institute is responsible for assessing the potential volume of LEDs reaching their end of life in the coming years until 2030. Moreover, the amount of critical raw materials contained in the volume of discarded LEDs will be projected. The Wuppertal Institute will support the University of Bordeaux and KU Leuven with the development of a consequential life cycle analysis to assess the environmental and economic impact of the developed recycling technology.