Design for Recycling of Electronic Products: How to bridge the gap between design methods and recycling practices

Farzaneh Fakhredin

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

16 Downloads (Pure)


The topic of this thesis is design for recycling (DfR) of electronic products. More than ever before, electronic products are intruding into our everyday life, both in the household and in industry, resulting in increasing numbers of electronic products ending up in waste streams (also known as electronic waste, or e-waste). Electronic products contain a wide range of materials, such as iron, steel, lead, plastics, glass, aluminium, copper and precious metals. Materials are assembled using different types of connections, such as click or snap-fit joints, adhesive tape, screws, glue and soldering. Furthermore, different arrangements and positioning of materials, as well as the connections between them, lead to different kinds of product structures. These characteristics can make the recycling process for electronic products more or less difficult.

Design is seen as pivotal in the creation of products that can facilitate the recycling process. For this reason, in the past two decades there has been considerable research on DfR, resulting in a large number of methods and tools being developed. The aim of these methods is to assist designers in assessing the recyclability of their designs and to select adequate product design features that facilitate the recycling process. However, these methods do not seem to have been very effective; particularly not in the case of electronic products. This is because, despite the considerable number of methods developed thus far, and what they claim in theory, electronic products are still not being optimally disintegrated and separated in actual recycling processes. Consequently, the aim of this thesis is to uncover the various reasons for the mismatch between the theory and practice of DfR by undertaking a number of studies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Bakker, C.A., Supervisor
  • Balkenende, A.R., Supervisor
  • Geraedts, J.M.P., Supervisor
Award date18 Dec 2018
Print ISBNs9789065624307
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Circular Economy
  • Circular product design
  • Design for recycling
  • Electronics
  • Design
  • Sustainable design
  • Ecodesign

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