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Gas-discharge lamps

General

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Gas-discharge lamps in foiled pillar pallets (© EAK, 2017)

Gas-discharge lamps are mainly found in the following

  • devices of indoor lighting fixtures (These primarily include classic rod-shaped fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent tubes, e.g. energy-saving bulbs.)
  • Kitchen equipment (e.g. exhaust hoods)
  • Office equipment and computer peripherals (e.g. copiers, faxes and scanners)
  • In tanning beds and sunlamps

In connection with the eco-design directive, incandescent bulbs will be progressively banned over the next few years and replaced in many cases by gas-discharge lamps (energy-saving bulbs). These energy-saving bulbs contain small quantities of mercury and should therefore always be disposed of separately.

Currently, the share of collected LED lamps in the collection of electrical appliances is still below 1 % but will rise sharply in the coming years.

 

Recovering raw materials

Gas-discharge lamps consist primarily of glass, aluminium (end caps), and waste elements containing mercury.

The mercury-containing elements are stored in underground disposal sites. The glass and aluminium portions can be reused as valuable raw materials. In terms of energy consumption, this is far more efficient than acquiring new raw materials, and therefore makes an important contribution to protecting our climate and environment.

The following table and graph present the approximate quantity of raw materials recovered each year in the processing of gas-discharge lamps, and the proportion of different specific materials that are recovered.

 

 
Portions Mass [t] Proportion [%]
Glass 799 90,00
Aluminium 40 4,50
Mercury-containing waste 49 5,50
Gesamt 888 100,00

Materials recovered from gas-discharge lamps (2017 data)

 

Breakdown of gas-discharge lamps by percentage of total mass (EAK, 2017)

 

The removal of pollutants of gas-discharge lamps is described here.