A novel hybrid network optimization model for printed circuit boards recycling: a circular economy perspective

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Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10098-021-02217-6
  • Title of Journal : Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy
  • Keywords: Circular Economy, Closed-Loop Supply Chain, Mixed Integer Linear Programming, Open-Loop Supply Chain, Printed Circuit Board, Sustainability


© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.The recycling of printed circuit boards, which accounts for a considerable monetary value in waste electrical and electronic equipment, has long been ignored due to the serious challenges in collection, dismantling, and recycling processes. In this study, the open-loop and closed-loop supply chain involving circular economy objectives is designed in order to increase the recyclability of valuable metals including gold, silver, copper, and palladium. In this regard, a mixed-integer linear programming model, which aims at maximizing the profit from the flow in the supply chain network, is developed. The model is tested with actual data obtained from a printed circuit board firm in Turkey that aims an optimal distribution in its supply chain. The results reveal that the product/material flows, which have an impact on the revenues, are among the most important factors affecting the profitability. According to results, the circular economy objectives increase the revenue obtained in the hybrid open-loop and closed-loop supply chain. Besides, the boundaries of the proposed model are tested with sensitivity analyses, and the results are discussed extensively with conclusions on managerial implications. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]