Analysis of Indium and Tin in Different Scrap Liquid Crystal Display Glass by Heavy Metal Digestion Method

  • 24 Accesses


Disposing of liquid crystal display (LCD) waste has significant effects on the environment, human and animal health, and metal resources by extension if inappropriately treated. In this study, we have developed a process for the separation of indium–tin oxide (ITO) glass from the LCD panel and evaluated the best digestion process for the analysis of In and Sn from ITO glass. The digestion process of scrap LCD in this work involves the separation of the polarizing film from ITO glass by environmentally friendly cold thermal shock method with liquid nitrogen, the removal of liquid crystals between the ITO glass substrates by ultrasonic cleaning, and the analysis of In and Sn from ITO glass by acid digestion method with a suitable reagent. Various brands of scrap LCDs were treated with six different digestion methods to determine In and Sn concentrations. The result of this study indicates that aqua-regia digestion procedure was the best method for the analysis of In and Sn. The concentrations of In and Sn in various brands of LCDs were in the range of 233–332 mg/kg and 43–421.5 mg/kg, respectively. Further, the analysis of In and Sn metals at different locations of the same scrap LCD was also carried out and it was observed that the concentrations of these metals (In—0.0278–0.0369% and Sn—0.0033–0.0078%) were significantly similar, with slight variations in their percentages.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. 1.

    Gupta B, Mudhar N, Singh I (2007) Separations and recovery of indium and gallium using bis(2,4,4-trimethylpentyl)phosphinic acid (Cyanex 272). Sep Purif Technol 57:294–303

  2. 2.

    Alfantazi AM, Moskalyk RR (2003) Processing of indium—a review. Miner Engg 16:687–694

  3. 3.

    Park KS, Sato W, Grause G, Kameda T, Yoshioka T (2009) Recovery of indium from In2O3 and liquid crystal display powder via a chloride volatilization process using polyvinyl chloride. Thermochim Acta 493:105–108

  4. 4.

    Chou WL, Huang YH (2009) Electrochemical removal of indium ions from aqueous solution using iron electrodes. J Hazard Mater 172:46–53

  5. 5.

    Chou WL, Wang CT, Huang KY (2009) Effect of operating parameters on indium (III) ion removal by iron electrocoagulation and evaluation of specific energy consumption. J Hazard Mater 167:467–474

  6. 6.

    Virolainen S, Ibana D, Paatero E (2011) Recovery of indium from indium-tin-oxide by solvent extraction. Hydrometallurgy 107:56–61

  7. 7.

    Tolcin AC (2011) United States Geological Survey. Mineral commodity summaries (U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral commodity summaries, 2011). Accessed 10 Mar 2017.

  8. 8.

    Lin KL, Chang WK, Chang TC, Lee CH, Lin CH (2009) Recycling thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) waste glass produced as glass–ceramics. J Clean Prod 17:1499–1503

  9. 9.

    Kang HY, Schoenung JM (2006) Estimation of future outflows and infrastructure needed to recycle personal computer systems in California. J Hazard Mater 137:1165–1174

  10. 10.

    Li J, Tian B, Liu T, Liu H, Wen X, Honda SH (2006) Status quo of e-waste management in mainland China. J Mater Cycles Waste Manage 8:13–20

  11. 11.

    Chang TC, You SJ, Yu BS, Kong HW (2007) The fate and management of high mercury-containing lamps from high technology industry. J Hazard Mater 141:784–792

  12. 12.

    Mukherjee BA, Zevenhoven R, Brodersen J (2004) Mercury in waste in the European Union: sources, disposal methods and risks. Resour Conser Recycl 42:155–182

  13. 13.

    Marcelo FC, Sandra T, John MS, Silveira LL, Dora VF (2008) Electrophysiological evidence for impairment of contrast sensitivity in mercury vapor occupational intoxication. Environ Res 107:132–138

  14. 14.

    Lim SR, Schoenung JM (2010) Human health and ecological toxicity potentials from waste electronic devices with flat panel displays. J Hazard Mater 177:251–259

  15. 15.

    Li J, Gao S, Duan H, Liu L (2009) Recovery of valuable materials from wasteliquid crystal display panel. Waste Manag 29:2033–2040

  16. 16.

    Han KN, Kondoju S, Park K, Kang H (2002) Recovery of indium from indium/tinoxides scrap by chemical precipitation. Geosyst Eng 5:93–98

  17. 17.

    Qing W (2004) Method of recover waste liquid crystal display. CN1536394A (in Chinese)

  18. 18.

    Steiner MS (2006) Possible ways for the separation of backlight lamps. In: ReLCD –Workshop, Vienna, Austria

  19. 19.

    Fraunholc Z (2006) Mercury and mercury containing backlight removing method for LCD screen, involves breaking mercury containing waste to break mercury containing components of waste, and removing non-evaporated mercury and mercury containing backlights. DE102007018954-A1

  20. 20.

    Lee C (2004) A method for the recycling of scrap liquid crystal display. Knowl Bridge 45:2–3

  21. 21.

    Mitsbushi Materials Ltd (1997) A recovery method of indium by electrowinning. Japanese Patent 10-04673

  22. 22.

    Barakat MA (1998) Recovery of Lead, Tin and Indium from Alloy Wire Scrap. Hydrometallurgy 49:63

  23. 23.

    Toso Co. Ltd. (1989) Recovery of indium by adjusting pH of the solution. Japanese Patent, 3–75223.

  24. 24.

    Han KN, Siddartha K, Park K, Kang HM (2002) Recovery of indium from indium/tin oxides scrap by chemical precipitation. Geosystem Engg 5:93–98

  25. 25.

    Liu HM, Wu CC, Lin YH, Chiang CK (2009) Recovery of indium from etching wastewater using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. J Hazard Mater 172:744–748

  26. 26.

    Hasegawa H, Rahman MML, Egawa Y, Sawai H, Begum AZ, Maki T, Mizutani S (2013) Recovery of indium from end-of-life liquid-crystal display panels using aminopolycarboxylate chelants with the aid of mechanochemical treatment. Microchem J 106:289–294

  27. 27.

    Li Y, Liu Z, Li Q, Liu Z, Zeng L (2001) Recovery of indium from used indium–tin oxide (ITO) targets. Hydrometallurgy 105:207–212

  28. 28.

    Yamane LH, de Moraes VT, Espinosa DCR, Tenório JAS (2011) Recycling of WEEE: Characterization of spent printed circuit boards from mobile phones and computers. Waste Manag 31:2553–2558

  29. 29.

    Hseu ZY (2004) Evaluating heavy metal contents in nine composts using four digestion methods. Bioresour Technol 95:53–59

  30. 30.

    Ishak I, Rosh FD, Mohamed J, MohdIsmail MF (2015) Comparison of digestion methods for the determination of trace elements and heavy metals in human hair and nails. Malays J Med Sci 22:11–20

  31. 31.

    Li J, Gao S, Duan H, Liu L (2009) Recovery of valuable materials from waste liquid crystal display panel. Waste Manage 29:2033–2039

  32. 32.

    Environmental analysis method: Methods of Digestion on Sludge and Sedimentation: (2001) NIEA R109.01C, Accessed Mar 2013 (in Chinese)

  33. 33.

    Environmental analysis method: Methods of Digestion on agricultural soils (2001), NIEA S321.63B, Accessed 18 Apr 2013 (in Chinese)

  34. 34.

    Environmental analysis method: Methods of determination of ash waste (2001), NIEA R204.00T, Accessed 24 Apr 2013 (in Chinese)

  35. 35.

    Wang HY (2008) A study of the effects of LCD glass sand on the properties of concrete. Waste Manage 29:335–341

  36. 36.

    Takamichi H, Toshiaki M (2005) Material collection from liquid crystal display wasted panels. Sharp Technical J 92:17–22

  37. 37.

    Yu C (2002) In–Sn separating by alkali processing. Chinese J Rare Metal 26:238 (in Chinese)

  38. 38.

    Terakado O, Iwaki D, Murayama K, Hirasawa M (2011) Indium recovery from indium tin oxide, ITO, thin film deposited on glass plate by chlorination treatment with ammonium chloride. Mater Trans 52:1655–1660

  39. 39.

    Boni H, Widmer R (2011) Disposal of flat panel display monitors in switzerland final report, Siwco Recycling St. Gallen, Switzerland.

  40. 40.

    Lee CH, Jeong MK, Kilicaslan MF, Lee JH, Hong HS, Hong SJ (2013) Recovery of indium from used LCD panel by a time efficient and environmentally sound method assisted HEBM. Waste Manag 33:730–734

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Srinivasa R. Popuri.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

The contributing editor for this article was S. Kitamura.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lee, C., Popuri, S.R. & Peng, Y. Analysis of Indium and Tin in Different Scrap Liquid Crystal Display Glass by Heavy Metal Digestion Method. J. Sustain. Metall. 5, 617–626 (2019).

Download citation


  • Method development
  • Electronic waste
  • Liquid crystal display
  • Resource
  • Indium
  • Tin
  • Thermal shock method