Votechnik, a spin out from the University of Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, has recently been awarded the US patent for its Trumaster-ALR(TM) technology for the automatic recycling of LCD displays. Global LCD sales were 93.7 million units by the end of 2015. Given that many LCDs have a short lifespan, a large number (100,000 tonnes in 2014) are made redundant each year and require proper disposal. The WEEE and RoHS Directives, which all EU member states must implement, stipulate that components containing mercury and liquid crystals must be removed from LCDs on disposal. Votechnik offers the recycler both compliance and economic advantages, with the ability to process 80 LCDs per hour (versus the current 3 per hour using manual methods) through separation of the liquid crystal glass panel and the mercury from the LCD display.
INNEON is currently supporting Votechnik as it seeks to raise EUR 800k to complement its recent EU H2020 grant. Votechnik has already secured its first commercial sale and this will see the company achieve sales to break even within two years.