I'm wondering about all the wet Aluminum electrolytic capacitors, that uses Ethylene glycol as solvent, and whichever solute it use to form the electrolyte.

Are there any harmful chemicals produced from the manufacturing process?

What about wastes produced when you dispose them? Via incineration at above 800C?

Is the production and recycle process of electrolytic capacitor waste free and zero impact on the environment?

*Recent capacitors that does not contain any PCB.


closed as unclear what you're asking by brhans, Voltage Spike, Daniel Grillo, Bence Kaulics, Armandas Sep 23 '16 at 20:41

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ask the manufacturers directly about their ISO-14000 compliance. \$\endgroup\$ – MarkU Sep 22 '16 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It probably looks worse than it is (and it does look a bit scary, at least in Asian plants). \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Sep 22 '16 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are much bigger problems with disposing of electronic waste via incineration. Ethylene glycol would probably break down at that temperature and it breaks down in air anyway after 10 days. There are bigger environmental fish to fry. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Sep 22 '16 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does any of it really matter after the Deep Water Horizon oil spill? Use that as your yardstick for environmental disasters. I stopped worrying about recycling batteries, ink cartridges, and pop bottles after that. As laptop2d said, there are bigger shrimp to sauté. \$\endgroup\$ – FiddyOhm Sep 22 '16 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm just curious, since I can not find anything related to this stuff on the web. Except some waste management audit conducted at some capacitor factory in the 80s. If you look at the semiconductor fab process they release alot of harmful FFC into the atmosphere and they stay there for thousands of years, yet no one really talk about it. \$\endgroup\$ – user124497 Sep 22 '16 at 21:55

I can't think of any electronic component that does not handle carcinogenic materials. epoxy vapours, fuming arsenic, tantalum , instant adhesive, Hazardous polymerization etc. But the MSDS sheets do not always indicate this. ( The Chinese label just says "Blue" and immediate toxicity to skin, inhaled or injested )

I recall a process engineer who setup many of the Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) processes in the early 70's. He said a thimble amount of fuming arsenic if released could wipe out an entire stadium. So they have stringent safety measures and airborne sensors.

Even in grid Power systems using SF6 insulation gas, creates toxic chlorine gas if it leaks.

More people died of chlorine affixiation during 3 mile island nuclear disaster from molten PVC insulation than from radiation.

Who knows how they process waste materials?


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