The Project


Some metals are regarded as critical for delivering a more sustainable development of the LED industry in Europe. They may become the bottleneck of the European economies, as they are indispensable in modern key technologies, particularly for low carbon energy & transport technologies. The production of batteries, computers, solar cells, catalysts, mobile phones and of course LEDs depend on the availability of these metals.


Increasing amounts of critical metals such as gallium, yttrium, lutetium or gold are used in LEDs enabling highly energy efficient lamps or backlights for displays used in notebooks, mobile phones, or in TVs. To mitigate supply risk, cycLED aims to optimise the efficient use of target metals, in LED luminaire and their recycling from LED-products.


Our scope

  • Save scarce metals in the manufacturing of LED luminaires
  • Increase the lifetime of LED products
  • Explore eco-innovative resource stewardship in LED luminaires
  • Enable recycling of target metals from end of life LED products
  Table 1: CycLED target metals

CycLED target metals

Price (2010)

Annual production

Function in LED

Gallium [Ga]

517 $/kg

216 t

LED chip (pn-diode):
light emission

Indium [In]

561 $/kg

640 t

Rare earth metals:

Cerium [Ce]
Europium [Eu]
Lutetium [Lu]
Yttrium [Y]

3.6 $/kg
418 $/kg
800 $/kg
7 $/kg

~ 24,000 t
~ 10 t
~ 10 t
8,900 t

Phosphor: conversion of blue light into other colours

Gold [Au]

39,650 $/kg

2,700 t

Electrical, mechanical and thermal interconnection

Silver [Ag]

650 $/kg

23,800 t

Tin [Sn]

20 $/kg

270,000 t


Sources:,, United States Geological Survey


For more information please contact: otmar dot deubzer at izm dot fraunhofer dot de