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U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1196-T

Flow Studies for Recycling Metal Commodities in the United States

Selenium Recycling in the United States in 2004

By Micheal W. George and Lorie A. Wagner

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The vast majority of selenium consumption in the United States is in dissipative uses, such as alloys, animal feeds, fertilizers, glass decolorizer, and pigments. The nondissipative use as a photoreceptor for xerographic copiers is declining. As a result of a lack of a substantial supply of selenium-containing scrap, there are no longer selenium recycling facilities in the United States. Selenium-containing materials collected for recycling, primarily selenium-containing photocopier drums, are exported for processing in other countries. Of the estimated 350 metric tons (t) of selenium products that went to the U.S. market in 2004, an estimated 300 t went to dissipative uses. An estimated 4 t was recovered from old scrap and exported for recycling.

First posted February 2010

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Suggested citation:

George, M.W., and Wagner, L.A., 2009, Selenium recycling in the United States in 2004, chap. T of Sibley, S.R., Flow studies for recycling metal commodities in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1196–T, p. T1–T7, available only at





Global Geologic Occurrence of Selenium

Primary Production and Processes

Sources of Secondary Selenium

Old Scrap Generated

New Scrap Generated

Disposition of Selenium Scrap

Old Scrap Recycling Efficiency

Infrastructure of Selenium Scrap Recycling

Processing of Selenium Scrap


References Cited


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