Glossary

This short glossary relates to terminology used in electronics and e-waste recycling.  Entries are linked to the relevant article on Wikipedia.

Alkaline cell – a zinc based cell that uses an alkaline electrolyte. A widely used replacement for the dry cell.
Battery – two or more electrochemical cells connected as a unit or assembly.
Cable – a assembly consisting of two or more wires and usually having an outer protective sheath.
CD – compact disk, an optical storage media now largely superseded by DVDs and electronic storage.
Cell – an electrochemical device used to produce electricity. Two or more make up a battery.
CCFL – cold cathode fluorescent lamp. Typically used in LCD monitors but being replaced by LEDs in new models.
CFL – compact fluorescent lamp.
Chip – an integrated circuit.
Circuit – a collection of interconnected components.
Circuit diagram – a pictorial representation of the interconnections and functions of an electrical or electronic device. Also known as a schematic or wiring diagram.
CPU – central processing unit, a integrated circuit or part of an integrated circuit in a computer.
Component – one of a number of devices used to make up a circuit.
Conflict minerals – minerals sourced in a region where there is a war and where the proceeds of the sale of those minerals funds the war effort.
CRT – cathode ray tube, a display device used on televisions, computer monitors, oscilloscopes, radars, and other equipment. Largely superseded by LCD displays.
Deposit-refund system (DRS) – a means of increasing recycling rates by charging a fee at purchase and a refund on being returned.
Dry cell – a zinc based primary cell.
DVD – digital versatile disk or digital video disk, an optical storage media used with computers and entertainment equipment.
E-cycling – a neologism that describes the process of  turning discarded electrical and electronics items into new commodities that are in a different form.
EEE – electrical and electronic equipment, an acronym commonly used in the EU and UN
EPR – extended producer responsibility, a method of ensuring environmental costs are incorporated into the cost of an item.
EOL – end of life, a point at which an item is recycled or discarded.
E-scrap – any discarded electrical and electronic equipment destined for recycling.
E-waste – any discarded electrical and electronic equipment.
FDD – floppy disc drive, a magnetic storage device used in computers.  Now largely superseded.
Gel cell – a type of lead acid battery that uses a gel as the electrolyte rather than a liquid.
HDD – hard disk drive, a magnetic storage device used in computers.
Heavy metal – metals or metalloids that are harmful if released into the environment.  An essentially meaningless term due to a lack of clear definition.
IC – integrated circuit.
Integrated circuit – a component used in electronics equipment consisting of a number of components on a substrate and in some form of packaging.  Also know as a chip from the now archaic term of silicon chip.
LCD – liquid crystal display, an assembly that can produce a colour or monochrome display. Used on watches, computer monitors, televisions and many other electronic devices.
LED – light-emitting diode, a solid-state semiconductor that can emit visible and invisible light.
Li-ion –  lithium ion, used to describe one of a number of lithium based batteries and cells
LiPo –  lithium polymer, used to describe one of a number of lithium based batteries and cells
NiCD – (sometimes written and spoken as Nicad) nickel cadmium cell or battery.
NiMH – nickel metal hydride cell or battery.
OEM – original equipment manufacturer.  An OEM manufactures products for companies that have a well known brand.
OLED – organic light-emitting diode.
PCB – (a) printed circuit board, a board with traces, usually consisting of copper, on which components can be mounted. May refer to the board itself or the board as an assembly with components and hardware.
(b) polychlorinated biphenyl, a chemical substance formerly used in transformers as an electrical insulator.  Now phased out due to serious environmental concerns
PCBA –  an abbreviation for printed circuit board (PCB) assembly, an assembly consisting of a PCB along with the components mounted on it.
Plasma – a state of matter along with solid, liquid, and gas.  Plasma displays have been used in televisions.
Primary cell – a non-chargeable cell.
PSU – power supply unit.
PWB –  printed wiring board, also known as a PCB (printed circuit board).
RAM – random access memory, electronic storage integrated circuits in a computer.
Recertification – the process of reverting a device to an as new standard that is certified by the OEM.
Recycling – the process of turning an item usually consisting of a number of differing materials into it other materials or substances. c.f. e-cycling
Refurbishment – the process improving an item though repairing, upgrading, maintaining, cleaning, and any other process.
Remarketing – a relatively new term describing purchase or sale, the testing and refurbishment, and the sale of second hand equipment.  Commonly use to describe the sale of  enterprise owned or ex-lease computer equipment.
Repurposing – converting an item from its former use into something that services a different purpose.
Reuse – reusing an item for its original purpose.
RoHS – the European Union Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive.
Secondary cell – a rechargeable cell.

Schematic – see circuit.
Test and tag – a term often used for electrical safety testing.
VRLA – valve -regulated lead acid battery, also known as a sealed lead acid battery.
WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, an abbreviation brought into usage by the European Union.
Wire – an insulated or uninsulated conductor. The conductors may consist of a number of strands or it may be solid.