Optimization of Precious Metal Recovery from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Boards


Recovering noble metals from Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) will provide an additional income within the disposal process of end-of-life electronic devices. Generally, the recycling process starts with the manual disman-tling of different devices and with sorting of the subdivided products into useful and hazardous materials. A sample of about 21 tonnes of WEEE was dismantled in 14 days to remove Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) that were about 5% weight of the whole sample. Computer PCBs proved to contain the 96% of all the gold present in all types of PCBs of the sample. Computer PCBs were manually dismantled to obtain the easy-to-remove components of the board, namely, the integrated circuits and the processors, which were about 13% weight of the board and 0.1% weight of the whole WEEE sample and contained about 91% of the gold present in the whole board with an average concentration of 2400 μg/g

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M. Delfini, M. Ferrini, A. Manni, P. Massacci, L. Piga and A. Scoppettuolo, "Optimization of Precious Metal Recovery from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Boards," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 6, 2011, pp. 675-682. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.26078.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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