Hydrometallurgical process for extraction of metals from electronic waste, part II: Development of the processes for the recovery of copper from printed circuit boards (PCB)
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Rapid technological development induces increase of generation of used electric and electronic equipment waste, causing a serious threat to the environment. Waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs), as the main component of the waste, are significant source of base and precious metals, especially copper and gold. In recent years, most of the activities on the recovery of base and precious metals from waste PCBs are focused on hydrometallurgical techniques as more exact, predictable and easily controlled compared to conventional pyrometallurgical processes. In this research essential aspects of the hydrometallurgical processing of waste of electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) using sulfuric acid and thiourea leaching are presented. Based on the developed flow-sheet, both economic feasibility and return on investment for obtained processing conditions were analyzed. Furthermore, according to this analysis, SuperPro Designer software was used to develop a preliminary techno-economical a...ssessment of presented hydrometallurgical process, suggested for application in small mobile plant addressed to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Following of this paper, the described process is techno-economically feasible for amount of gold exceeding the limit value of 500ppm. Payback time is expected in time period from up to 7 years, depending on two deferent amounts of input waste material, 50kg and 100kg of WEEE per batch.
Keywords:waste printed circuit boards / recycling / hydrometallurgy / copper leaching / gold leaching / techno-economical assessment
Source:Metalurgija, 2011, 17, 3, 139-149
- Savez inženjera metalurgije Srbije, Beograd