Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are called “urban mineral resources” since 25%- 30% in weight of their composition is made of valuable metals and rare earths. PCBs recycling is a very challenging task that has not been solved yet from a technological and business model sustainability point of view. Most of the current approaches are based on the combination of thermal and chemical processes, which require considerable energy and generate negative environmental impacts. Moreover, currently many critical raw materials found in small concentrations in PCBs but in considerable concentrations in specific components are not recovered and usually end-up in the fraction going to landfill. To overcome these limitations, the “Zero Waste PCBs” project aims at developing a systemic solution integrating technological and business model innovations to achieve a more sustainable end- of-life treatment of PCBs. Automatic components disassembly and intelligent mechanical shredding and separation processes are integrated to achieve a high purity mixture of metal and non-metal fractions to be further treated by chemical recovery processes. Moreover, methods to re-use the non-metal fractions are investigated, under a zero-waste view. This paper presents the major intermediate results of the project and the application potentials of the methodological and technological innovations.

Integrated Technological Solutions for Zero Waste Recycling of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs)

COLLEDANI, MARCELLO;COPANI, GIACOMO;TOLIO, TULLIO ANTONIO MARIA
2015

Abstract

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are called “urban mineral resources” since 25%- 30% in weight of their composition is made of valuable metals and rare earths. PCBs recycling is a very challenging task that has not been solved yet from a technological and business model sustainability point of view. Most of the current approaches are based on the combination of thermal and chemical processes, which require considerable energy and generate negative environmental impacts. Moreover, currently many critical raw materials found in small concentrations in PCBs but in considerable concentrations in specific components are not recovered and usually end-up in the fraction going to landfill. To overcome these limitations, the “Zero Waste PCBs” project aims at developing a systemic solution integrating technological and business model innovations to achieve a more sustainable end- of-life treatment of PCBs. Automatic components disassembly and intelligent mechanical shredding and separation processes are integrated to achieve a high purity mixture of metal and non-metal fractions to be further treated by chemical recovery processes. Moreover, methods to re-use the non-metal fractions are investigated, under a zero-waste view. This paper presents the major intermediate results of the project and the application potentials of the methodological and technological innovations.
Proceeding of the XII AITeM Conference
9788890606120
sustainability, de-manufacturing, recycling
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/983454
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