Enrichment of valuable metals from end-of-life printed circuit boards using mechanical recycling techniques

Kumar, Vinay and Lee, Jae-chun and Jeong, Jinki and Shin, Doyun and Jha, Manis K and Kumar, Vinod (2012) Enrichment of valuable metals from end-of-life printed circuit boards using mechanical recycling techniques. In: XXVI International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC) 2012 Proceedings, September, 2012, New Delhi.

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Large quantities of electrical and electronic equipments are discarded at the end-of-life (EOL) in different industries and house hold applications. Their disposal is creating a challenging environmental problem due to the presence of hazardous metals and non-metallic materials such as epoxy resins and plastics including brominated flame retardants etc particularly in printed circuit boards (PCBs). The recovery valuable metals and separation of hazardous materials from discarded PCBs will not only conserve the resources but also mitigate the environmental pollution. From a recycling point of view for a sustainable society, the studies have been carried out for the recovery of metal values from EOL-PCBs of DVD video players (DVD-PCBs) and vacuum cleaners (VC-PCBs) using physical beneficiation techniques. The concentration of the metals was found to be 43 wt.% and 30 wt.% in DVD-PCBs and VC-PCBs, respectively. Both the PCBs samples were ground in a hammer mill after cutting and their size analysis was carried out. The liberation of the metallic and non-metallic fractions was investigated under the microscope for different size fractions. Subsequently, froth flotation and pneumatic air separation studied were carried out to enrich the metallic constituents. The studies showed the enrichment of metals in coarser particles (-1000 +150 μm) and non-metals in the finer particles -150 μm following mechanical recycling process. A grade of 90 % with 75% recovery was achieved by froth flotation, but lower grade and recovery of 75% and 65% respectively were obtained by pneumatic separation with -1500 μm powders for DVD-PCBs. A grade of 86% metal was obtained by froth flotation with 76% recovery in the case of VC-PCBs. The lower grade of 65% with almost same recovery was achieved during pneumatic separation studies due to lower concentration of metals in VC-PCBs. The studies also showed that the froth flotation is an efficient process for enrichment of metals from both the samples. The process is environmental friendly as no chemicals are employed during entire processing. The higher recovery and grade of metal is expected to be obtained on a large scale beneficiation process.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Official URL/DOI:http://eprints.nmlindia.org/6245
Uncontrolled Keywords:PCB, comminution, pneumatic separation, froth flotation, metal recovery
Divisions:Metal Extraction and Forming
ID Code:6245
Deposited On:14 Dec 2012 15:17
Last Modified:18 Oct 2013 14:24
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