Natural minerals are a powerful tool in politics when some have a major role in production. Its depletion is now a hot topic worldwide. Thus, the safety of the environment, natural surface water, groundwater and the protection of soils from chronic contamination by metallic and inorganic elements is a global concern. Indeed, industrialization and development have led to the generation of huge and varied amounts of waste, including electronic waste (e-waste), which is released into the environment. Although e-waste is classified as hazardous, most of it is not recycled and developed countries with strict environmental protection legislation send most of their e-waste to developing countries where regulations are lax. These electronic devices and components after being used are simply dumped into the environment due to lack of treatment and recycling strategy. As a result, they become a threat to the environment, ecosystems and humans. African countries are among the most vulnerable nations. But they are unfortunately ignored and underestimated. To date, there is no e-waste recycling unit (factory) in most African countries and mainly in the Republic of Benin. In response to this challenge, this study explored the different techniques used for the recycling of waste electrical/electronic equipment in order to develop a new environmentally friendly approach in future work, for the extraction and recycling of the usual and valuable metallic elements contained in electronic waste (printed circuit boards) released into the environment. For this purpose, a bibliographic research was carried out from 20 April to 16 October 2021. The results obtained allowed us to identify the advantages and disadvantages of existing recycling methods.
AbstractRecycling of waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) has attracted increasing attention because of its high annually produced amount and high content of gold. In this study, gold recovery from waste PCBs was carried out by using the processes including microwave pyrolysis, acid leaching, solvent extraction and oxidative precipitation. The leaching efficiency of copper was approximately 95% when using a lixiviant composed of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, and the leaching efficiencies of gold were approximately 59, 95 and 95% by using thiourea, thiosulfate and aqua regia, respectively. The gold ions contained in the leachate previously produced by the leaching processes were not satisfactorily extracted by using organic solvents including di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid, tributyl phosphate, dibutyl carbitol and trioctylamine, so the leachate was decided to bypass solvent extraction and directly apply to the oxidative precipitation process. By using the oxidants of hydrogen peroxide and perchloric acid, the precipitation efficiencies of gold were approximately 95 and 99%, and the final recovery rates were approximately 90 and 93%, respectively. The high recovery rates of gold can be attributable to the use of microwave pyrolysis that prevents the loss of gold caused by shredding and grinding processes. In addition, perchloric acid can provide higher selectivity for gold recovery than hydrogen peroxide. The maximum processing capacity of microwave pyrolysis of waste PCBs would be approximately 1.23 kg. The gold recovered from 1 t of waste PCBs can be sold for approximately USD 10,000, and thus the return on investment can be as high as approximately 1400%.
The Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic (LTCC) technology has proven to be highly suitable for 3D microstructures manufacturing in electronic devices due to its excellent electrical and mechanical properties. In this paper, a novel idea of implementing the LTCC structures into high-energy particle detectors technology is proposed. It can be applied in High Energy Physics (HEP) laboratories, where such sophisticated sensors are constantly exposed to particles of the TeV energy range for many years. The most advanced applications of the concept are based on dedicated gas amplifier systems coupled with readout microstructures. Typically, the readout microstructures are made in the Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) technology and processed in a sophisticated and patent-protected way. This article presents the manufacturing process and parameters of the novel microstructures made in the LTCC technology. The structures were implemented into the high-energy particle detector, and the first results are presented.
Recently, due to the miniaturization of electronic products, printed circuit boards (PCBs) have also become smaller. This trend has led to the need for high-precision electrical test equipment to check PCBs for disconnections and short circuits. The purpose of this study is to improve the position repeatability of the platform unit up to ±2.5 μm in linear stage type test equipment. For this purpose, the causes of the position errors of the platform unit are analyzed. The platform unit holding the PCB is driven by a single-axis linear ball screw drive system offset from its geometric center due to design constraints. The yaw rotation of the platform is found to have a dominant effect on position repeatability. To address this problem, adding balancing weights to the platform unit and adjusting the stiffness of the LM Guides are proposed. These methods reduce the yaw rotation by moving the centers of mass and stiffness closer to the linear ball screw actuator. In the verification tests, the position repeatability was decreased to less than ±1.0 μm.
Rising prices in energy, raw materials, and shortages of critical raw materials (CRMs) for renewable energies or electric vehicles are jeopardizing the transition to a low-carbon economy. Therefore, managing scarce resources must be a priority for governments. To that end, appropriate indicators that can identify the criticality of raw materials and products is key. Thermodynamic rarity (TR) is an exergy-based indicator that measures the scarcity of elements in the earth’s crust and the energy intensity to extract and refine them. This paper uses TR to study 70 Mobile Phone (MP) Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) samples. Results show that an average MP PCB has a TR of 88 MJ per unit, indicating their intensive use of valuable materials. Every year the embedded TR increases by 36,250 GWh worldwide -similar to the electricity consumed by Denmark in 2019- due to annual production of MP. Pd, Ta and Au embedded in MP PCBs worldwide between 2007 and 2021 contribute to 90% of the overall TR, which account for 75, 600 and 250 tones, respectively, and increasing by 11% annually. This, coupled with the short lifespan of MP, makes PCBs an important potential source of secondary resources.