Metal Recovery from Circuit Board Scrap Christian Hagelüken Umicore Precious Metals Refining IAER 2004 Summit Phoenix/Scottdale May 13, 2004
WEEE: Sexy? Well, it all depends on your taste • Electronic scrap is a complex mix of many different substances: • Cu, Ag, Au, Pd, … (valuable?) • Fe, Al, Ni, Sn, Zn, … (standard metals?) • Hg, Be, Pb, Cd, As, Sb, Bi, … (metals of concern!) • Halogens (Br, F, Cl, ...) • combustibles (plastics) • high risk of environmental damage if landfilled or if not treated in an environmentally sound way • But: WEEE in total contains a lot of metals / resources and represents a true mine above the ground, which must not be wasted • Circuit boards are of special interest, since they contain valuable precious metals
The value of circuit boards varies significantly • high grade: Au > 400 g/t • medium grade Au 200 - 400 g/t • low grade Au 100 - 200 g/t • very low grade Au < 100 g/t Other precious metals contained: Ag, Pd, (Pt)
A sophisticated & accurate sampling process is needed to determine the true metal content • Experience and integrity of the precious metals refiner is crucial for reliable assays • Foto: • Partial view on Umicore‘s circuit board sampling installations at the Hoboken plant near Antwerp/Belgium
Creating value and ecological benefit in a modern intergrated metals refinery
Fe HC Rh Zn Ir Hg Pt Ni Te SiO Pb As Ru 2 Co Cu Ag Au S Bi Sn Se Pd Sb C Cd Al O 2 3 In Purified off gas Purified waste water Umicore -Processes C HC Sulfuric Depositories Metals & Energy Recovery S < 5%/yr Acid Hg, Cd, ... Base & Special Metals High grade Cu, Ni , Co, Sn , Pb , Bi , Precious Metals As, Sb , Se, Te , In, ... Slag as Ag , Au, Pt, Pd, Rh , Ir , Ru Construction mat. Output: much more than precious metals Input Metals refining is a complex metallurgical “disintegration” and separation process a complex, problematic feed is systematically worked on and turned into recycled, useful products
Recycledmetals/ elements Collection Dis-mantling Pre-processing Smelting & Refining WEEE Separated components & fractions There is more room for optimisation by considering the entire WEEE recycling chain • Streamlined & transparent collection / recycling chain ? • Can undesired reuse of devices or components be surely excluded ?(e.g. in case of OEM production scrap) • Right & reliable operators and technologies involved ? • Separated fractions in marketable quality? Sufficient market demand ? • Real economical & ecological benefit of all separation steps ? • total chain costs • total (precious) metal losses & breakdown per step • total final quantity for landfill or incineration
Dismantling& pre-processing Preprocessing losses for PM can be between 10-35% Investigate for optimisation smelting costs Costs Smelting & refining metal losses Preprocessing costs (incl. landfill) Preprocessing intensity E.g. low grade material: paying a gate fee to a smelter can still be a better deal than total costs and value losses by extensive preprocessing Optimising the trade-off between preprocessing & smelting/refining Eco-efficiency of total chain:How „deep“ for pre-processing ?How „early“ to feed into a smelter/refiner ?
Much more than PCB-recycling: From a commodity to customised solutions • Our integrated metals refinery can treat: • populated and unpopulated circuit boards • entire small devices after battery removal (e.g. mobile phones, handheld computers etc.) • Plastic fractions with (precious) metals • Cu- or Fe-based metallic fractions (with/without PM) • Components like IC‘s, MLCC, hard disks, contacts, ... • ... • Within Umicore we also recover Li-ion and NiMH batteries Let‘s analyse your material streams and mutually determine the best economical and ecological way maximising eco-efficient
Thanks for your attention ! Questions ? Contact: Christian HagelükenThierry van Kerckhoven firstname.lastname@example.org www.preciousmetals.com We are committed to eco-efficient recycling
Environmental efficiency Impact on local & global environment (air, water, soil, people, ...) Technical processes & company policy Recycling efficiency Cost efficiency • Impact on resources & on waste reduction • economic impact(precious metal yields) Economic impact: impact on total recycling chain Focus on eco-efficiency - finding the right balance between ecological and economical performance Recycling cost is not a determinant factor by itself!
By-products from smelters and refiners Industrial & consumerrecyclable products Precious Metals Base Metals Special Metals Chemicals Aggregate for concrete INPUT 250,000 tpy Example: the Umicore smelter & refinery at Hoboken/Antwerp (Belgium) OUTPUT Since 1997: extensive refurbishment, new smelter, PM plant & electrowinning; EHS related investments > 50 M€
Smelting/ refining Landfill &incineration Further upgrading Cu + PM E.g.air flowseparation Mixed plastic(+PM) Eddy Currentseparation Al (+PM) Magnetic separation Fe (+PM) In some cases „less can be more“(depending on type of material) Examples for .... ... „less“ is benefitial: small devices - mobile phones, handheld computers, digital cameras, ... ... „more“ makes sense: white goods, TV-sets, monitors, PC‘s, ... Total costs for recycling chain Shredding/size reduction Fluff (+PM) Dismantling Components, casing etc. logistics PM = Precious metals (Au, Ag, Pd)