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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?)

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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
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
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
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
metals refining is a complex metallurgical disintegration and separation process

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

there is more room for optimisation by considering the entire weee recycling chain

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
optimising the trade off between preprocessing smelting refining

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
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

we are committed to eco efficient recycling

Thanks for your attention !

Questions ?

Contact:

Christian HagelükenThierry van Kerckhoven

preciousmetals@umicore.com

www.preciousmetals.com

We are committed to eco-efficient recycling
focus on eco efficiency finding the right balance between ecological and economical performance

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!

example the umicore smelter refinery at hoboken antwerp belgium
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€

in some cases less can be more depending on type of material

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)