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Do you know the steps of recycle PCBs?

o-leading.com o-leading.com 2017-06-07 10:26:26

PCB are present in most electronic devices found nowadays all around the world. Do you know the steps of recycle PCBs? 

Mechanical processes
It starts with a pre-treatment system that aims to separate metals, polymer materials and ceramics. After this step, the metals are sent to the metallurgical refining process. The techniques that make up this process are: comminution, classification and separation.

Comminution is the technique used to reduce particle size and release metals for future concentrations. In the classification step, the material particles obtained by the previous process must be separated or classified according to their size. After the steps of comminution and classification, the enrichment of the material takes place by means of separation techniques: the parts that are interesting for the refining process of the metal are separated, discarding any impurities.

In the case of Printed circuit board in china, the difference in electrical conductivity between metals and non-metals is a fundamental condition for the good result of the technique. Non-conductive materials (polymers and ceramics) can be separated from conductors (metals). Some techniques employed for this purpose are explained below.

Pyrometallurgy process
It is a metallurgical process that uses high temperatures to produce pure metals, alloys or intermediate compounds. Pyrometallurgy requires high energy consumption to reach the appropriate temperatures for each stage of the process. There are several steps in the process, from the drying of the raw material to the refining of the final product.

The chemical transformation step to be used will depend on the material in question. The best known are calcination (decomposition by heat in the presence of oxygen), roasting (calcination applied to sulphides) and pyrolysis (decomposition by the action of heat in an environment with little or no oxygen). Some of the major problems in the use of pyrometallurgical processes are the possibility of emission of toxic compounds such as dioxins and the high energy consumption.

Hydrometallurgy process
It consists of the separation of metals. Some of the advantages of this method are the energy savings and the lower pollution of the environment.

Electrometallurgy process
It is a process of refining metals through electrolysis. During electrolysis, metals without the impurities undergo electrodeposition, in which metals such as copper, zinc, cadmium, aluminum, precious metals, among others, can be recovered with a high degree of purity;

Biometallurgy process
This process uses the action of microorganisms and minerals to recover valuable metals. This process requires a lot of time and metal needs to be exposed to microbial action.

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