Introduction to the existing methods for recycling PCB
A world full of raise in trends in electronic product technology such as; computers, control equipment, mobile phones, and machines, is greatly being embraced by users all over the world causing a massive production to suit the trendy social world.
But how can you achieve that kind of awesomeness without harming the environment, as a whole? Well, this is something that researchers are doing their level best toward ensuring the production of software that goes through any stage of the electronic design process that does benefit both the economy and the environment.
Owning an electronic product in the current world is such a fantastic way to prove how brilliant you are, and to spice it all, the chances of people believing you increase to an amazing positive level of trust. However, it is most alarming that these massive productions of electronic products play a huge role in leading to the massive production of E-waste for the whole world.
Research shows that a lot of people struggle with the fact of finding ways how to manage E-waste in the correct manner possible, to avoid any form of harm to current and future generations’ lifestyles, globally. With that said, there is a great need to ensure the development of green chemistries to recycle used products and reuse precious metals.
Printed Circuit boards (PCBs), a crucial part of each electronic product, hold the majority weight of the total weight of the product, a part of the E-waste components, that greatly contains heavy metal elements, resin, and chemicals that prove to be harmful to the environment and all humankind.
As much as these components of E-waste prove to be harmful to both the environment and human health, it is important to note that E-waste residues do bring great value as it poses high percentages of precious metals such as; copper, copper-beryllium alloy, aluminum, tin, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and lead- which is the major reason to recycle PCB, as it plays a role to the protection of the environment, as well as the development of the economy.
It is essential to fully understand all the components that are in use to make PCB effectively work, and come up with great ideas for recycling it. Similarly, PCB is made of fiberglass, electronic composites, and a lot of other additive composites.
The process of recycling PCB involves the separation of electronic components from the composites by degrading resin, which happens to be the organic material. This recycling process enables the use of both fiberglass and resin in the future.
The majority of electronic products existed for a long time ago, and it is important to as well acknowledge how PCB recycling was done traditionally, keeping in mind that the room for exploring today, comes up with new ways of recycling PCB. Traditionally, the use of the electrostatic method to separate selected, dismantled, and crushed waste PCB physically, was done by magnetism, as it can obtain different types of metal particles.
A more low-cost and environmentally friendly approach is the use of non-metallic fractions from PCB, being added to as filters in fabricating heavy composites- A method used in many countries all over the world. Even though this highly practiced method is in use in the majority of countries, it is so unfortunate that the insufficiency of non-metallic fractions is caused by the loss of metal, during the separation process.
PCB recycling process has enabled the researchers to come up with other forms such as:
A process of PCB recycling that involves a lot of heat that causes high temperatures, thus enabling the conversion of lead, tin, and oxides from solid forms into liquid forms. This kind of method is specifically in use for recycling massive PCB, which unfortunately will continue to be a major concern to the environment and humankind as the use of heat in smelting metals may still produce a great percentage of dust and gas that has dioxins and lead getting released to the environment.
The process of pyrometallurgy raises an alarm in the financial world as it tends to bring about an increase in investment costs. It needs the finances to cover equipment used to recycle metals. The waste air being processed does require an investment cost as it plays a tremendous unique role in preventing harmful dust and particles from getting into the air.
It is so unfortunate that the pyrometallurgy PCB recycling process has a weakness, as many firms have the idea of sending E-waste to Africa and China, which make use of low-tech heating methods in impurity removal. Sadly to say, some locations do not have the right regulations or the beneficial knowledge on how to go about E-waste, so they use an open fire to burn non-metal waste, in the hope to recover precious metals- a process that turns out to be practiced daily, thus hindering the environs of Africa and China, their humankind included.
A PCB recycling process that uses aqueous solutions in the recovery of metals, by changing liquids into solids and capturing and extracting metals. The main concern about this process is if it is not used correctly, it may be harmful to the environment. That is to say, with no proper wastewater treatment equipment, wastewater can contain metallic ions and acids.
A PCB recycling process whose functionality is highly supported by the use of electrolysis water- which has oxygen that enables copper dissolving after capturing resin.
In conclusion, the very same way companies embrace the use of having a process design that coincides with social and ecological responsibility, is the very same energy that should be positively used in coming up with PCB recycling processes that meet global requirements and do not harm the environment air or water, and humankind in general.
A process that will be beneficial to the economy, the environment, and humankind who are the main users of electronics in the growing social world.