Research Summary Pyrometallurgy Fundamentals

JOM

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 55-58

A process for extracting precious metals from spent printed circuit boards and automobile catalysts

  • Byung-Su KimAffiliated withthe Minerals & Materials Processing Division of the Korea Institute of Geoscience & Mineral Resources
  • , Jae-chun LeeAffiliated withthe Minerals & Materials Processing Division of the Korea Institute of Geoscience & Mineral Resources
  • , Seung-Pil SeoAffiliated withthe Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Chonbuk National University
  • , Young-Koo ParkAffiliated withthe Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Chonbuk National University
  • , Hong Yong SohnAffiliated withthe Department of Metallurgical Engineering, the University of Utah

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Abstract

In this work, a novel process to simultaneously extract precious metals such as gold, palladium, and platinum from spent printed circuit boards (PCBs) and honeycomb-type auto catalysts by smelting without the addition of any collector metals has been developed. The process uses metal components such as copper, tin, and iron contained in spent PCBs as the collector metal and spent auto catalysts as a slag formative. In each experiment, spent PCBs and auto catalysts were crushed, incinerated, and melted after adding fluxes and carbon. Up to 90% of the gold, palladium, and platinum in the raw materials were extracted in a Cu-Sn alloy phase.