Chemical Papers

, Volume 72, Issue 5, pp 1231–1238 | Cite as

Sampling and digestion of waste mobile phones printed circuit boards for Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn determination

  • Vladislava MičkováEmail author
  • Silvia Ružičková
  • Dagmar Remeteiová
  • Martina Laubertová
  • Marianna Dorková
Original Paper


Sampling is the most important procedure in arriving at the value of an electronic scrap. Inappropriate sampling makes other procedures, including assaying, valueless, as the sample must really represent the electronic scrap from which it was taken. The aim of this study was to develop the procedure to investigate the composition of heterogeneous printed circuit boards (PCBs) material and to show its applicability as well as its related limitations. The contents of Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn in PCBs from wasted mobile phones were determined. Mixtures of aqua regia, hydrogen peroxide and hydrofluoric acid were applied to sample digestion. Open and closed vessel wet digestion with or without heating and microwave-assisted one was realized. For these purposes different sample amounts (0.2, 0.4, and 0.5 g) were applied and on the basis of calculated relative standard deviation values (RSD), the precision of repeated the most effective digestion was evaluated. The microwave-assisted wet digestion and mixture of aqua regia and hydrogen peroxide was found as the most effective one of the compared mixtures and applied conditions. A sample amount of 0.5 g was found as the most suitable. RSD values confirm the importance of electronic waste material sample preparation.


Waste printed circuit boards Material processing Metals Acid digestion Microwave digestion 



This research was supported by the Slovak Grant Agency for Science VEGA No. 1/0631/17.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladislava Mičková
    • 1
    Email author
  • Silvia Ružičková
    • 1
  • Dagmar Remeteiová
    • 1
  • Martina Laubertová
    • 1
  • Marianna Dorková
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling, Institute of Recycling TechnologiesTechnical University of KošiceKošiceSlovak Republic

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