pp 1–8 | Cite as

Copper Extraction from Flue Dust of Electronic Waste by Electrowinning and Ion Exchange Process

  • Hyunju Lee
  • Mooki Bae
  • Eunkyung Lee
  • Brajendra MishraEmail author
Urban Mining: Characterization and Recycling of Solid Wastes


The recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste has attracted a great deal of attention recently in the field of recycling. The recovery process for metal resources present within flue dust from e-waste to obtain valuable metals, such as Cu, by both physiochemical and electrical processes has been investigated. The flue dust was generated during the smelting process of e-waste and contained metals such as Cu, Al, and Fe. When considering the acid leaching efficiency and pulp density of Cu, 50 g/L pulp density and 1 M H2SO4 at 60°C for 4 h were selected for Cu recovery. Electrowinning and ion exchange methods were also applied to extract Cu from a leachate. In the electrowinning experiment, about 94% of Cu was obtained at current density of 15 mA/cm2 for 3 h. Two methods were applied for ion exchange experiments: a static method using a chromatography column, and a dynamic method using a magnetic stirrer and impeller. The amount of Cu that can be recovered by 1 g of resin, namely the adsorption capacity qt, was also measured. However, since ion exchange by cation resin in the leachate recovered not only Cu but also Fe and Al, the extraction efficiency of Cu was less than that obtained when using pure CuSO4 solution. Based on these results, a study was conducted to combine electrowinning and ion exchange for recovery of valuable metals, purification of the acid solution, and ultimately, reuse.



The authors would like to thank the members of the NSF I/UCRC on Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3), as well as the National Science Foundation. This work was also supported by the R&D Center for Valuable Recycling (Global-Top R&BD Program), Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea (Project No. 2016002250004).


  1. 1.
    B.H. Robinson, Sci. Total Environ. 408, 183 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Widmer, H. Oswald-Krapf, D. Sinha-Khetriwal, M. Schnellmann, and H. Böni, Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. 25, 436 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Tuncuk, V. Stazi, A. Akcil, E.Y. Yazici, and H. Deveci, Miner. Eng. 25, 28 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Kumar, V.K. Kuppusamy, M.E. Holuszko, and T. Janke, Recycling 3, 21 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Xue, G. Yan, J. Li, and Z. Xu, Environ. Sci. Technol. 46, 10556 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Wu, J. Li, and Z. Xu, Environ. Sci. Technol. 42, 5272 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Li, Y. Jiang, and Z. Xu, J. Clean. Prod. 141, 1316 (2017).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    I. Birloaga, I.D. Michelis, F. Ferella, M. Buzatu, and F. Vegliò, Waste Manag. 33, 935 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Lee and B. Mishra, Miner. Eng. 123, 1 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    E-y Kim, M-s Kim, J-c Lee, J. Jeong, and B.D. Pandey, Hydrometallurgy 107, 124 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    F. Vegliò, R. Quaresima, P. Fornari, and S. Ubaldini, Waste Manag. 23, 245 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Dąbrowski, Z. Hubicki, P. Podkościelny, and E. Robens, Chemosphere 56, 91 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Zhang, T. Tian, J. Chen, J. Zu, and Y. Wang, RSC Adv. 5, 2080 (2015).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Y. Chen, T. Liao, G. Li, B. Chen, and X. Shi, Miner. Eng. 39, 23 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. Morales, M. Cruells, A. Roca, and R. Bergó, Hydrometallurgy 105, 148 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    C.P. Baldé, V. Forti, V. Gray, R. Kuehr, and P. Stegmann, The global e-waste monitor 2017: quantities, flows and resources (Tokyo: United Nations University, International Telecommunication Union, and International Solid Waste Association, 2017).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    H. Lee and B. Mishar, Recovery of copper and precious metals and separation of lead from flue dust of electronic waste processing. Extr. Metall. Rev. Published online 12 Feb (2019).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    H.S. Altundogan, M. Boyrazli, and F. Tumen, Miner. Eng. 17, 46 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    H. Yang, J. Liu, and J. Yanga, J. Hazard. Mater. 187, 393 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Z. Wang, S. Guo, and C. Ye, Proc. Environ. 31, 917 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    P. Vanýsek, Electrochemical series. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics: 92nd Edition Editor-in-Chief David R. Lide 2011, pp. 8–23.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Y. Chen, B. Pan, H. Li, W. Zhang, L. Lv, and J. Wu, Environ. Sci. Technol. 44, 3508 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    J.L. Valverde, A.D. Lucas, M. Gonzalez, and J.F. Rodríguez, J. Chem. Eng. Data 46, 1404 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    F. Godea and E. Pehlivan, J. Hazard. Mater. B136, 330 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyunju Lee
    • 1
  • Mooki Bae
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eunkyung Lee
    • 3
  • Brajendra Mishra
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Mineral Resources DivisionKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Resources RecyclingUniversity of Science and Technology (UST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Ocean Advanced Materials Convergence EngineeringKorea Maritime and Ocean UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Mechanical EngineeringWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations