Study on copper recovery from smelted low-grade e-scrap using hydrometallurgical methods
Waste electric and electronic equipment currently comprises the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, but at the same time it is seen as an important source of metals for the recycling industry. E-waste is usually treated pyrometallurgically, with hydrometallurgical methods used to a lesser extent. This paper reports the results of research on the selective recovery of copper from smelted low-value electronic waste. Pyrometallurgical pretreatment of the scrap allowed the removal of plastics and the increase of metal content in the material. The obtained alloy of copper, zinc, tin and silver was a multiphase solid consisting of two brass phases and inclusions rich in iron, lead and silver. Copper alloy was further anodically dissolved in ammoniacal chloride solution. It resulted in high degradation of the material and accumulation of the metals mainly in the slime. The slime was then leached in acid or ammoniacal chloride and sulfate solutions followed by selective copper electrowinning. Hydrochloric acid was the most efficient solvent for the slime, but ammoniacal solutions were more selective for copper. Copper could be leached with 96 to 100 percent and 87 percent efficiency from the slime by the chloride and sulfate solutions, respectively. Copper with 90 to 99 percent purity at current efficiency of 42 to 76 percent was obtained from the acid solutions, while copper with 98 to 99 percent purity at current efficiency of 60 to 86 percent was deposited from the ammoniacal baths.
Key wordsAlloy Electrolysis E-scrap Leaching Recovery Slime
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baldé, C.P., Wang, F., Kuehr, R., and Huisman, J., 2015, “The Global E-Waste Monitor–2014,” United Nations University, IAS-SCYCLE, Bonn, Germany.Google Scholar
- European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, 2012, “Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).”Google Scholar
- Groot, D.R., and van der Linde, J.A.N., 2009a, “The processing of e-waste. Part 1: the preparation and characterization of a metallic alloy derived from the smelting of printed circuit boards,” Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 109, pp. 697–700.Google Scholar
- Groot, D.R., and van der Linde, J.A.N., 2009b, “The processing of e-waste. Part.2. The electrochemical leaching behavior of a metallic alloy derived from waste printed circuit boards,” Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 109, pp. 701–707.Google Scholar
- Keeble, D., 2013, “The Culture of Planned Obsolescence in Technology Companies,” Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Business Information Technology.Google Scholar
- Oishi, T., Yaguchi, M., Koyama, K., Tanaka, M., and Lee, J.C., 2008, “Hydrometallurgical process for the recycling of copper using anodic oxidation of cuprous ammine complexes and flow-through electrolysis,” Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 53, pp. 2585–2592, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2007.10.046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rochetti, L., Veglió, F., Kopacek, B., and Beolchini, F., 2013, “Environmental impact assessment of hydrometallurgical processes for metal recovery from WEEE residues using a portable prototype plant,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 1581–1588, https://doi.org/10.1021/es302192t.Google Scholar
- Rudnik, E., Kolczyk, K., and Kutyla, D., 2015, “Comparative studies on the hydrometallurgical treatment of smelted low-grade electronic scraps for selective copper recovery,” Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China, Vol. 25, No. 8, pp. 2763–2771, https://doi.org/10.1016/s1003-6326(15)63901-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rudnik, E., 2016, “Application of ammoniacal solutions for leaching and electrochemical dissolution of metals from alloys produced from low-grade e-scrap,” Archives of Metallurgy and Materials, in press.Google Scholar
- Sun, Z.H.I., Xiao, Y., Sietsma, J., Agterhuis, H., Visser, G., and Yang, Y., 2015, “Selective copper recovery from complex mixtures of end-of-life electronic products with ammonia-based solution,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 152, pp. 91–99, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hydromet.2014.12.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vignes, A., 2013, Extractive Metallurgy 1: Basic Thermodynamics and Kinetics, Wiley.Google Scholar
- Zienkowicz, J., Senderacka, I., and Wallmoden, W., eds., 1954, Kalendarz chemiczny, PWT, Warszawa, in Polish.Google Scholar