Green PCB Manufacturing Technologies

Reference work entry


More and more green legislations were adopted in the global community. These legislations have notably affected the electronic industry supply chain. Printed circuit board (PCB) as a critical part in electronic products or systems receives some of most severe impacts.

The legalization of RoHS leads to lead-free solder material development in the past 10 years. However, the lead-free alloys require higher reflow temperatures, which translate to higher energy costs as well as environmental loading in terms of carbon footprints. The high solder reflow temperature also forces changes in PCB base material and may require new equipment to fabricate them.

The legalization of WEEE requires electronic waste to be recycled. PCB is used to be one of the most difficult parts to be recycled. WEEE also stipulates separation of components containing brominated flame retardants from other electronic waste prior to disposal or recycling. PCB fabrication companies have to stop using brominated flame retardants within the PCB base materials and prepregs and to develop substitutes. Further, to facilitate recycling, some toxic substances have to be avoided in PCB processes, for example, cyanide in gold plating and formaldehyde in electroless copper plating. These all demand changes and result challenges in PCB manufacturing.

Global shortage of fuel and energy sources call for environmental friendly production processes, with less energy used and more precious metal recovered within the production cycle. Subsequently, alternative processes are to be developed to promote greenness in PCB fabrication.


Flame Retardant Print Circuit Board Cyanate Ester Brominate Flame Retardant Electroless Copper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. M. Doring, J. Diederichs, Innovative flame retardants in E&E application, non-halogenated phosphorus, inorganic and nitrogen flame retardants, pin f a – Phosphorus, Inorganic and Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association, 2010, pp. 23–27Google Scholar
  2. J. Guo, B. Cao, J.Y. Guo, Z. Xu, A plate produced by nonmetallic material of pulverized waste printed circuit boards. Environ. Sci. Technol. 42(14), 5267 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. W. Hall, P. Williams, Separation and recovery of materials from scrap printed circuit boards. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 51(3), 691 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. HKPC, Development of a re-circulate copper etching system to enhance the precision of the HDI PCB manufacturing. J. HKPCA 25, 16 (2007)Google Scholar
  5. R. Horne, J. Gertsakis, A literature review on the environmental and health impacts of waste electrical and electronic equipment, RMIT report to the Ministry for the Environment, Government of New Zealand, 2006, pp. 22–24Google Scholar
  6. K. Huang, J. Guo, Z. Xu, Recycling of waste printed circuit boards: a review of current technologies and treatment status in China. J. Hazard. Mater. 164, 199 (2009)Google Scholar
  7. Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits, Specification for base materials for rigid and multilayer printed boards, IPC-4101C (2009)Google Scholar
  8. International Electrochemical Commission (IEC), Definition of Halogen-Free, IEC 61249-2-21 (2003)Google Scholar
  9. K. Masaru, Y. Okinaka, Some recent developments in non-cyanide gold plating for electronics applications. Gold Bull. 37, 37–44 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, Alternative Technologies for Making Holes Conductive – Cleaner Technologies for Printed Wiring Board Manufacturers (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pollution, Washington, DC, 1998), pp. 3–8Google Scholar
  11. I. Molyneaux, S. Ebnesajjad, Environmental aspects of PTFE based laminates in relation to Halogen-Free (2012),
  12. P. Mou, D. Xiang, G. Duan, Products made from nonmetallic materials reclaimed from waste printed circuit boards. Tsinghua Sci. Technol. 23(3), 276–283 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. T. Oshi, K. Koyama, S. Alam, M. Tanka, J. Lee, Recovery of high purity copper cathode from printed circuit boards using ammoniacal sulfate or chloride solutions. Hydrometallurgy 89, 82 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D. Park, REACH in Asia: a strategic approach, EM Asia Magazine (March/April 2010)Google Scholar
  15. F. Permadi, J. Castro, Development of an environmentally friendly solventless process for electronic prepergs. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 91, 1136 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Underwriters Laboratories, Standard for safety of flammability of plastic materials for parts in devices and appliances testing, UL 94, V0 (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong

Personalised recommendations