Mushrooms recover gold out of mobile scrap
April 11, 2014 // Julien Happich
Gold, silver, copper and many other valuable metals (including rare earth metals) are commonly used in the manufacture of consumer electronics only to end-up into huge piles of electronic waste.
The e-waste issue is not new, and before it became on the European legislation agenda, it used to be that unscrupulous “recyclers” would ship discarded electronic devices to third world countries where very basic and hazardous metal recovery techniques would be used.
This often includes burning and smelting the metals from cables (toxic fumes including dioxins), or separating gold from burnt PCB ashes using toxic cyanides solutions that then contaminate nearby rivers.
In Europe and the US, several companies have industrialised the recovery of precious metals from e-waste, first crushing the devices and PCB boards, then using various separation methods (magnets to take out the steel, Eddy currents to separate non-ferrous metals from plastic) before smelting again or using toxic chemistries (often sulphuric acid or cyanide solutions) to dissolve the metal particulates and recover them through chemical reactions. The processes are similar, only better managed at industrial scale, but they are still energy intensive and environmentally debatable.
Reportedly, such industrialised processes can yield up to 300 grams of gold per ton of discarded mobile phones, and between 2 and 2.5 kilos of silver. By far, the most aboundant metal in e-waste is copper, making up between 10 and 15% of a mobile phone’s weight.
Belgium spin-off takes photonic IC design to the mainstream
September 16, 2014
Imec's investment arm Fidimec and the Flemish spin-off investment fund SOFI I are investing EUR 340k in Founded last June, ...
Tablets to provide growth over flat PC market
Android One debuts in India, ignites next 5 billion battle
ZF swallows TRW Automotive
Is rapid charging batteries really so damaging?
Canadian startup mutualizes iBeacon deployment costs
September 15, 2014
Bluetooth Smart-enabled applications crop up everyday, from personalized remote sensors to proximity detection for home automation, ...
U.S. foundry agrees to help expand China's MEMS ecosystem
Moore's law has no end in sight
OLED panel smashes luminous efficacy and lifetime records
- Flexible and Low Power Driving of Solenoid Coils
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Flexible Performance for Network Security Appliances
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.