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New E-Waste Recycling Technique Unveiled

29 April 2020 - 21:32:00

Researchers from New Zealand have demonstrated a new recycling solution which could help companies to reclaim rare materials from smartphones, PCs and gadgets of all kinds after they have reached the end of their useable lifespan.

Stuff.co.nz reports that the use of a biological process involving microbes which consume materials such as gold and copper can significantly improve the proportion of precious metals that are extracted from circuitry extracted from old electronics.

In order for the microbes to get to work, the technology first needs to be ground down into a fine powder, so there is a degree of disassembly required. Even so, this could prove to be yet another excellent way of ensuring that the life cycle of consumer electronics is more sustainable and less of a burden on the environment.

This is not merely a theoretical development or a small-scale trial but rather a scheme which has been developed to work on large volumes of e-waste. It is likely that if it proves to be effective, it will be adopted internationally and could soon be in use in the UK.

In the past, processing old circuit boards to release the metals they contain was not just tricky to achieve but could also only be carried out at a handful of places globally. This means that many nations need to ship their e-waste vast distances for recycling purposes.

It is hoped that the development of this new technique will mean that this is no longer necessary, and instead it will be possible to use bio-refinery to bring eco-friendly e-waste recycling to the masses.

Another of the benefits that this solution offers is a relatively low cost as well as a short extraction time of just 24 hours, so there are lots of selling points to consider.




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