Leaching Studies for Copper and Solder Alloy Recovery from Shredded Particles of Waste Printed Circuit Boards
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) comprise various metals such as Cu, Sn, and Pb, as well as platinum group metals. The recovery of metals from PCBs is important not only due to the waste treatment but also for recycling of valuable metals. In the present work, the leaching process of Cu, Sn, and Pb from PCBs was studied using fluoroboric acid and hydrogen peroxide as the leaching agent and oxidant, respectively. Pertinent factors including concentration of acid, temperature, liquid-solid ratio, and concentration of oxidizing agent were evaluated. The results showed 99 pct of copper and 90 pct solder alloy were dissolved at a temperature of 298 K (25 °C) for 180 minutes using 0.6 M HBF4 for the particle size range of 0.15 to 0.4 mm. Moreover, solid/liquid ratio had insignificant effect on the recovery of metals. Kinetics analysis revealed that the chemical control regime governs the process with activation energy 41.25 and 38.9 kJ/mol for copper and lead leaching reactions, respectively.
The authors would like to thank Mr. Y. Nosratzad for his help in performing some of the experiments.
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