Recovery of Valuable Metals from Waste Printed Circuit Boards by Using Iodine-Iodide Leaching and Precipitation
This study presents a viable approach for recovery of precious metals such as gold (Au), silver (Ag), palladium (Pd), and base metals, including copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) from waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) via iodine-iodide leaching and precipitation. The behaviours of dissolution and precipitation of precious and base metals during iodine-iodide leaching and precipitation processes were discussed. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) was used to remove base metal impurities exist in the pregnant leach solution under alkaline conditions. Precious metals remained in the resulting solution from NaOH precipitation were recovered by reduction using ascorbic acid (L-AA) solution. Results show that under optimum leaching conditions, almost all (> 99%) of Au was dissolved in an iodine-iodide solution when the dissolution efficiencies of other precious metals (Ag, Pd) and base metals, besides calcium (leaching of 25%) were less than 1 and 6%, respectively. The study revealed that more than 95% of Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Fe and Mn were initially removed from the pregnant leach solution at pH of 9.3 with addition of 0.1 M NaOH. Then 99.8% Au, 81.7% Ag and 74% Pd were precipitated from the obtained solution after NaOH precipitation while L-AA dose was 0.6 ml/ml at the condition. It can be concluded that the precious and base metals could be recovered selectively and economically from WPCBs via iodine-iodide leaching followed by precipitation using NaOH and L-AA.
KeywordsValuable metals Precious and base metals Iodine-iodide Leaching Precipitation Reduction
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through “New Frontier Leader Program for Rare-Metals and Resources” and grant KAKENHI-16H04182.
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