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Transforming e-waste into value: A circular economy approach to PCB recycling

Ahmadinia, Masoud, Setchi, Rossi ORCID:, Evans, Sam L. ORCID:, Baker, Tony, Gregory, Steve, Cox, Julian, Rodriguez, Lucia Garcia, Giblin, Steve, Clode, Steve, Litos, Lampros and Paddea, Sanjooram 2024. Transforming e-waste into value: A circular economy approach to PCB recycling. Presented at: 10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (KES-SDM 2023), 18-20 September 2023. Published in: Scholz, Steffen G., Howlett, Robert J. and Setchi, Rossi eds. Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2023: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (KES-SDM 2023). , vol.377 Springer, pp. 275-285. 10.1007/978-981-99-8159-5_24

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This study delves into the pressing global issue of electronic waste (e-waste), with a specific emphasis on printed circuit boards (PCBs). PCBs, being a crucial component of electronic devices, contribute significantly to e-waste due to their intricate composition of hazardous substances and valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper. The research explores the concept of the circular economy—an economic system aimed at eliminating waste through the continual use of resources—and its potential application in recycling PCBs. This involves a detailed investigation of the challenges and opportunities associated with various extraction methods and waste management strategies. The study also presents a case study on The Royal Mint’s innovative approach to gold extraction from PCBs. This practical example offers valuable insights into the application of circular economy principles in the context of PCB recycling, demonstrating how these principles can lead to improved resource efficiency, waste reduction, and economic benefits. The findings of this research underscore the need for further development and implementation of sustainable practices in e-waste management to mitigate environmental impact and capitalise on the economic potential of valuable materials in e-waste.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9789819981588
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2024 13:00

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