Recovery of precious metals and base metals from electronic waste
What if I told you that we send hundreds of millions of dollars to landfill every year? If you look around the room you are in right now, you will likely see a multitude of electronic devices. Our reliance on electronic devices in everyday life is growing and rapid technological advances continuously bring updated models onto the market. This means that more devices are being discarded, with more being sent to landfill than ever.
Several base and precious metals make up essential components of electronic devices. The properties of these metals make them ideal for recycling and reuse. Yet, studies have shown that only 15-20% of electronic devices are recycled. This leaves a huge untapped volume of valuable metals that could be sold or reused instead of sitting in landfills. Effectively recovering metals from these devices could have multiple ecological benefits from reducing the economic burden of electronics recycling to reducing the demand for mining ore.