Mechanical pre-treatment of mobile phones and its effect on the printed circuit assemblies (PCAs)

John Bachér (Corresponding Author), Asja Mrotzek, Margareta Wahlström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has attracted a notable amount of interest during the last few decades due to the high metal concentrations and substantial increase in the growth rate of WEEE. In addition, higher recovery and recycling rates required by the European Union demand more comprehensive treatment of WEEE. However, complex product design and the presence of harmful substances together with low concentrations of special metals present challenges for processing. This study examines the effect of mechanical treatment of mobile phones on metal concentrations in the printed circuit assembly (PCA) fraction compared to manual dismantling. The designed mechanical treatment process including crushing, sieving, magnetic-, eddy current- and sensor-based separation was able to separate plastics, ferrous metals, PCA and stainless steel for further treatment. The process separated PCA with an efficiency of 85%. However, the quality of the separated PCAs was poor compared with "pure" manually dismantled PCAs. The primary crushing of mobile phones destroys PCAs thus resulting in the loss of especially precious metals used in the connector coatings and in the surface-mounted components. As a result, the theoretical value of the produced PCA fraction is only half compared to using manual dismantling. However, high labour costs in western countries and low capacity may hinder the feasibility of hand dismantling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-245
JournalWaste Management
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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electronic equipment
metal
crushing
recycling
sieving
precious metal
coating
European Union
eddy
labor
plastic
steel
sensor
mobile phone
effect
cost

Keywords

  • waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • WEEE
  • mobile phone
  • mechanical pre-treatment
  • manual dismantlin

Cite this

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title = "Mechanical pre-treatment of mobile phones and its effect on the printed circuit assemblies (PCAs)",
abstract = "The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has attracted a notable amount of interest during the last few decades due to the high metal concentrations and substantial increase in the growth rate of WEEE. In addition, higher recovery and recycling rates required by the European Union demand more comprehensive treatment of WEEE. However, complex product design and the presence of harmful substances together with low concentrations of special metals present challenges for processing. This study examines the effect of mechanical treatment of mobile phones on metal concentrations in the printed circuit assembly (PCA) fraction compared to manual dismantling. The designed mechanical treatment process including crushing, sieving, magnetic-, eddy current- and sensor-based separation was able to separate plastics, ferrous metals, PCA and stainless steel for further treatment. The process separated PCA with an efficiency of 85{\%}. However, the quality of the separated PCAs was poor compared with {"}pure{"} manually dismantled PCAs. The primary crushing of mobile phones destroys PCAs thus resulting in the loss of especially precious metals used in the connector coatings and in the surface-mounted components. As a result, the theoretical value of the produced PCA fraction is only half compared to using manual dismantling. However, high labour costs in western countries and low capacity may hinder the feasibility of hand dismantling.",
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Mechanical pre-treatment of mobile phones and its effect on the printed circuit assemblies (PCAs). / Bachér, John (Corresponding Author); Mrotzek, Asja; Wahlström, Margareta.

In: Waste Management, Vol. 45, 2015, p. 235-245.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanical pre-treatment of mobile phones and its effect on the printed circuit assemblies (PCAs)

AU - Bachér, John

AU - Mrotzek, Asja

AU - Wahlström, Margareta

N1 - SDA: MIP: Minecon Project code: 101862

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has attracted a notable amount of interest during the last few decades due to the high metal concentrations and substantial increase in the growth rate of WEEE. In addition, higher recovery and recycling rates required by the European Union demand more comprehensive treatment of WEEE. However, complex product design and the presence of harmful substances together with low concentrations of special metals present challenges for processing. This study examines the effect of mechanical treatment of mobile phones on metal concentrations in the printed circuit assembly (PCA) fraction compared to manual dismantling. The designed mechanical treatment process including crushing, sieving, magnetic-, eddy current- and sensor-based separation was able to separate plastics, ferrous metals, PCA and stainless steel for further treatment. The process separated PCA with an efficiency of 85%. However, the quality of the separated PCAs was poor compared with "pure" manually dismantled PCAs. The primary crushing of mobile phones destroys PCAs thus resulting in the loss of especially precious metals used in the connector coatings and in the surface-mounted components. As a result, the theoretical value of the produced PCA fraction is only half compared to using manual dismantling. However, high labour costs in western countries and low capacity may hinder the feasibility of hand dismantling.

AB - The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has attracted a notable amount of interest during the last few decades due to the high metal concentrations and substantial increase in the growth rate of WEEE. In addition, higher recovery and recycling rates required by the European Union demand more comprehensive treatment of WEEE. However, complex product design and the presence of harmful substances together with low concentrations of special metals present challenges for processing. This study examines the effect of mechanical treatment of mobile phones on metal concentrations in the printed circuit assembly (PCA) fraction compared to manual dismantling. The designed mechanical treatment process including crushing, sieving, magnetic-, eddy current- and sensor-based separation was able to separate plastics, ferrous metals, PCA and stainless steel for further treatment. The process separated PCA with an efficiency of 85%. However, the quality of the separated PCAs was poor compared with "pure" manually dismantled PCAs. The primary crushing of mobile phones destroys PCAs thus resulting in the loss of especially precious metals used in the connector coatings and in the surface-mounted components. As a result, the theoretical value of the produced PCA fraction is only half compared to using manual dismantling. However, high labour costs in western countries and low capacity may hinder the feasibility of hand dismantling.

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KW - mechanical pre-treatment

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U2 - 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.06.009

DO - 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.06.009

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JO - Waste Management

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SN - 0956-053X

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