R&D Projects

Re-cycling of epoxies from nonferrous e-waste

Scope of the project


Collaborative project with TalTech Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

The Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) contain significant amounts of recoverable critical metals such as Cu, Au, Ag, Ni, Sn, Pd, and Pt. However, recycling PCBs presents some issues because of the high content of epoxy and the content of bromine, harmful to the environment and health. The majority of copper smelters processing WPCBs (PCB Waste) feed the recycling furnace with the WPCBs including their epoxy content. Some others pyrolyze the WPCBs, which evaporates the organic fraction in order to be recovered and used for energy production.

The project aims to validate a technology for epoxy separation that facilitates the Raw and Critical Materials (RM & CRM) recovery in the recycling furnace while the epoxy from the PCBs is valorized and used for chemical recycling. This will lead to an increase in the concentration of metals in the recycling furnace`s input material, increase the value of the recycled PCBs, reduction of the PCBs recycling process CO2 footprint, and valorization of the epoxy. End-users for the technology are Electric and Electronic Equipments Waste (WEEE) recycling companies that commercialize recycled PCBs, and copper smelters that recycle non-ferrous metal fraction from WEEEs to recover critical metals. The Impacts will be to facilitate the CRM recovery from WPCB, better use of WPCBs as a source of strategic Raw Materials (RM), the creation of green jobs, and a change in citizen behavior in favor of a circular economy.

You can find more information on RENEW web page.