Author(s): Xiu FR, Zhang FS
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Abstract The recovery of valuable materials from waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) is quite difficult due to the heterogeneous mix of polymer materials, multiple kinds of metals and glass fiber. A feasibility study was conducted using supercritical methanol (SCM) to simultaneously recover polymers and metals from waste PCBs. The study focused on the characteristics of both oils and solid products obtained from the SCM-treated waste PCBs. The operation conditions were temperature range of 300-420 degrees C, treatment time between 30 and 120 min and solid-to-liquid ratio (S/L) of 1:10-1:30 (g/mL) so as to understand the products and depolymerization mechanisms of waste PCBs in SCM. GC-MS results revealed that the oils mainly contained phenol and its methylated derivatives, and the methylated derivatives increased with the increase of reaction temperature. The methylated reaction occurred mainly above 400 degrees C. The liquid products also contained a significant number of phosphated fire retardant additives such as triphenyl phosphate, which decreased significantly with the increase of reaction temperature. The solid product mainly consisted of Cu, Fe, Sn, Pb and Zn, as well as lower concentrations of precious metals such as Ag and Au. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Hazard Mater
and referenced in Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering