Evaluation of the use of flotation for the separation of ground printed circuit boards Ocena zastosowania flotacji w odzysku metali z rozdrobnionych płyt obwodów drukowanych

Franke D. M., Kar U., Suponik T., Siudyga T.

Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi / Mineral Resources Management, vol.38, no.1, pp.171-188, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.24425/gsm.2022.140605
  • Journal Name: Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi / Mineral Resources Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-188
  • Keywords: printed circuit boards, recycling, flotation, recovery, metals, FROTH FLOTATION, MECHANICAL SEPARATION, NONMETALLIC FRACTIONS, METAL RECOVERY, WASTE, COPPER
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022. The Author(s).The paper presents an assessment of flotation efficiency in the separation of plastics from metals derived from printed circuit boards (PCBs). The PCBs were ground in a knife mill prior to flota-tion. The contact angles of various materials corresponding to the grains from ground PCBs were measured, and a series of flotation tests was carried out to obtain the best product. The impact of the following parameters were investigated: the reagent and its dose, the airflow rate through the flotation tank and the feed concentration. The highest efficiency of metal recovery from PCBs was achieved for Dimethoxy dipropyleneglycol at a concentration of 157 mg/dm3 and with an airflow of 200 dm3/h and a feed concentration of <50 g/dm3. In the hydrophilic product (concentrate), it was mainly Cu (40%) and Sn (7.8%) that were identified by means of XRF, but there were also trace amounts of pre-cious metals such as Au (0.024%), Ag (0.5797%) and Pd (149 ppm). Impurities in the form of Si (5%), Ca (3.2) and Br (2.1) were also identified in this product. Small amounts of metals in their metallic form were identified in the hydrophobic product (waste), mainly Cu (2.3), Al (1.7) and Sn (1.1). As a result of the research, high recovery ratios were obtained for Cu (93%), Sn (84), Ag (83) and Au (69). The purity of obtained metal concentrate with this method was lower in comparison with the other methods of the recovery of metals from ground PCBs for the same feed, i.e. electrostatic or gravity separation. Also considering other factors such as the environmental impact of the flotation process, the number of facilities and their energy consumption, this process should not be used in the devel-oped metal recovery technology. Using electrostatic separation for the same feed obtained much better results.