Plasma Technology Takes On E-Waste Epidemic In U.K.

Dec. 18, 2017
Tetronics and Innovate UK complete successful e-waste plasma trial.

Tetronics is working with Innovate UK on a project to help combat the growing e-waste epidemic in the U.K. The project seeks to derive value from old electronic devices, commonly known as e-waste, by extracting precious metals such as gold, silver, copper and tin. Mining company Vale, which works with refining the recovered metals, is also involved in the project.

After extensive planning and development at the Tetronics trials facility in Swindon, the first of four plasma trials was reportedly completed successfully. The trial involved feeding printed circuit boards from electronic waste that had been pre-calcined into the Tetronics plasma furnace to separate the valuable precious metals.

The positive results from the first trial demonstrate the benefits and success of using plasma technology to recover precious metals from electronic waste, according to Tetronics. The plasma process reportedly offers a clean and efficient method of extracting both the precious and other metals with good recovery rates. The success will help lay the foundations for the remaining trials of this project, and for the future of electronic waste recycling in the U.K., according to the company. Plans are underway for a second trial incorporating the information learned and data acquired during the first trial.

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