Rosatom will mine precious metals from printed circuit boards

Gold-containing components for disposal. Source: step-by-step DIY instruction “We extract gold from old electronics” The
State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom intends to start processing electronic devices - mobile phones, laptops, televisions, whose boards contain rare-earth metals. The corresponding application was published on March 16, 2018 on the public procurement website of the corporation. Procurement page in the Electronic Trading Center (competition No. 986774).

Subject of procurement: “Supply, installation, commissioning of a processing line for processing electronic circuit board components on the territory of the OKHTZ of VNIIHT JSC at 11 Likhoborskaya Embankment, Moscow”. Maximum contract price: 26.47 million rubles. Deliveries are scheduled for spring 2019.

The concentration of precious metals (gold, silver, palladium) in printed circuit boards is ten times higher than their concentration in the mined ore.

It's no secret that gold can be extracted from old electronic devices at home. . Precious and rare metals are in the details of almost any broken devices: old laptops, phones, cameras, printers, scanners and other unnecessary junk are suitable. Each electronic board contains several milligrams of platinum, gold, silver and copper, which can be removed from electronic waste if desired. As knowledgeable experts inform, the older the gadget - the more valuable materials there are. For example, there is especially a lot of it in Soviet electronics.

For example, if you want to highlight gold, the extraction process is quite simple. First you need to sort the components and use a magnet to remove the gold-plated steel, which requires a separate process technology. Then the gold-containing boards cleaned of dirt are lowered for one week into a solution of hydrochloric acid (two parts) and hydrogen peroxide (one part). The acid pot should be stirred slightly daily. After a week, the solution darkens and floating flakes of exfoliated gold become visible. They must be passed through a coffee filter and washed with methyl alcohol. Next, you need to fuse the scales into one ingot. The melting point of gold is 1063 ° C. If gold is treated with sodium tetraborate (borax), the melting point decreases. Next, a mixture of borax and gold melts. At the exit we get a small gold bar.

An ingot obtained from parts on KDPV. Source: step-by-step instruction “We extract gold from old electronics”
To get such an ingot weighing a little more than 30 grams ($ 1000-1500), you need to process about 200-300 kilograms of motherboards and other components. If done alone, the collection and processing will take about three months. For a student or schoolchild, a normal hobby on vacation is when computers are mining.

Something similar, only on an industrial scale, is going to be carried out by Rosatom. The organizer of the competition is the Joint-Stock Company “Leading Research Institute of Chemical Technology” (VNIIHT). A line for processing electronic circuit board components to produce a concentrate containing precious metals and other secondary products will be installed at the experimental chemical-technological plant of this enterprise.

According to the terms of reference, the processing line for processing components of electronic circuit boards to obtain a concentrate containing precious metals and other secondary products should include the following equipment (or equivalent):

  • Component sorting table SORTING TABLE
  • Component Separation Machine With VM / STC Cutting Module
  • Hammer crusher (1 pc.) VM / TM2
  • Vibrating screen (three-section vibrating table) VM / VV1
  • Ball Mill 80P
  • Powder Mixer MX10

Metal smelting induction electric furnace FIM 150 and other equipment are indicated in the diagram.

Processing line for electronic scrap processing (clickable)
Thanks to published documents with an exact indication of all stages of the production cycle, you can organize the same round-the-clock processing line in your production. Number of staff: 30 people (1 shift), 32 people (2 shift) and 28 people (3 shift).

Rosatom intends to utilize only electronic circuit boards. They make up only about 3% of the total amount of this type of waste, but due to the high concentration of toxic substances are very dangerous, writes RIA News. The presence of a variety of highly toxic materials and heavy metals makes landfill disposal or simple incineration unacceptable methods for managing such waste. Therefore, the most optimal way to utilize electronic waste is to recycle it.

The Rosatom line is designed to process 5,000 tons of electronic waste per year. At the exit, it is planned to obtain the following amount of raw materials for export to other enterprises:

  • Ferrous metal for sale as a secondary raw material: 200 - 2300 tons
  • Non-ferrous metal for sale as secondary raw materials or further processing: 500 - 1400 tons (including copper 200 - 500 tons)
  • Plastics for sale as secondary raw materials: 500 - 3200 tons
  • Copper from bare electronic boards for sale as secondary raw materials (10-20% of the bare board weight): 8 - 40 tons
  • A range of selected components for sale as recycled materials: 60 - 150 tons
  • Precious metal metal ingot obtained from electronic circuit board components at refineries: 150 - 260 tons
  • Mercury-containing equipment (parts of equipment): 0.01 - 0.3 tons (to other specialized enterprises or landfill)
  • The remainder from processing (expected from 7 to 20% of the weight of the scrap received, depending on the type of waste at the entrance) is transported to the landfill: 350 - 1000 tons