Treatment of waste materials to remove or recover selected elements
One of the most rapidly growing and valuable waste streams is electronic waste, or e-waste (a.k.a. electronic scrap or e-scrap), containing gold, palladium, silver, copper and rare earth metals (REM). Our technology has been successfully utilized in separation of these valuable elements from dissolved e-waste.
The collection and recycling of electronic waste in the European Union is regulated by the WEEE Directive. Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), such as computers, TV-sets, fridges and cell phones is one the fastest growing waste streams in the EU, with about 9 million tonnes generated already in 2005, and expected to grow to more than 12 million tonnes by 2020.
Preventing environmental pollution by removing hazardous elements before they damage the environment is another important task. Some of these substances, such as arsenic and mercury, are extremely toxic even at very low concentrations. Our 3D printed filter material is a perfect low-cost solution for removing these elements.
Valorization of waste streams from metallurgy to pulp and paper industry.
Fractioning of multicomponent mixtures enables efficient recovery of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) with high purity. These liquids are present especially in metallurgical processes and catalyst-utilizing industry. 3D printed scavenger technology responds to the need to separate precious metals into individual fractions.
Due to the high volume of use, and the uncertainty of the supply chain, access to CRMs must be secured by using alternative sources. Waste waters from mining, or pulp and paper industry, are potential sources for precious and rare earth metals or phosphorus. Most often these elements are present in moderate concentrations, hence a state-of-the-art technology such as 3D printed collection units are required.