Welcome to Metallic Joules
Our group has selected a project that recycles electronic waste. We are focused specifically on recovering the precious metal from that waste.
In order to better understand the project, a basic definition of electronic waste must be established. Electronic waste is defined as any consumer or business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life1. At the rate new electronic products are being developed, more and more electronic waste is generated.
Electronic waste (e-waste) must be dealt with differently than normal municipal waste. This is due to the various materials that make up e-waste. Common elements in this waste include copper, iron, gold, and silver, all of which are relatively harmless. The problem comes from the toxic and hazardous materials within the waste such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. In parts of India and China, villages that used to recycle this material by hand are now uninhabitable because of all of the toxic materials released from this waste. In order to prevent this from happening, special techniques must be utilized to eliminate this waste to prevent adverse health and environmental conditions. Overall, this process eliminates electronic waste in an eco-friendly way all while turning a profit.
Our project is to take metallic dust and separate it into individual elements or combinations of elements that can be sold. The system will be designed with the objective of optimizing costs. Our goal is to recover as much of the metal as possible using the least expensive processes. Due to the open-endedness of this project, there are no set requirements. However, there are certain design guidelines to narrow the focus such as cost. Another guideline for our project is the environmental impact of our separation units. We want to make sure that we are using processes that do not produce anything harmful to operators or the environment. We also are looking to use as few separation processes as we can while still achieving desired separation. This idea ties in with the economic guidelines as well as incorporating an aspect of stewardship.