Circular economy: recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste

CarGuard: connecting vehicles and mobiles
March 1, 2018
Biometallum Project: Recovery of metals from electric and electronic waste
February 15, 2018

Researchers at the Smart Sustainable Resources (SSR-UPC) research centre have developed technology for economically efficient and environmentally sustainable recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste.

The main objective of the project “Economic and sustainable recovery of electronic waste” is to apply basic research on the recovery of valuable metals from disused electronic material using biotechnology techniques. The proposed solution consists of taking advantage of the metabolic activity of certain microorganisms (mainly bacteria) to regenerate agents responsible for extracting metals from the matrix in which they are immobilized at the end of the useful life of the electronic apparatus that contains them (waste). The process is feasible as it significantly reduces energy costs and the use of aggressive reagents compared to conventional processes that are carried out in highly specific centers, which must treat high volumes of waste to make the process of recovery profitable.

The project was funded through the LLAVOR grant programme of the Government of Catalonia’s Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR).

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