The demand for key metals for the production of high-tech products is constantly growing in Europe, leading to relevant problems both in terms of supply risks and costs. Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in EU, with between 3% and 5% yearly increase. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in WEEE are called “urban mineral resources” since 25%-40% of their composition is made of valuable metals and key metals have high concentrations in specific components.
Recycling of PCBs is a very challenging task that has not been solved yet: recycling rates for traditional metals are around 30-35% and many critical key-metals are not recycled as well as the non-metal fraction.
This project proposes a new process-chain and a systemic integrated solution towards the automated, zero-waste treatment of PCBs, that is enabled by the development and set-up of new intelligent disassembly, shredding/separation, metal and non-metal fraction recovery technologies.
The project sets the cooperation of five CNR-InstitutesFive CNR institutes co-operate to the project:
Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation (ITIA, coordinator), Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials (IMCB), Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers (ICTP), Institute for Energetics and Interphases (IENI) and IMATI
in partnership with three industrial groups: Magneti Marelli, L.O.T. Oriel, Candy Hoover Group srl.