Melting temperature dependent separations of metallic electronic wastes and wires using induction heat and centrifugal forces

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Mandadi, Gopi Krishna
Asmatulu, Ramazan

E-waste from around the world is being dumped in landfills and open areas, causing a serious environmental issue by releasing toxic gases or leached hazardous components. Over 300 tons of gold are used in electronic components each year, and this number is high in the electronic gadgets manufactured in the 20th century. In the last decade, usage of electronic gadgets has phenomenally increased, and this E-Waste consists of heavy metals, hazardous metals, flame retardants, and other plastic additives. The dumping list of E- Waste includes computers, laptops, Printed Circuit Boards, Peripheral Component Interface, mobile phones, DVD’s and electrical wires. Precious metals like gold, platinum, and lead are being dumped along with this E–Waste. The proper disposal of electronic waste and electrical components is currently a concern of researchers as these electronics not only generate the waste, but also release heavy and toxic metals to the environment. This study analyses the possible eliminations of waste by recovering the metals and thus reducing the effects on the environment and reserving the metals for future generations. Analysis is performed on PCB’s, Motherboards, PCI’s, Random Access Memory, and Processors for the recovery of precious metals like copper, gold, and lead. Experiments for metal recovery through induction heating are performed. An electrical induction furnace is used for the burning of waste and to recover the metals such as copper, aluminum, and solder from the electrical cable waste. A perforated basket is designed and manufactured for feeding the e-waste and for heat treatment, thus, recovering the precious metals from the waste. All the metals were heated to their respective melting points and melted and recovered. Experiments are carried out with and without insulation material on the electrical wires and 90% recovery rates were reported for the high speed samples. This study may open up new possibilities of extracting the precious metals by heating them to their melting points.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering