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时间:2021-02-27 09:11:48      来源:      浏览次数:11

How to handle and recycle waste circuit boards, and what is their utilization value

From children's toys to company network devices, almost all electronic devices in the modern world are equipped with circuit boards. Among all types of computer components, circuit boards contain the largest amount of precious metals. According to a survey by the United States Geological Survey, one metric ton of computer waste contains more gold than seventeen metric tons of gold ore. Therefore, circuit boards are one of the most valuable commodities in the technology recycling industry. However, improper handling of the materials contained in circuit boards can pose a serious threat to human health and the environment.

Why are circuit boards electronic waste?

Some commonly used materials can make circuit boards of any size or capacity particularly dangerous. Firstly, the circuit itself contains harmful elements. Some manufacturers use tin lead soldering alloys to protect the conductive copper on the board from oxidation. Lead is a harmful substance to the environment. Components embedded in the board (such as batteries, switches, or relays) contain various potential toxic materials. This includes cadmium, lithium, and mercury. Due to the complexity and density of circuit boards, it is extremely difficult to effectively peel off these harmful materials from circuit boards.

Secondly, improper handling of the wooden board itself can generate pollutants. The substrate of a circuit board usually contains polybromine flame retardants. Brominated flame retardants release two highly toxic chemicals when heated: brominated dioxins and furans. According to e-Stewards, these chemicals are "some of the most toxic substances known to humans".

Where can I recycle circuit boards?

It is absolutely crucial for certified recyclers to dispose of old circuit boards. Due to the high content of precious metals in circuit boards, they are the main candidate materials for unethical recyclers to illegally export. The boards are transported overseas and then burned using rough smelting technology to recover the metal. Under unregulated conditions, harmful substances such as lead, mercury, dioxins, and furans can seep into the local environment, contaminating water and food supply, and seriously damaging community health.

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