Tetronics and Innovate UK complete successful e-waste plasma trial
Tetronics are currently working on an exciting project with Innovate UK, to help stop the growing e-waste epidemic in the UK. The project will turn your old electronic devices, commonly known as e-waste, into value by extracting precious metals such as gold and silver and other valuable metals such as copper and tin. The project is also partnered with one of the world’s largest mining companies, Vale, who are dealing with refining the metals that are recovered.
After extensive planning and development at the Tetronics world leading, state of the art trials facility in Swindon, we have successfully completed the first of four plasma trials. The trial involved printed circuit boards from the electronic waste that had been pre-calcined, being fed into the Tetronics plasma furnace to separate the valuable precious metals and other metals that are hidden inside.
Plasma technology shines through
The positive results from this first trial have clearly demonstrated the benefits and success of using plasma technology to recover precious metals from electronic waste. The plasma process offers a much needed clean and efficient method of extracting both the precious and other metals with world leading recovery rates. The success will help lay the foundations for the remaining trials of this project, and for the future of electronic waste recycling in the UK.
Despite the successful results, the first trial was not without its challenges and the team have learned a lot in the recent months to help optimise the process for the next three trials. We are now carrying on with refining of the material recovered from the first trial in order to complete the circular economy urban mining business model.
The next steps for e-waste recycling
Plans are already well underway for our second trial, with the information learned and data acquired during the first trial. As development continues, options are constantly being explored to further optimise the end to end process during the next phases of the project.
This R&D journey so far wasn’t without its challenges, but it is great to see such positive results. The next set of trials will aim to provide even more efficiencies and ultimately contribute to more E-waste recycling, resulting in more precious and other metals being recovered and reused within the UK. By recycling more materials from various waste streams, we are looking towards a sustainable solution which has a reduced environmental impact, for the benefit of today’s population and for future generations.
Want to know more?
Click here to watch a video of the Tetronics team in action during the plasma trials
Click here to read Innovate UK’s overview of the e-waste project
Click here to read more about our e-waste solutions