A stark difference in gold ore vs. printed circuit boards (PCBs) is that a rich gold ore might have 0.5 – 1.0 oz of gold per ton of ore, but computer PCBs contain 3-8+ oz gold, 15-20+ oz silver, 500+ lbs copper per ton of boards, plus multiple other base and precious metals. Given the commodity nature of electronics such as computers and cell phones, this makes PCB recycling a great way to minimize waste while turning a profit. By following the principles of separating gold from hard rock ore, we developed a system to mechanically separate the waste plastics and glass fibers from the valuable metallic content: no burning, leaching or electrolysis.
The primary components of the PCB processor are:
- Hammer mill. This machine breaks up the PCBs and components to about <1/8” pieces, and discharges them onto the shaker table.
- Shaker table. The shaker table separates materials based on density (specific gravity). The metals in PCBs are all higher density than the waste material, so behave differently on the table, allowing density separation of metals and plastic/fiber waste. The metals are transported across the table in grooves and removed from the table (ports #1, 2 and 3), while the waste material and not-fully pulverized PCB pieces flow down the table to the waste and regrind discharge port #4 on the table. From here the wet slurry is pumped to the hydrocyclone.
- Hydrocyclone. The wet slurry is pumped into the hydrocyclone in a tangential flow. The lightest waste material rises with the water flow and discharges out of hydrocyclone to the waste/settling pond. The larger and denser material sinks to the bottom of the hydrocyclone and is fed back into the hammer mill again for further grinding. The regrind cycle is repeated until the particles are pulverized small enough to discharge to the waste/settling pond.
Turn-Key PCB Processor
We have developed a processor built around our hammer mill and shaker table to completely pulverize the printed circuit board (PCB) and components to liberate the precious metals and base metals from the plastics and fibers. For e-waste and PCB recycling, this is a fantastic turnkey solution.
My assayer called last night about the table samples. The first thing he said was that whatever system that was processed on was very impressive. It is pretty obvious that your system is excellent and works as you have represented...
- Made in the USA
- Used worldwide
- Precision Results