Life Cycle Assessment of the Bio-Hydrometallurgical Process of Recycling Copper from Printed Circuit Boards Scraps
Recently, a few studies have been undertaken for the extracting of metallic copper from electronic scrap/printed circuit boards by bioleaching - solvent extraction-electrowinning. Results of the present investigation indicate that bioleaching-solvent extraction-electrowinning could be a new cleaner hydrometallurgy route for recovery copper from the PCBs.The life cycle assessment method was used to investigate the environmental impacts of the new biohydrometallurgical process of production of metallic copper. The energy consumption，greenhouse effect，acidification in the new processes is studied and compared. The results indicate that the environmental impacts of bioleaching - solvent extraction-electrowinning technology is less than the conventional mechanical-pyrometallurgical processes and pyrometallurgical processes.
Jingtao Han, Zhengyi Jiang and Sihai Jiao
C. L. Zhang et al., "Life Cycle Assessment of the Bio-Hydrometallurgical Process of Recycling Copper from Printed Circuit Boards Scraps", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 156-157, pp. 929-932, 2011