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Next generation urban mining - Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment

Objective

Specific raw materials become increasingly important to manufacture high level industrial products. Especially electronic equipment contains precious metals and a series of strategic raw materials.
To date the material specific recycling is focused on mass stream concepts such as shredder processes and metallurgy to extract the high-value metallic constituents, i.e. copper, gold, silver. However, a series of critical elements cannot be recovered efficiently or is even lost in dust or residual fractions.

The goal of ADIR is to demonstrate the feasibility of a key technology for next generation urban mining. An automated disassembly of electronic equipment will be worked out to separate and recover valuable materials. The concept is based on image processing, robotic handling, pulsed power technology, 3D laser measurement, real-time laser material identification (to detect materials), laser processing (to access components, to selectively unsolder these; to cut off parts of a printed circuit board), and automatic separation into different sorting fractions. A machine concept will be worked out being capable to selectively disassemble printed circuit boards and mobile phones with short cycle times to gain sorting fractions containing high amounts of valuable materials. Examples are those materials with high economic importance and significant supply risk such as tantalum, rare earth elements, germanium, cobalt, palladium, gallium and tungsten.

A demonstrator will be developed and evaluated in field tests at a recycling company. The obtained sorting fractions will be studied with respect to their further processing and recovery potential for raw materials. Refining companies will define requirements and test the processing of sorting fractions with specific material enrichments.
An advisory board will be established incorporating three telecommunication enterprises.
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Coordinator

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.

Address

Hansastrasse 27c
80686 Munchen

Germany

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 2 281 769,13

Participants (10)

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SIEC BADAWCZA LUKASIEWICZ - INSTYTUT METALI NIEZELAZNYCH

Poland

EU Contribution

€ 687 375

ELECTROCYCLING GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 450 888,38

PRO AUTOMATION GMBH

Austria

EU Contribution

€ 189 185,15

I-CUBE RESEARCH

France

EU Contribution

€ 111 934,70

OSAI AUTOMATION SYSTEM SPA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 792 487,50

LSA-LASER ANALYTICAL SYSTEMS & AUTOMATION GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 332 500

H.C. STARCK GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 111 141,24

AURUBIS AG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 142 333,63

TRE TAU ENGINEERING SRL

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 99 531,25

H.C. STARCK TANTALUM AND NIOBIUM GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 63 052,89

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 680449

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2015

  • End date

    31 December 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.2.1.5.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 6 244 936,59

  • EU contribution

    € 5 262 198,87

Coordinated by:

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.

Germany