Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Recycling process for lead-free printed circuits boards

This result consists of newly developed recycling and re-use processes providing small and medium recycling companies with a cost effective and environmental friendly end-of-life treatment for lead-free solder printed wire boards (PWBs) from medium or big sized post-consume equipment. The main differences between the proposed process and the current recycling scheme lie in the inclusion of the new stages of:
- Lead-containing and lead-free solder PWBs sorting.
- Valuable components recovery for reuse purpose.
- Recovery of lead-free solders concentrates.

The expected coexistence between both traditional and new lead-free solder PWBs in WEEE for several years requires a previous sorting step to avoid a mixture of metals more complicated to separate and recover in metallurgic processes. The consequences of lead-free solders in recycling market and the theoretical behaviour of lead-free solder PWBs in copper smelters have been also considered. An LCA ensured the environmental benefit of the developed processes.

This result is based on Deliverables 4D1 (New lead-free solders PCBs from reuse and recycling point of view), 4D2 (Specific recycling schemes for the lead-free solder PWBs), 4D3 (System for the discrimination of lead-containing from lead-free solder PWBs) and 4D4 (Comparison of lead-containing and lead-free PWBs reuse and recycling by LCA).

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Parque Tecnologico , Edificio 202
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