An initial trial into recovering more precious metals from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) using plasma technology is reported to have been successful.
Swindon-based Tetronics is working with Innovate UK to retrieve gold, silver, copper, tin and other metals from WEEE, with mining company Vale refining the metals that are recovered.
The first of four planned trials has been completed. Printed circuit boards were fed into the Tetronics plasma furnace to separate out the metals.
“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 company said.
“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 to lay the foundations for the remaining trials of this project, and for the future of WEEE recycling in the UK.”
Plans are underway for the second trial.