skip to main content


Title: Comprehensive process for the recovery of value and critical materials from electronic waste

The development of technologies that contribute to the proper disposal and treatment of electronic waste is not just an environmental need, but an opportunity for the recovery and recycle of valuable metals and critical materials. Value elements in electronic waste include gold, palladium, silver, copper, nickel, and rare earth elements (RE). Here, we present the development of a process that enables efficient recycling of metals from scrap mobile electronics. An electro recycling (ER) process, based on the regeneration of Fe 3+ as a weak oxidizer, is studied for the selective recovery of base metals while leaving precious metals for separate extraction at reduced chemical demand. A separate process recovers rare earth oxides from magnets in electronics. Furthermore, recovery and extraction efficiencies ca. 90 % were obtained for the extraction of base metals from the non-ferromagnetic fraction in the two different solution matrices tested (H 2SO 4, and HCl). The effect of the pre-extraction of base metals in the increase of precious metals extraction efficiency was verified. On the other hand, the extraction of rare earths from the ferromagnetic fraction, performed by means of anaerobic extraction in acid media, was assessed for the selective recovery of rare earths. We developed amore » comprehensive flow sheet to process electronic waste to value products.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biological and Chemical Processing Dept.
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0959-6526; PII: S0959652616301299
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Cleaner Production
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 125; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0959-6526
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; critical materials; Electronic waste; Electrowinning; precious metals; Recycling
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1341153