Tecnologia em Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração
Tecnologia em Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração
Original Article


Luciana Harue Yamanz, Carina Ulsen, Denise Crocce Romando Espinosa, Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório

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Precious metal content is much higher in electronic waste than in most worldwide mines, and therefore recycling is encouraged and mostly performed by hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes. This paper addresses a combined mechanical bio-hydrometallurgical recycling process for extracting gold, copper and iron from printed circuit boards as a less expensive technology feasible for the Brazilian context. Metal recovery was carried out by combining physical, chemical and biological processes. The combined process proved to be technically viable; the microbiological route using adapted bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans-LR is also eco-friendly. Mechanical processes recovered 97% of the iron by magnetic separation, the bioleaching extracted 99% of the copper, and 86% of the gold was recovered during the last stage of cyanidation.


Printed circuit boards; Combined recycling route; Bioleaching; Hydrometallurgy.


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