How Many Precious Metals are Found in Electronic Wastes?

Precious metals (PMs) are widely applied in the various fields due to the distinct physical and chemical properties, such as catalytic activity, good electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. The most significant fields are electronics and catalysts industry, which consume over 90% of precious metals in industry.

In electronics industry, gold and silver are used as contacts, bonding wires and switches, while palladium is used in computer hard disk drives. In 2015, global demand for gold, silver and palladium in the field of electronics were 254 tonnes, 12.816 tonnes and 40.18 tonnes, respectively. 

Due to the electronics end of life, e-waste has gradually become significant source of precious metals. 

As a result, e-waste has become one of the fastest increasing waste streams worldwide.

For instance, computers and televisions tend to be the electronics with the most gold in them, but camcorders, media players, game consoles, and cell phones also contain gold.

Its profitable to recycle gold from electronic devices because it makes your outdated electronics so valuable even after they’ve reached the end of their life cycle. 

It is seen below, which electronic wastes include gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

  • Gold (Au) – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips (CPU), connectors / fingers, connector plating, pins, contacts, EPROM, ROM, RAM, IC, transistors, diodes, switches.
  • Silver (Ag) – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips, keyboard membranes, some capacitors, batteries, solders, switches, relays, USPs, stabilizers, contacts, RFID chips, PV cells
  • Platinum (Pt) – Hard Drives, Circuit board components, HD, thermocouples, fuel cells, sensors, switching contacts.
  • Palladium (Pd) – Hard Drives, Circuit board components (capacitors), multilayer capacitors, connectors, transistors, diodes, Ag-Cu-Pd solder

The content of main PMs in typical electronics is shown in Table below.

Therefore, it is necessary to recycle PMs from end-of-life products, realizing the sustainable development of precious metals. Proses Makina’s last technology process has maximum efficiency and best solutions for avoid any lost to precious metals recycling from e-waste.

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