Recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste has been highlighted by the EU directives. The difficulties for recycling are induced by the high complexity of such waste. In this research, copper could be selectively recovered using an ammonia-based process, from industrially processed information and communication technology (ICT) waste with high complexity. A detailed understanding on the role of ammonium salt was focused during both stages of leaching copper into a solution and the subsequent step for copper recovery from the solution. By comparing the reactivity of the leaching solution with different ammonium salts, their physiochemical behaviour as well as the leaching efficiency could be identified. The copper recovery rate could reach 95% with ammonium carbonate as the leaching salt. In the stage of copper recovery from the solution, electrodeposition was introduced without an additional solvent extraction step and the electrochemical behaviour of the solution was figured out. With a careful control of the electrodeposition conditions, the current efficiency could be improved to be 80–90% depending on the ammonia salts and high purity copper (99.9 wt.%). This research provides basis for improving the recyclability and efficiency of copper recovery from such electronic waste and the whole process design for copper recycling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140–148
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 8991280