화학공학소재연구정보센터
Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Vol.95, No.11, 2796-2810, 2020
Biotechnological recycling of critical metals from waste printed circuit boards
Critical metals are key raw materials for new generation clean energy production. The extraction of critical metals often follows the difficult processing of primary ores and they are many times recovered as the companion metals. With the depletion of primary reserves, the focus has now shifted to processing the urban mines, like electronic (e-)waste. Among the different types of e-waste, the waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) are the major reservoir of high-value critical metals and are usually treated by the traditional pyro- and/or hydro-metallurgical techniques. However, the application of microbial activities in metals recycling is rapidly emerging as a green technology in comparison to smelter or chemical processing. The application of microorganisms (bacteria/fungi) in WPCBs' recycling is being increasingly explored in order to meet the parallel objectives of resource recovery and pollution mitigation. Therefore, the present article assesses the current frontiers in bioleaching of critical metals from WPCBs and contains discussions on process fundamentals, challenges, and perspectives. The applicability of microbial recycling of WPCBs at a higher scale in terms of a circular economy and urban mining notion, the techno-economic analysis, and environmental sustainability in comparison to the chemical processing route are also discussed. (c) 2020 Society of Chemical Industry