What can we get from e-waste recycling?

[ 2018-07-24]

If we calculate since Apple released its first-generation iPhone as the starting point for the smart phones in 2007, it has sold about 70 billion smart phones worldwide in the past 10 years. If you count non-smart phones, the total output of mobile phones in the past 10 years is as high as 170 billion, and more than half of them have been abandoned.

E-waste has become an inevitable by-product of technological development and it is a serious problem worldwide. The definition of e-waste as the name suggests, e-waste is a new kind of waste produced by the development of electronic products and electronic devices. This kind of garbage is generally used electronic equipment and electronic waste, and mostly are daily consumer electronic products. The inclusion of many precious metals and pollutant substances are the signigicant feature of the electronic wastes. At present, electronic waste is mainly divided into two categories:

waste conditioner
Waste conditioners

Type 1: The materials contained are relatively simple. These kinds waste electronic products are less harmful to human health and the environment, such as refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and other household appliances.

waste mobile phone
Waste mobile phone

Type 2: Waste electronic products with complex materials and harmful to human health and the environment, such as computers and mobile phones. Improper handling make endless troubles. Electronic equipment itself is not rubbish, but if it is set up or used improperly, it will become a source of threat to human health. The data shows that in 2014, 41.8 million tons of electronic waste was produced globally, of which 6.5 million tons were safely processed. By 2017, global electronic waste is expected to exceed 60 million tons. The more electronic products you buy, the more  electronic waste generated per year. This makes the serious fact that everyone has the responsibility to control the e-waste generated by purchasing more products.

we can get from e-waste recycling
What  can
we get from e-waste recycling?

What can we get from e-waste recycling? E-waste contain many useful and even expensive materials, and in a complex electronic accessory, there are more than 60 elements of the periodic table. Take the waste computer and mobile phone as exaple!

The outer casing of the electronic waste contains metal such as aluminum and iron, and the circuit board, the wire and cable contain copper, and can be recycled after being refined. Of all the e-waste, the most valuable is the used computer.

According to reports, the amount of gold mining is limited, so the extraction of gold from electronic waste has become an important renewable resource production industry. In the used computer, the CPU and the memory stick contain gold components, and a used computer can generate 0.2 grams of gold. Based on this calculation, 10 gold recycled gold can make a gold ring. According to professionals, 300 grams of gold can be extracted per ton of used computers.
According to the current market of second-hand gold, refining 1 gram of gold can earn 40 dollars, then 300g of gold extracted from a piece of electronic waste can earn 12,000 dollars!The total amount of gold extracted from used computers worldwide has exceeded the amount of gold extracted per year.This means we can get huge profits from e-waste recycling!

The computer update cycle is short. Taking Nanjing as an example, it can generate 2,000 waste computers every day. The precious metal recycling market has great potential. However, industry insiders said that the extraction of gold from used computers must undergo a professional extraction process, mainly through chemical extraction, while some informal channels are extracted by incineration and acid immersion, which is very harmful to the environment and leads to soil and groundwater pollution.

The hardware part of the mobile phone will release harmful substances in the decomposition, but by properly handling it, it can also turn waste into treasure  like the waste computer.

We live in an ever-changing era of science and technology and will continue to purchase the latest and most advanced digital devices in the future. The extensive elimination of old equipment alone is inevitably unsustainable,  going green and environmental protection is becoming more and more important. It is foreseeable that a large number of technological products will be properly reused, which will require a good technology to recycle the electronic waste to useful product again.

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