Preliminary Studies on Simultaneous Recovery of Precious Metals from Different Waste Materials by Pyrometallurgical Method

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Automotive catalytic converters have a limited life time, after which the catalyst must be replaced or regenerated. The spent catalytic converters contain small amount of precious metals. Recovery of these metals is essential for environmental and economic reasons. The waste electronic equipment is also an attractive source for recovery of precious metals. Precious metals in electronic scraps are concentrated mainly in printed circuits and integrated circuits - so generally in elements that are the most diverse in their composition. Material heterogeneity of these elements is the reason why there is no universal method for processing this type of scrap. Methods used in the world for recovery of precious metals from spent auto catalytic coverters and electronic wastes by pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical methods were mentioned in this paper. The results of simultaneous melting of electronic waste with spent automotive catalysts were presented. The printed circuit boards were used as the carrier and as a source of copper. The precious metals present in the catalyst were collected in copper.

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