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Production of copper powder form printed circuit boards by electrodeposition

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241 - 247

Masavetas I., Moutsatsou A., Nikolaou E., Spanou S., Zoikis-Karathanasis A., Pavlatou E.A. and Spyrellis N.
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During the last years, the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are gathering
attention, as a very special section of waste. In fact, they have been proven to be source for
the recovery of metals. In the present study printed circuit boards (PCBs) were cut and
treated thermally at 500oC for 1 h in both air and nitrogen atmosphere. The obtained material
was dissolved in three different acid media HNO3aq, HClaq and H2SO4aq, in order to extract
copper. The achieved Cu recovery percentages were 97.5, 65 and 76.5% respectively.
Electrodeposition technique was applied in order to recover copper in powder form. More than
98% of copper was recovered achieved by application of high current density resulting to
dendritic structure of copper. The applied process was characterised by a high current
efficiency and led to the production of copper powder of 80 μm mean diameter appropriate for
powder metallurgy applications.

Printed circuit boards, leaching, electrowinning, Cu recovery, Cu powder