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Leaching of gold, silver and accompanying metals from circuit boards (PCBs) waste

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Author(s): Jana Ficeriová | Peter Baláž | Eberhard Gock

Journal: Acta Montanistica Slovaca
ISSN 1335-1788

Volume: 16;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 128;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: waste | gold | silver | accompanying metals | leaching

ABSTRACT
Au-Ag noble metal wastes represent a wide range of waste types and forms, with various accompanying metallic elements.The presented leaching strategy for Au-Ag contained in circuit boards (PCBs) aims at gaining gold and silver in the metallic form.Application of the proposed ammonium thiosulphate leaching process for the treatment of the above mentioned Au-Ag containing wastesrepresents a practical, economic and at the same time an ecological solution. The ammonium thiosulphate based leaching of gold and silverfrom PCBs waste, using crushing as a pretreatment, was investigated. It was possible to achieve 98 % gold and 93 % silver recovery within48 hours of ammonium thiosulphate leaching. This type of leaching is a better leaching procedure for recovery of gold and silver from PCBwaste than the classical toxic cyanide leaching. 84 % Cu, 82 % Fe, 77 % Al, 76 % Zn, 70 % Ni, 90 % Pd, 88 % Pb and 83 % Sn recovery ofthe accompanying metals was achieved, using sulphuric acid with hydrogen peroxide, sodium chloride and aqua regia. A four steps leachingprocess gave a very satisfactory yield and a more rapid kinetics for all observed metals solubilization than other technologies.
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