Recycling of Electronic Waste

Electronic waste such as computers is an increasing problem as they quickly become obsolete. Currently, most electronic waste is either landfilled or (often illegally) sent to developing countries to be recycled, since it contains valuable metals such as copper and gold. Electronic waste should be viewed as a resource rather than a waste material since it contains levels of valuable metals often ten times higher than can be found in naturally occuring ore deposits. Based on current metal prices, each kilogram of the metallic electronic waste sample at Kemetco is worth US $25. The research project aims to develop an economically viable process to recover the majority of that value with minimal environmental impact. The benefit to Kemetco would be the development of a patentable process that could be licensed.

Ke Chen
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. David Dixon
British Columbia