Precious metals in electronics—particularly gold—are found in a large variety of electronic components and equipment. Gold and other precious metals can be found in printed circuit board components of everything from everyday consumer electronics to aircraft. The price of precious metals makes recycling of electronics attractive from a business standpoint. Contact Bruker today to learn how our XRF alloy analyzers can help you in your electronic recycling and precious metals recovery business.
Furthermore, electronics in the waste stream present major sources of pollution of non-biodegradable materials. Not only are electronics in the waste stream a general pollution and landfill concern, but they also contain many toxic components which pose a hazard to groundwater, soil, etc. once they enter the waste stream. Electronic waste represents as much as 70% of all toxic waste.
The reasons to recycle electronics are clear, both from a financial/business perspective and an environmental perspective. The value of precious metals that are used in electronics manufacturing on an annual basis is upward of $20 billion, and only a minority of all electronic waste is recycled. From the standpoint of both natural resources and money, the loss of precious metals into the general waste stream is hugely wasteful.