- Intelligent Environmental Management! -

Chemical Recycling of PCB's

After the mechanical extraction of copper and precious metals from assembled and unassembled PCB's a residue which essentially consists of glass fibre and flame retardant epoxy-resin (recyclate) remains.

Epoxy resin is a thermosetting plastics which does not liquefy under heat and is practically insoluble in most solvents. For this reason no method has been established that enables a factory or feedstock recycling of these plastics up to now. As thermosetting plastics are often used in the electronic and automotive industry the development of such a procedure is an important and urgent task.

For this reason the MPM has created the basis for a chemical procedure for feedstock recycling of flame retardant epoxy-resin (FR4 basic material) by means of a R & D project. This process is based on the thermal separation of the polymer in a special dissolver (solvolysis) together with a catalyst. As a result valuable elements like phenol, isopropyl phenol and bromide are generated.

We persue the development of a recycling unit with a capacity of approximately 8.000 tons recyclate per year. We suppose that it will even be possible to recycle other glass or carbon fibre reinforced plastics (GFK and CFK) that are based on epoxy or phenolic resin.

- Intelligent environmental management! -