Feeds

Romanian and Turkish scientists turn circuit boards into oil

Biomess goes biomass

High performance access to file storage

Whether through a force of expanding environmental activism or just compliance with government edicts, the IT sector is in a pinch over how to safely recycle defunct computers and equipment.

Unfortunately, IT kit is packed with enough environmental hazards to put the Toxic Avenger's codpiece to shame. And with each generation of electrical merchandise released, dealing with the jettisoned remains of yesterday's gear turns into a bigger problem.

But a team of scientists from Romania and Turkey say they've found a simple and effective method to turn printed circuit boards from discarded IT kit into material suitable as fuel or for industrial use.

The researchers note that the plastic portion of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is particularly tricky to recycle because it contains additives, heavy metals, and extremely toxic flame retardants. (You don't want too much polybrominated diphenyl ethers in your diet if you cherish your liver and brain.)

In their paper "Feedstock Recycling from the Printed Circuit Boards of Used Computers," the scientists describe using a process of heat and chemical decomposition to destroy or remove almost all of the hazardous toxic compounds. A copy of the paper can be found here. (PDF warning.)

The process isn't exactly light reading — but when it's done, what's left of the printed circuit board is pyrolysis oil (or bio-oil), which can be refined in a similar fashion as crude petroleum for fuel or can be used by industries to make other useful chemicals.

Indeed now more than ever, is there anything adding more RAM can't do? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.