Feeds

Romanian and Turkish scientists turn circuit boards into oil

Biomess goes biomass

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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? ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.