Feeds

Romanian and Turkish scientists turn circuit boards into oil

Biomess goes biomass

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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? ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.