Metal Separation at E-Waste World Conference 2024

By Paul Fears | 28 May 2024

Maximising metal separation and recovery from e-waste is the focus for Bunting on stand C60 at the E-Waste World Conference and Expo (26-27 June 2024, Messe Frankfurt, Germany).  The Bunting team is joined on the stand by their local representative Marcel Graef from 3SMI.

Non ferrous metal recovered from e waste on an Eddy Current Separator

The global production of e-waste rose to 62 million tonnes (Mt) in 2022, up 82% from 2010 (Unitar).  Estimates indicate that e-waste will rise to 82 million tonnes by 2030.  At present, e-waste recycling meets only 1% of rare earth element demand.

Shredded e waste

Recovering the valuable metals present in e-waste is challenging, involving liberation, sizing, and separation.  Bunting’s separation equipment recovers ferrous and non-ferrous metals at various stages in the e-waste recycling process.

High-intensity magnetic separators, including the Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator, recover small and weakly magnetic metals including fragmented stainless steel.  The remaining non-magnetic fraction passes over an Eddy Current Separator, which recovers the non-ferrous metals such as aluminium and zinc.  The concentric and eccentric magnetic rotor designs of Eddy Current Separator enable recovery of non-ferrous metals down to 3mm in size.

One of the final processes uses an Electrostatic Separator to recover finer metallic particles.  Separation occurs by induced an electrostatic charge into a conductive dry-liberated particle.

An Eddy Current Separator installed in an e waste recycling plant

The location of a metal separator within an e-waste recycling process depends on the flowsheet, the feed material, and the separation objective.  Bunting’s applications engineers work closely with e-waste recyclers to understand their process and recommend the optimum separator solution.

E-waste recyclers also use Bunting’s testing facility at the Customer Experience Centre in the UK to assess metal separation capabilities, processing materials on a wide range of equipment.

“There is a drive to increase e-waste recycling which is only possible if there are recognised processes and equipment,” said Bradley Greenwood, Bunting’s European Sales Manager.  “The E-Waste World Conference and Expo provides the ideal opportunity to discuss the challenges facing e-waste recyclers and identify separation technology to enable valuable metal recovery.”

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