Metallo-Chimique Licenses Circuit Board Recycling Technology

Belgian secondary smelter will use circuit board recycling technology from Itrimex.

April 9, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

Belgium-based secondary smelting company Metallo-Chimique NV has signed a cooperation agreement with Itrimex Ltd. to deploy its technology for the recovery of metals from scrap electronic printed circuit boards (PCBs).

Itrimex, Birkenhead, U.K., is a joint venture between Ultromex Ltd and ITRI Innovation Ltd (a subsidiary of international tin research organization ITRI). The joint venture was established to commercialize the research and development work the companies have undertaken in response to growing legislative pressure, particularly in the European Union, to increase the recycling of end of life electronic scrap.

The European Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment regulation (WEEE) has set progressively stringent targets for collection, recycling and recovery of all types of electronics goods within the European Community. The goal of the WEEE directive is to recycle at least 85 percent of all the electrical and electronic scrap collected in the European Union by 2016.

Itrimex’s technology “represents a significant advance in metals recycling,” the company says in a news release. The company describes its patent pending process as “a fast and low-energy solution to metals recovery with resultant low carbon footprint.”

An Itrimex pilot plant is in operation near Bromborough, U.K. As part of the agreement, Metallo-Chimique will cooperate with Itrimex in a six-month development program designed to optimize the current process technology and demonstrate technical and commercial feasibility on a full production scale.
“Metallo is an excellent partner for us as our project moves towards commercialization,” says David Bishop, a director of Itrimex. “They have strong technical credentials, a reputation for innovation and are well positioned, particularly in Europe and also globally. We look forward to working closely with them in optimizing and scaling up the Itrimex process.”