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Sampling and digestion of waste mobile phones printed circuit boards for Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn determination

Vladislava Mičková, Silvia Ružičková, Dagmar Remeteiová, Martina Laubertová, and Marianna Dorková

Technical University of Košice, Košice, Slovak Republic



Abstract: Sampling is the most important procedure in arriving at the value of an electronic scrap. Inappropriate sampling makes other procedures, including assaying, valueless, as the sample must really represent the electronic scrap from which it was taken. The aim of this study was to develop the procedure to investigate the composition of heterogeneous printed circuit boards (PCBs) material and to show its applicability as well as its related limitations. The contents of Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn in PCBs from wasted mobile phones were determined. Mixtures of aqua regia, hydrogen peroxide and hydrofluoric acid were applied to sample digestion. Open and closed vessel wet digestion with or without heating and microwave-assisted one was realized. For these purposes different sample amounts (0.2, 0.4, and 0.5 g) were applied and on the basis of calculated relative standard deviation values (RSD), the precision of repeated the most effective digestion was evaluated. The microwave-assisted wet digestion and mixture of aqua regia and hydrogen peroxide was found as the most effective one of the compared mixtures and applied conditions. A sample amount of 0.5 g was found as the most suitable. RSD values confirm the importance of electronic waste material sample preparation.

Keywords: Waste printed circuit boards ; Material processing ; Metals ; Acid digestion ; Microwave digestion 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-017-0353-y


Chemical Papers 72 (5) 1231–1238 (2018)

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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