GAIKER is a participant in a project at a multinational level which is financed by the European Union Competitive and Sustainable Growth Project. The project is to develop innovative technology which will have two aspects or stages: firstly the separation and recovery of components capable of being reused and, subsequently, the recycling of materials used in electronic printed circuit boards (from telephones, T.V.’s, and so on). The great quantity of small parts, different components, solder and other materials used in their manufacture, make their recycling and re-use extremely difficult.
The main aim of this important initiative is the substitution of the use of the solder lead used in these circuits, traditionally regarded as dangerous and restricted by current European Directives, by materials less harmful to the environment (alloys of tin, silver and copper). In this way, the risks to the environment and on human health can be substantially minimised.
The economic importance of the recycling of precious metals used in manufacturing processes justifies the important international participation involved in the project. The volume of electronic printed circuit board material thrown away in the year 2000 in Spain alone was about 200,000 tons and, in Europe, this figure will reach 7.4 million tons in 2004.
Edorta Larrauri Teran | BasqueResearch
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