Discarded PCs may provide fuel for your car someday!

May 15th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 15 (ANI): Can you imagine a car being propelled by a fuel created from parts of discarded computers? Well, a team of Romanian and Turk researchers believes that it may just be possible someday.

And the force behind their belief comes from a recycling technique they have developed to convert parts of discarded computer circuit boards into environmentally friendly raw materials for use in consumer products.

Cornelia Vasile at the Romanian Academy at Iasi and her colleagues wanted to devise a way to remove toxic materials from waste electronic scrap so that such material could be safely recycled.

They collected printed circuit boards from discarded computers, and employed a special combination of catalysts, high temperatures and chemical filtration to destroy flame-retardant additives in the plastics.

The process enabled the research team to remove almost all the toxic substances from the scraps, and generated oils that could be safely used as fuel or raw materials called feedstocks for a wide range of consumer products.

“It is good work. The recycling of scrap printed circuit boards is becoming increasingly important because some of the metals they contain are becoming increasingly scarce,” Live Science quoted chemical engineer William Hall at Coventry University in England, who did not participate in this study, as saying.

He said that the novel method would have to demonstrate its advantages over the current recycling process of smelting if it was to succeed commercially.

According to him, the benefit of this new technique “is that as well as recovering the metal content of the printed circuit boards, you can also recover the valuable organic chemicals.”

“The biggest obstacle to development of this technology is the scaling-up of the process,” he added.

A research article detailing this work will be published in the May 21 issue of the journal Energy & Fuels. (ANI)

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