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Transforming waste servers into resources in the digital age

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 02 December 2019

Taiwan’s UWin Nanotech is a company which specializes in providing hydrometallurgy environmentally-friendly precious metals recycling solutions, and their non-toxic and pollution-free metal-stripping solutions can be utilized to recycle precious metals in e-waste rapidly and with high-efficiency with the prerequisites of being safe for humans and harmless to the environment.

“Gold, silver, palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium and iridium are the top precious metals facing a crisis of shortage,” Kenny Hsu, Managing Director of UWin Nanotech, pointed out.

He further elaborated, stating that according to a survey conducted by the American Chemistry Society (ACS), in the coming century, there will be a shortage in production of the aforementioned precious metals primarily as a result of rapid increases in the quantities in which they are utilized. This will lead to an incapacity for the existing reserves of these metals to be replenished and harm to existing industrial supply chains. Therefore, developing precious metals recycling processes and technologies which are eco-friendly and highly-efficient is an urgent matter.

Currently, the recycling methods in some regions are very primitive, especially in undeveloped countries, and these regions still utilize methods which entail incineration to recycle precious metals with a portion of them even employing procedures involving the use of toxic and highly corrosive chemicals containing cyanide and aqua regia. This is not only hazardous to human health but also causes secondary damage to the environment.

Aimed at rapidly-growing requirements for precious metals recycling of cloud servers, UWin Nanotech has also taken an extra step in carrying out a series of analyses and experiments to develop a set of automated recycling processes and facilities. In accordance with UWin Nanotech’s processes, waste boards in servers are first dismantled and then undergo “Tin Stripping” with automated machinery, and the tin is rapidly stripped away and recycled using their environmentally-friendly SnST-550A prescription.

Following tin stripping, automated sorting machines are utilized to sort the components and the motherboards which are peeled off, and they then are sorted into bare boards, resistors and capacitors, connectors, IC chips, and pin feet and MLCC. Among them, the IC chips contain the highest content of gold, and they are pulverized again before undergoing an anoxic carbonization process to remove package housing materials. Finally, automation equipment is integrated with UWin Nanotech’s solution to extract the gold from the inside.

In accordance with UWin Nanotech’s practices, the use of these automated gold-stripping processes to handle the waste server boards on the market can yield an average of US$7,300 worth of precious metals per ton. Furthermore, the recycling value per ton of some high-end brand-name products even exceeds US$13,000.

UWin Nanotech has accumulated extensive know-how and experience related to precious metals recycling, and they have developed a series of precious metals recycling solutions and corresponding automated facilities and equipment which have the capacity to provide solutions for a wide variety of application sizes and types.

Kenny Hsu explained that UWin Nanotech is a complete solutions provider for eco-friendly recycling of precious metals with the capability of providing precious metals recycling technologies and solutions for a wide variety of e-waste including servers, including eco-friendly metal strippers and customized facilities. In addition, the company also provide professional consulting and training curriculum to enable customers to create optimal recycling lines in accordance with their own requirements.

Currently their primary application areas include: semiconductor, PCB boards, e-waste, and automotive catalyst recycling and mining, and their business footprint has spread all over the world. Their gold recycling technology has also received great attention from French representatives.

Although UWin Nanotech has achieved considerable results in the domain of precious metals recycling, the company is still continually improving the quality of their solutions while simultaneously being committed to the promotion of green chemistry education and circular economy ideology in order to realize the vision of ecological sustainability for the earth.

As a result of this, Kenny Hsu also calls for the industry to be more active in implementing green recycling processes and transforming traditional manufacturing concepts in order to enable recycling to be integrated into supply chains and truly realize the circular economy.

Source: CTIMES
Wayne Lin (waynelin@taitra.org.tw)

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