BlueOak - Precious metal recovery from electronics waste - Case Study

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Courtesy of Tetronics (International) Limited

The Challenge

In the US, consumers alone dispose of some 3.2 million tonnes of e-waste annually; more than 80% of this ends up as waste, contributing >70% of all toxic metals in U.S. landfills.

In a bid to tackle this wastage, BlueOak Resources. USA announced in July 2014 that they had selected Tetronics' technology for their national project to sustainably recover precious metals from electronics waste (e-waste). one of the world's fastest growing waste streams. This launch project will cement the strategic relationship formed between the two companies to exploit the US e-waste market.

The Solution

The first recovery plant is being installed in Osceola, Arkansas. BlueOak intends to capitalize on the high demand for 'technology metals' like gold, silver, copper and palladium by creating distributed urban refineries in the U.S. and throughout the world that recover high-value metals from e-waste. Production at the Arkansas facility will begin by the end of 2015. initially processing 15 million lbs. of electronic scrap per year, with plans for rapid expansion.

The main advantages of Tetronics' patented plasma technology are that it couples the highest technical recovery rates and operational flexibility, with the lowest environmental impacts and cost base. The process chemistry is designed to symbiotically and preferentially separate and recover the valuable material in electronics waste whilst destroying any hazardous components.

Key Facts

  • Tetronics has supplied their plasma refining technology to BlueOak for the purposes of reclaiming precious metals from electronic waste across the USA
  • The plant will be located in Osceola, Arkansas
  • Production at the facility is due to begin by the end of 2015
  • The plant will initially process 75 million lbs of electronic scrap per year

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