Recovery of base and precious metals from scrap TV boards using zigzag air separator

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YAZICI E. Y., CELEP O., Ibrahim B. O. Y. L., DEVECİ H.

Physicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing, vol.59, no.5, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.37190/ppmp/168255
  • Journal Name: Physicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: air separation, copper, metals, recycling, scrap TV boards, silver, WEEE
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The treatment of WEEE with high content of precious metals (Au in particular) has received the most attention due to their high economic potential. The development of simple, environmentally friendly and cost-effective methods for the recovery of metals from “low-value” WEEE (e.g., <100 g/t Au) is important from the circular economy perspective. In this study, the separation of base (Cu) and precious (Ag) metals from scrap TV boards (STVBs) by using a zig-zag air separator was investigated. Size-reduced scrap STVBs (-1 mm) were subjected to separation tests after the removal of the fine fraction (-0.1 mm). The sized scrap material (-1 +0.1 mm) was determined to have a metal content of 15.4% Cu, 47 g/t Ag and 0.05% Fe, with no gold. In the air separation tests, the effect of air flow rate (4-16 m/s) on the recovery of metals was studied. Increasing the air flow rate resulted in low metal recoveries with concurrent high metal grades in the concentrate. Separation efficiency (%) calculations showed that the most efficient separation is obtained at the highest air flow rate of 16 m/s. At this flow rate, 15.4% of the material was recovered in the concentrate which contains 62.3% Cu and 198 g/t Ag with recoveries of 63.3% Cu and 73.9% Ag. The findings indicated that zig-zag air separators can be used to obtain a metal-rich fraction under suitable conditions of the flow regime.