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Pyrolysis characteristics of integrated circuit boards at various particle sizes and temperatures

TitlePyrolysis characteristics of integrated circuit boards at various particle sizes and temperatures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsChiang H-L, Lin K-H, Lai M-H, Chen T-C, Ma S-Y
Journal TitleJournal of Hazardous Materials
KeywordsIntegrated circuit (IC) board, Particle size, Pyrolytic kinetics, Temperature
AbstractA pyrolysis method was employed to recycle the metals and brominated compounds blended into printed circuit boards. This research investigated the effect of particle size and process temperature on the element composition of IC boards and pyrolytic residues, liquid products, and water-soluble ionic species in the exhaust, with the overall goal being to identify the pyrolysis conditions that will have the least impact on the environment. Integrated circuit (IC) boards were crushed into 5-40 mesh (0.71-4.4 mm), and the crushed particles were pyrolyzed at temperatures ranging from 200 to 500 [degree sign]C. The thermal decomposition kinetics were measured by a thermogravimetric (TG) analyzer. The composition of pyrolytic residues was analyzed by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES) and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). In addition, the element compositions of liquid products were analyzed by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Pyrolytic exhaust was collected by a water-absorption system in an ice-bath cooler, and IC analysis showed that the absorbed solution comprised 11 ionic species. Based on the pyrolytic kinetic parameters of TG analysis and pyrolytic residues at various temperatures for 30 min, the effect of particle size was insignificant in this study, and temperature was the key factor for the IC board pyrolysis. Two stages of decomposition were found for IC board pyrolysis under nitrogen atmosphere. The activation energy was 38-47 kcal/mol for the first-stage reaction and 5.2-9.4 kcal/mol for the second-stage reaction. Metal content was low in the liquid by-product of the IC board pyrolysis process, which is an advantage in that the liquid product could be used as a fuel. Brominate and ammonium were the main water-soluble ionic species of the pyrolytic exhaust. A plan for their safe and effective disposal must be developed if the pyrolytic recycling process is to be applied to IC boards.
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