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J Environ Manage. 2013 Mar 30;118:49-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.01.012. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Stratification and segregation features of pulverized electronic waste in flowing film concentration.

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  • 1MNP Division, CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur 831 007, India.


Gravity separation of metals from plastics in pulverized e-waste using flowing film concentration in a shaking table was investigated. Over 51% rejection of plastics in a single stage operation was achieved under optimum conditions. The shaking table was shown to be suitable for processing ground PCBs. Pulverized e-waste containing 22% metals was enriched to around 40% metals in a single pass. Statistical models for the mass yield of metal-rich stream and its grade were developed by design of experiments. Optimization was carried out to maximize the mass yield at a target product grade and preferred operating regimes were established. Experiments were designed to prevent metal loss and over 95% recovery values were obtained under all conditions. Settling distances of metals and plastics were computed and shown to be good indicators of separation performance. Particle morphology and stratification in the troughs in between the riffles were shown to influence the separation significantly. Water flow-assisted motion of the plastics was captured and its role in determining the effectiveness of separation was described. The efficacy of tabling was well established for treating ground PCBs. The wet process was shown to be environment friendly and sustainable. It is also relatively cheap and has good potential for industrial application. However, rigorous cost estimates will be required before commercial application.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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