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A new base material for circuit board recycling: soluble when in water


With the continuous popularization of various types of electronic products in the information age, the production scale of printed circuit boards as component carriers is also expanding, and about 18 billion square meters of circuit boards produced around the world each year. And more and more new circuit boards are produced and used, which means that a large number of old circuit boards are scrapped and eliminated. Generally speaking, the circuit board will be processed and recovered. (Iron, nickel, lead, tin and zinc, etc.), precious metals (gold, crickets, platinum, silver, etc.) and rare metals (rhodium, selenium, etc.), but because the circuit board substrate itself is made of glass fiber and epoxy resin itself Among them, the recovery value of these materials is not large and difficult to recycle, often just simply landfilling, incineration or accumulation, which will cause great waste of resources and environmental pollution.

The British Company Jiva Materials has developed a new type of PCB substrate Soluboard. This substrate is made of natural fibers in a halogen-free polymer. It is different from the FR-4 substrates often used in the industry. As long as this material is soaked in hot water of about 90 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, it can be dissolved in layers, so that the components welded on the circuit board are completely separated to facilitate recycling. The remaining fibers and polymers are non -toxic and can be used for composting. The remaining solutions can also be treated with a standard living wastewater system.

According to reports, using this material to replace the FR-4 PCB material can not only improve the recovery rate of valuable metals, but also reduce carbon emissions by 60%. PCB per square meter can save 10.5 kg of carbon and 620 grams of plastic. At present, Infineon has reached a cooperation with Jiva Materials, using Soluboard to produce three different demonstration boards, and plans to expand its product scope in the next few years.

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