Project Description

Key information
Project in the Spotlight: N21006 (Perspectief P20-13)
Market: Electronics

Written by M2i Program Manager: Yulia Fischer

On Sunday, 17 March 2024, The Klokhuis Science price (De Klokhuis Wetenschapsprijs) will be awarded during the InScience film festival in Nijmegen. Het Klokhuis is an informative TV program for the youth. Max van Beek, one of ten PhD’s on the project “Circular Circuits: design of next generation electronics for a circular economy” participates in this competition. Could you help us to educate the young generation on how electronics can be more sustainable? Then give your vote for Max (Recycling van elektronica) on the website of the Klokhuis.

Project goal and outcomes
Circular Circuits aims to tackle the growing E-waste problem in the Netherlands. The team of Max focuses on the End-of-Life recycling of discarded printed circuit boards and creates a new recycling path that is more circular, less energy intensive and increases profitability than current industrial methods. In his PhD work he uses physical and mechanical separation technologies to pre-sort the electronic components found on the discarded printed circuit boards as a preprocessing step for sensor based sorting and hydrometallurgy.

Unlike the current way of recycling, where the whole PCB is shredded, the goal is to sort the different electronic components and thereby concentrate the critical raw materials they contain. This could tap a currently unused part of the “urban mine” for CRM recovery and thus improve the circularity of our economy, reduce polluting traditional mining and create new a new economic niche in Europe.

Industrial partner Myne, former Reukema, is looking forward to the results of this work to be implemented at the industrial scale.