Title: In-line automated device for the identification of components and the characterization of materials and value in waste PCBs

Coordinating Institute: ITIA – Istituto di Tecnologie Industriali e Automazione (Milano)

Partnership: IENI – Istituto per l’Energetica e le Interfasi (Padova)

Project: Zero WastePCBs  (subproject 1)

Abstract: Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are among the most interesting waste flows since 30% of their composition is made of valuable metals. Their treatment is particularly challenging due to the high PCB variability and the difficulty to characterize the PCB composition before the process. The “Zero Waste PCBs” project developed a new process-chain targeted to SMEs, alternative to pyro-metallurgical processes, to recover materials and value from waste PCBs. One of the developed key enabling technologies was a knowledge-based automatic PCB characterization method, able to recognize the components of the PCB under treatment and to predict the material composition and value, before the treatment. The objective of this project is to bring this technology to a higher target TRL level of 7, by integrating and testing this computer-vision based station in-line, at pilot plant scale. This new prototype will be set-up to be ready for integration in a complete industrial process-chain at recycler site.