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Optimizing the Leaching Parameters and Studying the Kinetics of Copper Recovery from Waste Printed Circuit Boards

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journal contribution
posted on 15.01.2022, 00:43 by Juanjuan Hao, Xiaolu Wang, Yishu Wang, Yufeng Wu, Fu Guo
The study of copper (Cu) recovery is crucial for the entire recovery process of waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs), and Cu can be leached efficiently via a sulfuric acid–hydrogen peroxide (H2SO4–H2O2) system. To achieve high Cu recovery, it is important to evaluate the parameters of the leaching process and understand the Cu leaching kinetics. Applying statistical and mathematical techniques to the leaching process will further benefit the optimization of the Cu leaching parameters. Moreover, the leaching kinetics of Cu in the H2SO4–H2O2 solution is yet to be fully understood. Hence, in the present work, process parameters, such as temperature, H2SO4 and H2O2 concentrations, solid–liquid ratio, particle size, and stirring speed, were optimized statistically by the response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the leaching kinetics conformed to the Avrami model. The maximum Cu leaching efficiency was 99.47%, and it was obtained based on the following optimal conditions: 30.98 °C, 2.6 mol/L H2SO4, 1.87 mol/L H2O2, a solid–liquid ratio of 0.05 g/mL, 135 mesh, and 378 rpm. RSM was used for the optimization of the process parameters, and the leaching kinetics in this system was clarified. This study provides an important pathway for the investigation of other metal recoveries from WPCBs.