The rapid growth of information technology and industrialization are the key components for the development of electronic equipment, and their inevitable role in human day-to-day life has an important stint in the generation of electronic waste (e-waste). This waste has far-reaching environmental and health consequences. One such e-waste printed circuit board (PCB) contains significant amounts of valuable heavy metals such as copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), and others that can be extracted through various metallurgical routes. Recovery and recycle of heavy metal ions is a major challenge to prevent environmental contamination. The present study discusses the current e-waste scenario, health impacts and treatment methods in detail, and also presents experimental results of recovery of heavy metals from printed circuit boards (PCBs) by leaching using aqua regia (HCI + HNO3 and HCI + H2SO4). Under varying conditions such as specified conditions of 80°C, 0.05 mm of thickness, 3 hrs of contacttime, 80rpm shaking speed, and concentration of PCB sample of 0.5 g ml−1, it results in the composition of extracted heavy metal ions in such a way that 97.59% of copper, 96.59% of lead, 94.66% of tin, and 96.64% of zinc, respectively. The recovery of heavy metal ions from PCBs has an important leading contribution in electronic waste management and the result shows a higher rate.
Part of the book: Environmental Impact and Remediation of Heavy Metals