Industries

Electrical and electronic

The fact that precious metals are needed for electronic components has not only been known since the “new” environmental awareness. But what can be done when more and more electronic components are used in everyday objects and the demand for precious metals increases as a result? Precious metal recycling offers a good opportunity to use the available resources efficiently by recovering precious metals from electronic scrap or production waste. This not only benefits our partner companies for whom we provide this service, but also our environment.

Precious metals are found particularly frequently in the production scrap of the electrical engineering industry or in old electrical products (electronic scrap). Precious metals can be found, for example, in integrated circuits, processors, printed circuit boards or connectors.

In order to efficiently recycle the valuable raw materials contained therein, highly developed technical, commercial and service-oriented processes and solutions are required. With our full service claim, we offer you support in all important areas. Starting with consulting, logistics and environmental management to material processing and precious metal analysis to precious metal management and remuneration.

We are the right partner for companies in the electronics industry because of our careful handling of our customers’ valuable materials, our insurance coverage, our sustainable and environmentally conscious handling of waste, and especially because of our high level of process reliability.

You can see which production residues contain potentially recyclable precious metals in the following list.

  • Strip and punching waste
  • Contact parts (rotary waste, pins)
  • ingots, melting pieces
  • Carrier materials: bronze (copper, copper-tin, copper-beryllium), brass (copper-zinc), iron, steel
  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, copper
Stamping waste containing precious metals often accumulates as production scrap at plug-in contact manufacturers, electroplating companies or assemblers. Due to their electrical conductivity or physical insensitivity to abrasion and corrosion, electronic connectors are often electroplated with gold, silver and, if necessary, palladium/rhodium plating. Bronze, copper, brass or other non-ferrous alloys usually serve as base materials. We specialize in the recovery of precious metals, whether they are contained in stamped strips, stamped snippets, plug contacts (with or without plastic) or other stamped waste. Wires, foils, sheets Sensors are there to measure various physical or chemical properties and without them processes would hardly be feasible. Precious metals are also present in these sensors, and we specialize in their recovery and recycling.

Hybrid circuits with precious metal pastes

Thick film circuits are used wherever high reliability is required and/or adverse environmental conditions (humidity, vibration) prevail:

  • Automotive electronics: (engine control, ABS, charge controller, etc.)
  • Industrial and power electronics
  • Measurement and control technology
  • Sensors subject to high stress (e.g. lambda sensor)
  • Military and aerospace technology
  • Telecommunications
  • High performance computer systems
  • Consumer electronics (low-frequency power amplifiers of medium power)
  • High-frequency assemblies (e.g. antenna amplifiers and small transmitters)

The precious metals usually occur in paste form. These are referred to as precious metal pastes. The recovery of the precious metals from the pastes is no problem for us.

 

Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC)

Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) deserve special attention because this type is the most common type of ceramic capacitor in terms of the number of units used. Common precious metals in multilayer ceramic capacitors are gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Electronic Devices (Integrated Circuits, Processors)

An integrated circuit (IC) is an electronic circuit of transistors, capacitors, resistors, and inductors that is fully integrated into or onto a single piece of semiconductor substrate. The precious metals gold, silver, platinum and copper are usually used.

 

Components of automotive electronics (Electronic Control Unit)

Electronic control units support the functions relevant to the driving behavior of the motor vehicle, such as engine control, power transmission, the braking system or the tire pressure control system. In addition, all driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane change assistant, traffic sign recognition and light signal recognition, start-up assistant, night vision assistant, intersection assistant, and many others. Precious metals are also found here, often gold, silver, palladium, platinum, iridium and copper.

 

Connectors

Connectors are used to separate and connect electrical wires and are essential for electrification and safety, especially in the mobility sector. Bronze (copper, copper-tin), brass (copper-zinc), iron, steel, which are supplemented by the precious metals gold, silver, palladium, platinum, iridium and copper, serve as carrier materials.

 

Foil circuits

The foil circuit is a circuit. It is made of a few than 1µm thick insulating base material with the screen printing conductive inks. Passive components, such as diodes, transistors, resistors, capacitors and electrical sensors, can be connected to the circuit by wiring. Vacuum evaporation, sputtering and electroplating are the common processes required to fabricate the circuit.
Common precious metals used in the vacuum evaporation, sputtering or electroplating processes are gold, silver, palladium and platinum.
Many conductive inks can be used to make a foil circuit. But most take silver as the conductive component.

 

Paste residues, wiping cloths, sludge with solvent content, solder dross

Organic recyclables are waste and residues that are produced during the manufacture of ceramic circuits (hybrid ceramics) or various sensors when the conductive pastes containing precious metals are screen-printed onto ceramics.
This also includes solder paste cans or cartridges that have been opened, dried out or sorted out as rejects after their expiration date.

Precious metals: Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium

Organic recyclables also include cleaning cloths, which are used to clean the placement equipment, and metallic solder dross, which is produced after liquefaction of the paste from solder baths or placement equipment. In addition, distillates are produced in production companies when pastes are distilled out of wash solutions and concentrated.

 

Spent precious metal baths and residues (filters and resins) from electroplating

Electroplating is an electrolytic process in which various base materials are refined with precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. Electroplating plants generate waste containing precious metals such as resins, sludges, baths, dross, filters, strippers, electrolytes, anode residues and production scrap. The recycling or recovery of precious metals from organic recyclables has been one of our core competencies since the beginning.

Chemical / pharmaceutical / petrochemical

Even if laymen first think of the electronics industry when it comes to recycling precious metals, there are also other industries in which precious metals are often used.

In the chemical industry, precious metals are mainly used in catalysts and solutions. Furthermore, waste containing precious metals accumulates in the form of sludges and drosses.

With our processes and procedures for recovery, we are able to efficiently recycle precious metals from the above-mentioned production residues or production waste. With our decades of expertise in precious metal recycling and our full-service solutions, we offer companies in the chemical industry the perfect contact point to efficiently recover precious metals.

Learn more now about the production materials in which precious metals are found. The list is not exhaustive. If you are wondering whether our services are also suitable for you, simply contact us. We are looking forward to your inquiry!

A catalyst is an agent that can initiate a chemical reaction without itself being consumed. Platinum catalysts, for example, make an important contribution to environmental protection by neutralizing harmful substances. Catalysts are also essential for the production of certain basic chemical substances such as ammonia, nitric acid, ethylene oxide, etc.. The spent catalysts, whose carrier materials are alumina (silicate), silica-alumina, zeolite, activated carbon and others, contain the precious metals gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium and ruthenium.

Even when cleaning chemical plants or replacing spent catalysts, residues containing precious metals are produced that are worth all the effort. These accumulate in the form of sludges, solutions, filters and dregs.
  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium

Glass manufacture

In glass manufacturing, precious metals are found especially in semi-finished products and firebricks.

RECOM offers companies based in glass manufacturing the perfect solution for efficient and profitable precious metal recycling.

With decades of experience and a full-service portfolio, we cover all processes related to recycling.

Starting with advice, which is always personal and individual, to the logistics service, which takes care of all important tasks for you, from the provision of the necessary containers to transport according to regulations and customs clearance, material processing to precious metal management: with RECOM, companies in the glass industry find a reliable partner for the recovery of precious metal.

Let us advise you now: Contact us now and present your company and your project to us!

    • Precious metals: Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Iridium

For highest quality requirements in the glass industry, platinum metals are indispensable to withstand the high temperatures. Whether for special glasses or glass fibers, RECOM is your competent partner in the recovery of the rare precious metals.

The fireclay comes from the lining of smelting plants in the glass industry. They usually consist of thermally resistant ceramics and are coated with precious metal residues.

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Automobile industry

Sustainably produced automobiles are becoming increasingly important in the market due to the emergence of e-cars and the general rise in environmental awareness.

The recycling of precious metals can be a great potential for companies in the automotive industry to reduce material costs and to use raw materials efficiently. Precious metals are used in the automotive industry in the manufacture of electronic components and can therefore be found in particular in organic recyclables, composites, metallic alloys and ceramics.

However, automotive exhaust and metal catalytic converters also use precious metals. Accordingly, these production wastes and production residues also contain precious metals that can be recycled. Due to the ambition to produce hydrogen cars as well, the fuel cell is gaining more and more importance worldwide. We are already specialized in this field.

You are working in the automotive industry and you are not sure if precious metal recycling is an option for you? Below you will find examples of materials containing precious metals. Our experts will be happy to advise you personally. Simply get in touch with us!

Organic recyclables

  • recious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium
During the coating or printing of various components, organic waste accumulates in the form of paste residues, wiping cloths, sludges with solvent content and solder dross, which contain a high proportion of precious metals. We are your reliable and competent partner when it comes to the recovery of precious metals.

Composite materials

  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, copper
  • Metallic alloys

  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, copper
Accrue in the form of strip and punching waste, as well as connectors (Electrical Engineering / Electronics - Metallic Alloys).

Ceramics (lambda probes, NOx probes, piezo technology, level measurement)

  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium
They are produced as scrap or cuttings from the manufacture of probes (lambda probes, NOx probes) or electrical ceramic components that must be resistant to corrosion. RECOM is a competent and efficient partner in precious metal recycling for the automotive industry.
  • Precious metals: platinum, palladium, rhodium
Automotive catalysts can significantly reduce pollutant emissions in exhaust gases and are therefore an important component of international environmental standards. Whether a catalytic converter with honeycomb body on ceramic or consisting of metallic carrier materials, RECOM is your efficient recycler.

Special areas

There are many more industries that use precious metals frequently. If yours hasn’t been mentioned yet, you can always contact us for further information!

  • Precious metals: platinum, iridium

As an alternative to electroplating, sputtering is a coating method for applying ultra-thin layers of the precious metal (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) to the substrate. In addition to the optics and electronics industries, precious metal targets are produced in the medical technology, solar technology and glass industries.

  • precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium
If you want to clean surfaces or coatings contaminated with precious metals, blasting sand is often used. RECOM recovers the contained precious metals for you.