Weee Metallica runs the first industrial facility exclusively dedicated to printed circuit board recycling.

The company was founded in 2006 with a focus on research, design and implementation of metals recovering processes. Terra Nova operates a 30,000 tonne per year facility, built circuit in 2010 and commissioned in 2011 as the first plant exclusively dedicated to the recycling of printed circuit boards. Terra Nova is working to recycle the ‘urban mine” – the circa 25 kilogram of electronic waste disposed of each year by the average European.

The company brings together a team of scientific experts from the field of chemistry and (pyro)metallurgy with a wide range of industrial experience and the strong financial backing from an international metal trading company investor.

Recycling Process

Boasting an annual treatment capacity of 30,000 tonnes of printed circuit boards, the plant can treat all categories of board, irrespective of their type or original application. It operates in 6 stages:

  • Shredding of input material (printed circuit boards)
  • Separation of ferrous metal and aluminium
  • Sampling coupled with state-of-the-art analysis and methodology enables the composition of treated printed circuit boards to be defined with transparency and rigor
  • Pyrolysis at a temperature of 500°C, eliminating organic materials (resins, plastics), while concentrating the precious metals
  • Purification of gases in six stages, providing emission minimisation and control
  • Analysis of the composition of printed circuit boards via spectrometry at the Terra Nova laboratory

Strong Supplier Relationships
As a dedicated plane, Weee Metallica is able to make significant advances in terms of lead times (treatment, payment, sampling), transparency and flexibility (including allowing visits to view sampling procedures).
Continuous Innovation
The Weee Metallica research and development team continues to innovate, developing new processes for recovering non-ferrous, rare and precious metals from end-of-life consumer goods in the company’s state-of-the-art laboratory. More than six rare and precious metal recycling projects are currently under development, including liquid crystals, indium and the treatment of special non-ferrous alloys.

Environment

Objective: “zero emissions”
Terra Nova is pursuing treatment processes providing optimum gas purification
Objective: “zero ultimate waste”
Terra Nova aims to achieve the best possible recovery rates from all processes
Objective: “zero energy consumption”
Weee Metallica will ultimately recover the energy produced during pyrolysis enabling the process to be energy neutral Material flow is precisely controlled throughout the plant by rigorous sampling, certification of all suppliers of electronic waste and careful tracking of the product to confirm compliance throughout the process.

Facts about Waste Electronics
Demand for material ever increasing, with new technologies requiring mor and more rare and precious metals. The European Parliament Directive 2002/96/EC relating to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has driven the collection of this resource:

  • 1.7 million tonnes of WEEE generated each year in Europe
  • 5% annual growth rate by weight
  • 10 kg to be collected each year per person as the objective defined in law for 2014
  • Current generation of WEEE is c.25kg each year per person, of which the electronics represent up to 20% of the total weight

Up to now, most of this waste finished up to in landfills, wasting these valuable materials, or worse in uncontrolled, illegal material recycling operations in developing countries.

Note:

  • 43 Employees
  • MCC Non Ferrous Trading too over the company from Jan 2014
  • Third part appraisal valued company at US $19 M (tangible assets at US $10 M)
  • Location: At the Aperam Industrial complex in Isbergues, France