The Role of Particle Size and Shape on the Recovery of Copper from Different Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste

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Burat F., Dinç N. İ., Dursun H. N., ULUSOY U.

Minerals, vol.13, no.7, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/min13070847
  • Journal Name: Minerals
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: characterization, particle size and shape, physical, physicochemical, recycling, valuable metals
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The increasing world population and the development of technology have boosted the demand for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Equipment that has completed its life cycle causes serious damage to the environment due to its toxic components. In addition, it contains many more base metals (copper, aluminum, nickel, lead, tin, etc.) and precious metals (silver, gold, palladium, platinum, etc.) compared with a run of mine ore. Recycling these values with an economic and environmental understanding will ensure sustainability and prevent the rapid depletion of natural resources. Specific gravity, magnetic, electrostatic, optical, surface, thermal, and other property differences between particles as well as the shape, size, and distribution of individual particles directly determine the success of the recycling process. By determining the behavior of the particles during enrichment and producing grains suitable for enrichment with better performance in the size reduction stage, the quality of the concentrate to be subjected to the final chemical/metallurgical treatment will be enhanced. The main aim of this study is to reveal the effect of particle size and shape properties on the recovery of valuable metals from two different waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) sources, end-of-life printed circuit boards and waste electric wires, using environmentally friendly, easier-to-use, and cost-effective mechanical, physical, and physiochemical processes. Deciding on the most suitable enrichment process after detailed characterization of the products obtained from different comminution equipment and their particle size and shape directly affected the amount, content, and recovery of the final concentrate.