According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recycling one million cellphones can recover 50 pounds of gold, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and more than 20,000 pounds of copper. These finite resources are preserved through recycling and reuse efforts and limit the need to extract raw materials from the earth. The recycling and reuse process first involves identification of the precious metals present in electronic parts or devices and in order to do this various sampling techniques are used.
In recognizing the significance of this process Sims Recycling Solutions recently invested in new precious metal sampling technology at their Franklin Park, Illinois facility. The new equipment streamlines the refining process by adding an extra layer of shredding and sampling, breaking down the material into smaller pieces than ever before. This enables downstream processes to be more economical and processing time more efficient.
“Precious metals refining is crucial to the recycling industry and plays an important role in preserving finite natural resources” said Mark Glavin, vice president of Sims Recycling Solutions, precious metals division. “With this new equipment we are able to take a smaller sample of material, so downstream processes are more economical.”
The new energy-efficient shredding equipment boasts specs such as a 31 inch long single-rotor shredder with a peak shaft torque of 3,900 feet per pound and a 7,800 pound peak tip force per cutter. Specs aside, the primary benefit of this new equipment is the capability to shred similar materials with less force due to the efficiency of the cutter design.
“The development and commissioning of the new shredding and sampling plant was a complete success,” stated Sean Magann, vice president of Sims Recycling Solutions. “This new equipment will enable Sims Recycling Solutions to remain at the forefront of the precious metals refining industry.”
The EPA-permitted Franklin Park refinery has a fully staffed laboratory with expertly trained chemists and technicians. Once materials go through this new shredding and sampling procedure, the precious metal components are roasted, melted and assayed on the premises before continuing to the next step in the refining process, allowing for an expedited payment process.