UK gets its 1st bio-refinery, recovering precious metals from e-waste without cyanide
Brexit has introduced the potential for higher costs for e-waste recovery in the UK. A NZ start-up thinks they have a "micro-brewery" style, localised solution. Their process uses a bio-refinery process that combines hydrometallurgy and biotechnology to safely extract metals – including gold, palladium, silver and copper – from e-waste.
The process removes the need for the use of cyanide in the recovery process, although other lower level chemicals are still needed. Initial plans include 2 units in the UK and 1 in Sydney, Australia.
Venture backed ANU spinout Samsara is part of a global movement to discover new enzymes that are able to digest plastic and turn it into useful chemical building blocks.Plastic-munching enzymes are computationally designed by ANU chemistry researchers, and their processes are being scaled up. Samsara plans to open a plant in 2022 that can reprocess things like PET bottles and old footy jumpers into monomers, which can then be remade into plastics that are as good as new."we’re actually depolymerising plastic in just under an hour, which is a fantastic improvement in performance," according to co-founder Paul Riley.https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/digesting-the-issue-woolies-bac