Transforming E-Waste into Value: A Circular Economy Approach to PCB Recycling

Masoud Ahmadinia, Rossi Setchi, Sam L. Evans, Tony Baker, Steve Gregory, Julian Cox, Lucia Garcia Rodriguez, Steve Giblin, Steve Clode, Lampros Litos, Sanjooram Paddea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


This study delves into the pressing global issue of electronic waste (e-waste), with a specific emphasis on printed circuit boards (PCBs). PCBs, being a crucial component of electronic devices, contribute significantly to e-waste due to their intricate composition of hazardous substances and valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper. The research explores the concept of the circular economy—an economic system aimed at eliminating waste through the continual use of resources—and its potential application in recycling PCBs. This involves a detailed investigation of the challenges and opportunities associated with various extraction methods and waste management strategies. The study also presents a case study on The Royal Mint’s innovative approach to gold extraction from PCBs. This practical example offers valuable insights into the application of circular economy principles in the context of PCB recycling, demonstrating how these principles can lead to improved resource efficiency, waste reduction, and economic benefits. The findings of this research underscore the need for further development and implementation of sustainable practices in e-waste management to mitigate environmental impact and capitalise on the economic potential of valuable materials in e-waste.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Design and Manufacturing 2023
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing KES-SDM 2023
EditorsSteffen G. Scholz, Robert J. Howlett, Rossi Setchi
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789819981595
ISBN (Print)9789819981588
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing - Sustainability in Energy and Buildings, SEB-23., Bari, Italy
Duration: 18 Sept 202320 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
ISSN (Print)2190-3018
ISSN (Electronic)2190-3026


Conference10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing
Abbreviated titleSDM-2023
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2024.


  • Circular economy
  • E-waste management
  • PCB recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Decision Sciences(all)


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