Precious metals such as platinum and rhodium from industrial sources should be easier to recycle thanks to a new scavenger technology.
A strategic partnership between Germany company Heraeus and UK firm PhosphonicS means that precious metal can be extracted from waste with low concentrations of these metals. Previously, it was considered unaffordable to recycle them.
Aimed at the pharmaceutical, industrial and speciality chemical industries, the process uses efficient adsorption chemicals, known as scavengers, to remove an recover precious metals from chemicals and wastes.
Heraeus Precious Metals Business Unit head of chemical process development recycling Joachim Kralik said: “With this process, it’s almost like we’re pulling finely distributed precious metal residue from the solution with a ‘chemical magnet’.
“The precious metal is bound to the surface of the adsorption medium. We can reprocess the material with its valuable content using wet-chemical processes in a way that yields a pure precious metal.”