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Author: Subject: Do you know any hobby/private E-Waste recyclers?
Ubya
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[*] posted on 20-6-2020 at 17:38
Do you know any hobby/private E-Waste recyclers?


Odd question i know.

i see from youtube that in the US, or at least not where i live, many people recycle E-Waste at home for a profit extracting the valuable metals.

I already processed some E-Waste as an experiment in the past, and i was left with a few silicon wafers that i kept because they look nice.
A few days ago i thought that silicon chips, once stripped of their gold/platinum layers, are usually thrown out, but they are still pretty pure silicon!
Even if silicon is doped, it is still 99.9999% pure silicon, so my idea was to take some of this scrap silicon after the recycler got the metals, and grind it to make silicon powder for chemistry use.

I hear you say "why bother? you can buy silicon powder or silicon chunks on ebay for cheap"
valid question, but it's an experiment, to make use of something that would go in landfills and without any other processing is already fine, it just needs to be ground into a powder.
"why do you need silicon powder?"
Meh some for experiments, some for selling

"Ubya you would spend more for shipping"
eh you are right there, so maybe i'll need to find someone closer to me, but if you have someone close to you, you could give it a try :)





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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 21-6-2020 at 05:16


Silicon and magnesium react to give interesting magnesium silicide!
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Steam
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[*] posted on 21-6-2020 at 10:10


Hello Ubya, So I used to work in the E-waste recycling field and let me tell you that there is alot of money to be made in the field... however the trick is first getting your feed-stock for cheap (which sounds like you are working on that) and getting your processing costs down. Both of those factors are aided by having a very large scale established operation; however, that is out of reach for most amateur/ mico/garage-scale processors. Silicon by itself is definitly not the most useful thing to many amateur chemists- mainly because it is hard to react with things and when it does react, it produces some very dangerous compounds. Probably the most useful Si compound is Silane gas with as Tsjerk pointed out is from the reaction of Mg2Si with HCl. Silane is often used to make ultra pure silicon for chips and such. In addition, the dust can be very damaging to human tissue as well if it is ground fine enough; however, if the silicon was used as a composite material that might be useful. Quite frankly, my guess the most profitable use for the waste silicon would be in the "up-cycling" consumer art world. For example, sunglasses made from used vinyl records (https://hiconsumption.com/vinylize-eyeglasses-made-from-recy...).

It might be worth your time though to look into titanium and niobium capacitor recycling if you are interested in the non-precious metals ewaste recycling filed. Many places dont bother with these components since they are a pain to sort and are not worth that much. However, both of those elements are conflict metals which could spike in price at a moments notice because most of the worlds supply is in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which, last time I checked, is not the most stable Nation on earth. ;)




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Ubya
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[*] posted on 21-6-2020 at 15:37


Quote: Originally posted by Steam  
Hello Ubya, So I used to work in the E-waste recycling field and let me tell you that there is alot of money to be made in the field... however the trick is first getting your feed-stock for cheap (which sounds like you are working on that) and getting your processing costs down. Both of those factors are aided by having a very large scale established operation; however, that is out of reach for most amateur/ mico/garage-scale processors. Silicon by itself is definitly not the most useful thing to many amateur chemists- mainly because it is hard to react with things and when it does react, it produces some very dangerous compounds. Probably the most useful Si compound is Silane gas with as Tsjerk pointed out is from the reaction of Mg2Si with HCl. Silane is often used to make ultra pure silicon for chips and such. In addition, the dust can be very damaging to human tissue as well if it is ground fine enough; however, if the silicon was used as a composite material that might be useful. Quite frankly, my guess the most profitable use for the waste silicon would be in the "up-cycling" consumer art world. For example, sunglasses made from used vinyl records (https://hiconsumption.com/vinylize-eyeglasses-made-from-recy...).

It might be worth your time though to look into titanium and niobium capacitor recycling if you are interested in the non-precious metals ewaste recycling filed. Many places dont bother with these components since they are a pain to sort and are not worth that much. However, both of those elements are conflict metals which could spike in price at a moments notice because most of the worlds supply is in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which, last time I checked, is not the most stable Nation on earth. ;)


actually i'm really going just for the silicon chips.
Taking the E-scrap, removing the components, sort them, and then chemically work up each type to remove precious metals is not a job i'm looking for (where i live you can't really do that in your garage, lots of bureaucracy), i'm really after the scraps of the recyclers, scraps that would be thrown away without any economical value.
Silicon is not really the most valuable element in electronics, i know, but i'm not looking for a business plan, as a worthless scrap it would be free or pretty close for me, the workup is also really easy, grinding it and nothing else.

Silane is useful but i can't really store it (if not as magnesium silicide) and it's quite dangerous, i was thinking of reacting the silicon with chlorine and make silicon tetrachloride, then react this with etanol to make tetraethoxysilane, a precursor for Aerogel (i need to research more this reaction).

[Edited on 21-6-2020 by Ubya]





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