Start of our teamwork in this company goes back to the second year of my master studies, 2016. In this year, a group of 11 students gathered to make an effort to use our knowledge in practice. To this purpose, after switching to different topics, we finally found interesting the challenge of copper recovery from secondary resources, especially e-waste.
In the e-waste recycling project, as our main project, we set the recovery of copper from waste printed circuit boards (wPCBs) as our first goal. In this way, we commenced with studying and testing different processes including physical separation, acidic leaching, bioleaching, electrowinning, cementation, melting, and refining in laboratories. After that, we designed a process and scaled it up gradually. This progress can be understood for example in the EW section through the photos below:
In the meantime, we funded our company but with just seven of us that stayed together in the group. We called this company Sanaye Bazyabi Kimiazar, which means recovery industries of Kimiazar, word by word. Because of the nature of our activity, we were awarded the knowledge-based certificate by the vice-presidency for science and technology affairs of Iran. At the next picture slider, you can see what we succeed to produce and sell, copper cathode, recycled solder alloy bar, recycled copper bar, and pure gold. Also, to overcome financial barrier, we built some required facilities like magnetic roller belt, auto-sieve, leaching reactors, EW setup, and shaking table as well as optimized some purchased ones such as crusher and mills. Some photos in this regard is showed below too.
Despite our progress, we encountered various obstacles. The main problem was financial that created other difficulties. Although we made some products and purchased them, due to need for our process to be optimized and accomplished, the income didn't cover the costs. So, after about 4 years of collaboration, we made a hard decision to stop it.
First following picture shows part of our workshop when we ended our work and where we were able to process less than 1 tonne waste per day, as our depot shows at the second picture.
I really appreciate working along with my outstanding colleagues and with them the best.
*People at the top image, from left to right, are: