Antimony leaching in plastics from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) with various acids and gamma irradiation
Journal article, 2013
There has been a recent interest in antimony since the availability in readily mined areas is decreasing compared to the amounts used. It is important in many applications such as flame retardants and in the production of polyester, which can trigger an investigation of the leachability of antimony from plastics using different acids. In this paper, different types of acids are tested for their ability to leach antimony from a discarded computer housing, made of poly(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which is a common plastic type used in electrical and electronic equipment. The acid solutions included sodium hydrogen tartrate (0.5 M) dissolved in either dimethyl sulfoxide or water (at ca. 23 degrees C and heated to ca. 105 degrees C). The metal content after leaching was determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The most efficient leaching medium was the heated solution of sodium hydrogen tartrate in dimethyl sulfoxide, which leached almost half of the antimony from the poly(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Gamma irradiation, which is proposed to improve the mechanical properties in plastics, was used here to investigate the influence of antimony leaching ability. No significant change in the amount of leached antimony could be observed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.