Blue Planet Environmental Solutions, a Singapore headquartered integrated waste management company, has acquired British electronic waste technology company, Smart Creative Technologies.
With this acquisition, Blue Planet said that it has expanded its technological capability and will be able to provide a sustainable solution to handle e-waste, which is currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world, according the World Economic Forum.
“E-waste is increasingly becoming a challenge and an opportunity in the region. Policymakers, industry leaders and consumers are paying more attention to the current low-rates of recycling in Asia. They are looking for safe and sustainable processing technologies to ensure high resource recovery and safety for all those engaged,” said Prashant Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Planet.
The company noted that Asia’s growing economies currently generate 40% of e-waste in the world — and only 15% of the region’s e-waste is collected and recycled. This is often handled by the informal sector which treats the e-waste using outdated methods that release toxic chemicals that cause widespread damage to human health and the environment.
Beyond social and environmental benefits, proper e-waste recycling solutions are important because they enable a high rate of material recovery, which reduces the demand for further mining of heavy metals — a highly environmentally-damaging process — and therefore decreases carbon emissions caused by manufacturing using virgin materials.
With the aim to recover high-value materials from electronic waste components, Liverpool-headquartered Smart Creative Technologies has developed a proprietary, innovative method to extract resources that have traditionally been lost in inefficient, inherently toxic and outdated processing methods.
The company offers a technology that involves a clean chemical recovery process and is claimed to increase throughput and yield by using ultrasound to reduce the processing time considerably. With the use of ultrasonic agitation, the technology speeds up recovery period by up to 20 times.
The method can treat waste in less than 30 minutes while recovering higher quantities of both precious metals like gold and palladium and other metals like tin and aluminium.
Furthermore, the company’s recovery system for silver and lead — from discarded e-waste such as printed circuit boards and cathode-ray tubes — is said to provide a local, sustainable alternative to treating e-waste that eliminates the need and high cost of exporting e-waste.
According to the developers, the technology lowers energy consumption by up to 80% compared to traditional methods like smelting. It enables the increased conservation of natural resources by extracting significantly higher levels of materials without risk to humans and the planet.
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