an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Jeyne Castro - Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Chemistry Department, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil
  • Rodrigues Pereira-Filho Edenir - Group of Applied Instrumental Analysis, Chemistry Department, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2020.14039

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2020 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 27 Apr 2020
  • Revised: 27 Jul 2020
  • Accepted: 24 Aug 2020
  • Available online: 28 Dec 2020


Electronic waste is the fastest growing class of residue in the world. This material presents several electric and electronic equipment (EEE) with a huge amount of base, valuable and toxic elements, thus increasing its recycling interest. This study is aimed to perform an exploratory analysis of printed circuit board (PCB) using Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). A PCB from hard disk (HD) was split in 77 sub-samples using a lathe following by mineralization process. This step was conducted without milling process. So, the sub-samples were weighted and mixed with concentrated aqua regia solution, followed by mineralization using microwave oven radiation. Twenty elements were determined by ICP OES (Al, Au, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Nd, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pt, Sb, Sn, Ti and Zn), and Flame atomic absorption spectrometry - FAAS (Ag). With the concentration results, several graphical analyzes were performed: (1) scores map and loading plot; (2) correlation plot and; (3) PCB element distribution maps. With this exploratory analysis, it was possible visualize and understand the data, observing correlations among the elements, how close these correlations are and how is this correlation around the PCB components. This strategy was a good way to observe the PCB complexity and the importance of recycling these materials.



Andrade, D. F., Romanelli, J. P., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2019a). Past and emerging topics related to electronic waste management: top countries, trends, and perspectives. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26, 17135-17151.
DOI 10.1007/s11356-019-05089-y

Andrade, D. F., Machado, R. C., Bacchi, M. A., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2019b). Proposition of electronic waste as a reference material - Part 1: sample preparation, characterization and chemometric evaluation. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 34, 2394-2401.
DOI 10.1039/C9JA00283A

Andrade, D. F., Machado, R. C., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2019c). Proposition of electronic waste as a reference material – part 2: homogeneity, stability, characterization, and uncertainties. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 34, 2402-2410.
DOI 10.1039/c9ja00284g

Baldé, C. P., Forti, V., Gray, V., Kuehr, R., & Stegmann, P. (2017). The Global E-waste Monitor 2017. United Nations University (UNU), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Bonn/Geneva/Vienna

Bookhagen, B., Obermaier, W., Opper, C., Koeberl, C., Hofmann, T., Prohaska, T., & Irrgeher, J. (2018). Development of a versatile analytical protocol for the comprehensive determination of the elemental composition of smartphone compartments on the example of printed circuit boards. Analytical Methods, 10, 3864-3871.
DOI 10.1039/c8ay01192c

Carvalho, R. R. V., Coelho, J. A. O., Santos, J. M., Aquino, F. W. B., Carneiro, R. L., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2015). Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) combined with hyperspectral imaging for the evaluation of printed circuit board composition. Talanta, 134, 278-283.
DOI 10.1016/j.talanta.2014.11.019

Castro, J. P., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2018). Spectroanalytical method for evaluating the technological elements composition of magnets from computer hard disks. Talanta, 189, 205-210.
DOI 10.1016/j.talanta.2018.06.062

Cayumil, R., Ikram-Ul-Haq, M., Khanna, R., Saini, R., Mukherjee, P. S., Mishra, B. K., & Sahajwalla, V. (2018). High temperature investigations on optimising the recovery of copper from waste printed circuit boards. Waste Management, 73, 556-565.
DOI 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.01.001

Costa, V. C., Castro, J. P., Andrade, D. F., Babos, D. V., Garcia, J. A., Sperança, M. A., Catelani, T. A., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2018). Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) applications in the chemical analysis of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 108, 65-73.
DOI 10.1016/j.trac.2018.08.003

Cucchiella, F., D’Adamo, I., Koh, S. C. L., & Rosa, P. (2015). Recycling of WEEEs: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, 263-272.
DOI 10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.010

Cui, J., & Zhang, L. (2008). Metallurgical recovery of metals from electronic waste: A review. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 158, 228-256.
DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.02.001

Dervisevic, I., Minic, D., Kamberovic, Z., Cosovic, V., & Ristic, M. (2013). Characterization of PCBs from computers and mobile phones, and the proposal of newly developed materials for substitution of gold, lead and arsenic. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 4278-4292.
DOI 10.1007/s11356-012-1448-1

El-Nasr, R. S., Abdelbasir, S. M., Kamel, A. H., & Hassan, S. S. M. (2020). Environmentally friendly synthesis of copper nanoparticles from waste printed circuit boards. Separation and Purification Technology, 230, 115860.
DOI 10.1016/j.seppur.2019.115860

Huang, K., Guo, J., & Xu, Z. (2009). Recycling of waste printed circuit boards: A review of current technologies and treatment status in China. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 164, 399-498.
DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.08.051

Mesquita, R. A., Silva, R. A. F., & Majuste, D. (2018). Chemical mapping and analysis of electronic componentsfrom waste PCB with focus on metal recovery. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 120, 107-117.
DOI 10.1016/j.psep.2018.09.002

Moosakazemi, F., Ghassa, S., Soltani, F., & Mohammadi, M. R. T. (2020). Regeneration of Sn-Pb solder from waste printed circuit boards: A hydrometallurgical approach to treating waste with waste. Jounal of Hazardous Materials, 385, 121589.
DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121589

Park, Y. J., & Fray, D. J. (2009). Recovery of high purity precious metals from printed circuit boards. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 164, 1152-1158.
DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.09.043

Rao, M. D., Singh, K. K., Morrison, C. A., & Love, J. B. (2020). Challenges and opportunities in the recovery of gold from electronic waste. Royal Society of Chemistry Advances, 10, 4300-4309.
DOI 10.1039/c9ra07607g

Sanapala, R. (2008). Characterization of FR-4 Printed Circuit Board Laminates Before and After Exposure to Lead-free Soldering Conditions. Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland

Santos, M. C., Dai, C., & Pereira, F. M. V. (2018). Chemical element profiles in commercial woven fabric combining laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and chemometrics. Journal of Applied Spectroscopy, 85, 543-551.
DOI 10.1007/s10812-018-0685-6

Silvas, F. P. C., Correa, M. M. J., Caldas, M. P. K., De Moraes, V. T., Espinosa, D. C. R., & Tenório, J. A. S. (2015). Printed circuit board recycling: Physical processing and copper extraction by selective leaching. Waste Management, 46, 503-510.
DOI 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.08.030

Sperança, M. A., Aquino, F. W. B., Fernandes, M. A., Lopez-Castillo, A., Carneiro, R. L., & Pereira-Filho, E. R. (2017). Application of Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and hyperspectral images for direct evaluation of chemical elemental profiles of coprolites. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 41, 273-282.
DOI 10.1111/ggr.12155

Tanvar, H., Barnwal, A., & Dhawan, N. (2020). Characterization and evaluation of discarded hard disc drives for recovery of copper and rare earth values. Journal of Cleaner Production, 249, 119377.
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.119377

Yamane, L. H., De Moraes, V. T., Espinosa, D. C. R., & Tenório, J. A. S. (2011). Recycling of WEEE: Characterization of spent printed circuit boards from mobile phones and computers. Waste Management, 31, 2553-2558.
DOI 10.1016/j.wasman.2011.07.006

Zhang, S., Ding, Y., Liu, B., Chang, C-C. (2017). Supply and demand of some critical metals and present status of their recycling in WEEE, Waste Management, 65, 113-127.
DOI 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.04.003