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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna 
Priya, A. and S. Hait 
Corresponding Authors:
S. Hait 
DOI #: 
Qualitative and quantitative metals liberation assessment for characterization of various waste printed circuit boards for recycling 
Environmental Science and Pollution Research 
Comminution, E-waste, Metals liberation and dissolution, Printed circuit board, Recycling, USEPA digestion methods 
Metals liberation and composition are decisive attributes in characterization of e-waste for metal recycling. Though end-of-life printed circuit board (PCB) is an integral part of e-waste as secondary resource reservoir, yet no standardized procedure exists for metals liberation and dissolution for its characterization. Thus, the paper aims at assessment of metals liberation upon comminution employing scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) followed by comparative assessment of the existing United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) digestion procedures, viz., USEPA 3050B, USEPA 3051A, and USEPA 3052, in effective dissolution of metals from comminuted particles of waste PCBs of computer, laptop, mobile phone, and television. Effect of comminution and digestion conditions was assessed to have significant role in metal liberation and dissolution from PCBs. The SEM-EDS analysis demonstrated partial release of metals from the silica matrix of PCBs. The USEPA digestion methods showed statistically significant (P < 0.05) difference with greater dissolution of metals complexed to PCB matrix by the USEPA 3052 method owing to use of strong acid like hydrofluoric acid. Base metals like Cu and Zn and toxic metals such as Pb and Cd were present in abundance in PCBs and in general exceeded the total threshold limit concentration (TTLC). The maximum contents of Cu (20.13 ± 0.04 wt.%) and Zn (1.89 ± 0.05 wt.%) in laptop PCBs, Pb (2.26 ± 0.08 wt.%) in TV PCBs, and Cd (0.0812 ± 0.0008 wt.%) in computer PCBs were observed 
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Venkata Dantham on 2020-08-03 
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