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Phinix licenses technology developed through Remade Institute

The date of: 2022-08-25
viewed: 1

The Remade Institute, a public-private partnership established by the U.S/ Department of Energy (DOE), has announced a new technology license involving an innovation that enables easier and more cost-effective precious metals recovery from end-of-life electronics.
Developed with support from West Henrietta, New York-based Remade, the technology is part of a research and development project it first funded in 2020. The project, “Low-Concentration Metal Recovery from Complex Streams Using Gas-Assisted Microflow Solvent Extraction (GAME),” is in progress and is led by Wencai Zhang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, and Aaron Noble, Ph.D., an associate professor in the same department. Phinix LLC, Clayton, Missouri, is the industry partner on the project. Remade's tech team oversees the project, ensuring it meets technological milestones laid out by the institute and the DOE.
Details of the technological innovation, which involves the hardware setup and the process, are the subject of a pending patent and are confidential. All proprietary process advantages make it more cost-effective to recover precious metals from various electronics wastes destined for landfill. The intellectual property has been exclusively licensed to Phinix LLC, which provides research, development, technical and marketing consulting; expert legal testimony; and due-diligence services in the areas of process and product development and commercialization and recycling for light metals, electronics, municipal solid waste and rare-earth elements. The company was founded by CEO Subodh K. Das, Ph.D.
“Congratulations to the entire project team, including the researchers with Virginia Tech, the team at Phinix and our tech team at the institute,” Remade CEO Nabil Nasr says. “A new technology license is a great accomplishment, and we believe it will be incredibly valuable to U.S.-based electronics recycling companies.”
Zhang, the R&D project’s principal investigator, says the research ultimately seeks to develop technologies to make it easier and more cost-effective to recover precious metals from personal computers (PCs).
“The printed circuit boards (PCBs) found in PCs that have reached their end-of-life are among the most promising sources of gold and silver,” he says. “We need to do everything we can to make it easier and cheaper to recover these critical minerals and enable manufacturers to reuse them.”
Typical PC motherboards contain 566 parts per million (ppm) gold and 639 ppm silver—the gold being more than an order of magnitude above typical economic ore grades, Remade says.
Remade Chief Technology Officer Magdi Azer says the tech license is another milestone for the public-private partnership, which seeks to increase the reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and recovery of four energy-intensive materials: metals, polymers/plastics, fibers/papers and electronics.
“Remade is selective in funding R&D projects that have the greatest potential to reduce energy consumption, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, decrease the use of raw or primary materials, and increase the use of recycled or secondary materials,” Azer says. “This particular R&D project is capable of developing technologies to increase the recovery of precious metals from e-waste, providing a valuable resource to U.S.-based electronics companies and other U.S. manufacturers, and, as a result, increasing the resiliency of the U.S. supply chain and decreasing the nation’s reliance on minerals from other countries.”
Das says Phinix is eager to partner with electronics manufacturers that want to use the technological innovation to recover precious metals, including gold, silver and palladium, from their end-of-life PCs.
“Gold, silver and copper are the most valuable recovered resources. Our project has involved the recovery of gold and silver. This innovation is a potential boon to U.S.-based electronics companies, many of which are actively searching for ways to recover precious metals from their products. We can help these electronics companies recover and reuse these end-of-life resources and assist U.S. manufacturers in other industries interested in these recovered precious metals as well.”

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