What’s in a circuit board?

Printed circuit boards (PrCBs) are used in everything from toys and TVs, to computers, phones, telecom servers, and other forms of electronic waste. Printed circuit boards are made up of about 35% metals and 65% non-metals, by weight.

Metals breakdown

Most common: Gold, Silver, Copper, Palladium
Base metals (i.e. Tin, Zinc, Nickel, Lead, Aluminum)
Platinum group metals (i.e. Platinum, Rhodium)
Conflict minerals (i.e. Indium, Tantalum)
Rare-earth metals (i.e. Yttrium, Europium)

Non-metals breakdown

Fiberglass
Plastics
Resins
Hazardous Chemicals
(i.e. Beryllium, Brominated flame retardants)

Innovation through Separation

Current recycling techniques for printed circuit boards destroy the entire non-metal portion in order to capture the metal value. At Ronin8, we have developed the ground-breaking technologies to separate metals from non-metals, enabling each stream to be processed in a manner which unlocks its maximum value.

Our ultimate goal is to recirculate all metal and non-metal commodities from post-consumer sources back into the manufacturing of new products, creating a circular economy for electronics.

The Ronin8 Advantage

  • Effective separation of metals & non-metals
  • Size reduction (<3mm)
  • Exceptional dust control
  • No burning
  • No emissions
  • Fast & accurate assay
  • Fast deployment (3-6 months)
  • Adaptable scale of facilities
  • A focus on Environmental health and safety at all facilities

The Ronin8 System

1
Printed Circuit Board Feedstock

Our current system is designed and optimized to process e-waste (printed circuit boards) as feedstock.

2
Size Reduction

First, we size reduce the material.

3
Sonic Liberation

The suspended material is circulated in recycled water through the sonic chamber. The sonic vibrations liberate the metals from the non-metals.

4
Separation

Once the metals and non-metals have been size reduced and liberated, they can be separated into different streams of concentrates. The unseparated material is re-circulated in the sonic liberation circuit until separation is possible.

5
De-watering and Drying

The separated metal and non-metal concentrates are de-watered and dried to prepare for downstream processing.

6
Sampling

The size and shape of the metal and non-metal concentrates (<3mm) make them ideal for accurate and fast assay.

Our Sonic Advantage

Our unique sonic generator technology gives us an edge over other options in the end-of-life recycling, separation, and commodity industries.

The Problem

  • Metals and non-metals in printed circuit boards are bound together in the manufacturing process, making them difficult to separate even when size reduced.

The Solution

  • Materials flow through the Ronin8’s proprietary Sonic Generator Technology in recirculated water.
  • While in the sound chamber, the low frequency, high amplitude sound waves liberate the metals from non-metals in the size reduced particles.
  • These liberated particles can then be more effectively separated using established technologies.
  • Our process recovers all metals and non-metals at rates comparable to or exceeding other alternatives and with additional operational and environmental benefits.

Validation

Our Prototype Facility in Richmond, BC was fully commissioned in January 2016. Through operating this facility we have accumulated critical operational data and invaluable process expertise to support our commercial scale-up.

Third-party validation of our technology completed by SGS Canada Inc. in April 2017.

Environmental benefits report completed by SDTC, successfully validated, in conjunction with Offsetters Clean Technology Inc in June 2017.

Ronin8 exceeds all current standards and is EPRA and RQO certified.
R2 certification is underway.

“The Ronin8 plant has clearly demonstrated a successful proof of concept for liberating and separating a metallic product from recycled circuit boards.”

Awards

Ronin8’s innovative technology has garnered attention from industry organizations and government, earning several highly respected awards, including:

BC Technology Impact Award (BCTIA)

Recycling Council of BC (RCBC) Innovation Award

Innovation Award of the Year offered by the Canadian Government

The Future

Expanding Range of Feedstocks

Adapting the Ronin8 system for the separation of electronic waste streams such as solar panels, fiber optics, whole cell phones, CRTs, lithium batteries, and other forms of e-waste.

Closed-Loop Non-Metals

Carrying out R&D internally and with industry partners to find the highest and best recovery and uses of our non-metals concentrate, such as fiberglass, with the ultimate goal of re-circulating all of the non-metals back into the commodities market.

Closed-Loop Strategic Metals

Identify extraction techniques which complement our metals concentrate output, to partially or fully extract the metal value (including the primary metals, base metals, platinum group metals, conflict, and rare-earth metals).

Special Metals Recovery Projects

Innovating ways to further optimize metals recovery for our partners’ pre-processing and final processing requirements.

Mobility

Ronin8 mobile system will be scaled to fit in vehicles, ideal for meeting the data destruction needs of clients with the highest data security requirements (including the military).

Blockchain

Ronin8 intends on implementing a blockchain strategy that can track chains of custody, conflict-free metals, increased transparency for OEM brands. We are also developing a real-time AI based system to scan PCrB’s, estimate metal content, and reads serial number.

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