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Dept of Primary Industries finds technology to extract rare earth minerals from waste

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State department finds technology to extract rare earth minerals from waste

By THE NATION

 

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A new technology has been developed to extract rare earth minerals from electronic products waste in order to serve the needs of high-tech industries, especially those in the Eastern Economic Corridor, the Department of Primary Industries and Mines said.

 

The department’s deputy director-general, Sura Petpirun, added that Thailand needed to develop its own technology to extract the rare earth as some of the minerals are rare in Thailand. The minerals from the extraction can be used as a primary mineral source for high-tech industries.

 

He said the department had developed the technology to recycle some magnetic parts in electronic devices to bring out the rare earth neodymium magnet, which could be used by the next-generation automotive industry, smart electronic devices, and integrated medical industry.

 

The department has also developed the technology to extract pure silver for serving the automotive and electronics industries.

 

The department has also conducted research and development on recycling packaging made of aluminium foil.

 

Next year it aims to recycle parts of solar panels.

 

The department estimated that there will be 150 tonnes of expired solar panels per year during the next five years. Thailand should be well prepared to deal with this to prevent the possible impact on the environment.

 

He added that two or three recycling companies were keen to invest in the technology to recycle solar panels.

 

The department has already opened courses to provide technology knowledge to recycle solar panels to interested private companies.

 

An expired solar panel is composed of 0.06 per cent of silver. A panel weighing one tonne will yield around 300 grams of pure silver after the extraction process. The extracted silver is valued at Bt20 per gram.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30378373

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-11-18

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19 minutes ago, bluesofa said:

 

The above works out as 900,000 Baht's worth of silver.

For some reason I'm struggling to imagine how they could make much profit on that, taking into account the cost of the equipment to process 150 tonnes of panels and to extract the silver?

It's a government enterprise....they never make profit....if they did, it would be stolen.

  • Haha 2

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What solar panels?  How do you recycle something that's barely been in existence a couple of years?

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1 hour ago, Krataiboy said:

When I was a kid growing up in the war years, recycling was a way of life. Hardly anything was thrown away which might, in my old mum's words, come in handy later.

 

Every garden shed in our suburban street had shelves packed with tins, boxes and bottles full of discarded nails, screws, nuts and bolts, lengths of wire and string - you name it.

 

As toys were in short supply and unaffordable, my mates and I became adept at making our own from leftovers in the shed. We may have been duffers at school, but we could craft a catapult in minutes from a forked privet branch and a rubber strip from an old bicycle tyre.

 

We played cowboys and indians using home-made spring-loaded wire guns which fired cotton bobbins and bows and arrows cut from willow saplings which fringed the local canal. The arrows were plundered from mum's precious Michaelmas daisy and golden rod beds. Till the day she died I never dared own up!

 

Lengths of left-over copper were recycled as lethal peashooters. When peas were rationed, so we used hawthorn berries to flirtatiously bombard the pretty Polish refugee girls who gathered in the local park at weekends.  

 

In those truly austere days, recycling was a necessity, not choice. Most families in our area couldn't afford to buy much - not that there was much to buy other than essentials. But in retrospect, despite the rigours of rationing, the sirens, and nights spent in makeshift air-raid shelters, the world seemed a more compasionate, caring place and happier place than today.

 

Alright. I'll come clean. Before our garden shed was finally demolished I did manage to rescue my old, rose-tinted glasses!

As a mate said to me only today  "We are lucky to have lived in the very best times?:  My parents lived some hard times but I pity what our children will see.

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1 hour ago, ThaiFelix said:

As a mate said to me only today  "We are lucky to have lived in the very best times?:  My parents lived some hard times but I pity what our children will see.

Easily answered they will see a mobile phone screen about a foot away from their face, agree with rest of your post though!

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8 hours ago, bluesofa said:

 

The above works out as 900,000 Baht's worth of silver per year.

For some reason I'm struggling to imagine how they could make much profit on that, taking into account the cost of the equipment to process 150 tonnes of panels and to extract the silver?

 

You cut your costs in other ways to make money.

Things such as running the facilities with little or no Safety procedures, dumping the waste that is " worthless " in the fields and burning it also.

Polluting the Water courses  with the Chemicals used in the processing Etc, Etc, Etc

 

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On the subject of recycling

I wonder who ended up with thousands of tonnes if wire torn down along Sukhumvit ?

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41 minutes ago, natway09 said:

On the subject of recycling

I wonder who ended up with thousands of tonnes if wire torn down along Sukhumvit ?

Someone who shouldn't have. 

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