Pulling Iron Out of Waste Printer Toner
News Nov 16, 2017 | Original Story from the American Chemical Society.
Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. One group reports in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in “empty” cartridges into iron using temperatures that are compatible with existing industrial processes.
Electronic waste is a broad category that encompasses everything from computers and televisions to ink cartridges and refrigerators. According to the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association, 500 million cartridges out of the estimated 1.1 billion sold each year end up in landfills around the world. These “empty” cartridges can contain up to 8 percent of unused residual powder by weight and could leach compounds into the soil and underground water sources. In an attempt to reuse this electronic waste, researchers have transformed this substance into oils, gases and even an ingredient in asphalt. Now, Vaibhav Gaikwad and colleagues wanted to develop a brand-new way to re-use residual toner.
The researchers put toner powder in a furnace, heating it to 1,550 °C. This process converted the inherent iron oxide to a product that was 98 percent pure iron using the polymer resins within the toner powder as a source of carbon. The researchers say that this method would be ideal for industrial applications because iron and steel are typically made at this temperature. In addition, heating the powder at such a high temperature prevents toxic side products from forming, providing an environmentally friendly way to recycle residual toner.
This article has been republished from materials provided by the American Chemical Society. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Thermal Transformation of Waste Toner Powder into a Value-Added Ferrous Resource. Vaibhav Gaikwad, Uttam Kumar, Farshid Pahlevani , Alvin Piadasa, and Veena Sahajwalla. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. October 25, 2017 DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02875.
The Friedrich Schiller University Jena Partners with ACD/Labs to Advance its Analytical Data Management StrategyNews
Implementation of ACD/Spectrus as an analytical data management system helps researchers and students streamline NMR and MS data processing, interpretation, collaboration, and training.READ MORE
Sensor Detects Whiff of Bad BreathNews
Ever wish you could do a quick “breath check” before an important meeting or a big date? Now researchers, reporting in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, have developed a sensor that detects tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas, the compound responsible for bad breath, in human exhalations.READ MORE
Thermo Fisher Scientific Recognizes Tandem Mass Tag Grant Award Winners at ASMS 2018News
International competition rewards four top proteomics researchers for outstanding innovation and impact.READ MORE