Holland Recycling has specialised in the valuation and recycling of old printed circuit boards for many years. Handing in printed circuit boards to Holland Recycling has the following advantages:
Handing in different types of old printed circuit board
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) come in all shapes and sizes and are found in every electronic device. All PCBs contain valuable metals but, as a rule, the more functions a device has, the higher the value of the PCB. Holland Recycling has years of experience in sorting PCBs.
Based on the data we have collected over the years, we have built up a catalogue of old PCBs. With the help of clear photos and straightforward descriptions, you can easily sort circuit boards yourself in order to maximise your value. Still not sure which category your circuit board belongs in? Use our WhatsApp service.
Based on the data we have collected over the years, we can offer the best price for any quality of PCB.
Different types of old PCB
Low-quality PCBs are used for simple processes and can be found in household and audio-visual equipment, and in power supplies from all kinds of other devices. Often, the function of low-quality PCBs is to regulate electrical processes. The gold content of this type of PCB is approximately 10 to 30 PPM.
Medium-quality PCBs are used in simple devices with multiple functions, such as routers, modems and TV receivers. These PCBs must be capable of regulating multiple processes that require high-quality ICs and CPUs. The gold content of this type of PCB is 50 to 150 PPM.
High-quality PCBs are used in complex devices, such as network and telecom equipment. They must be able to handle many processes simultaneously and often have many different connections through which information is received or sent. PCBs from devices with many functions that are also very small, such as a mobile phone, often contain a lot of precious metals because they require high-quality chips. These PCBs have a gold content of 150 to 350 PPM.
Precious metals in PCBs
Which precious metals are actually contained in PCBs? And why are they needed? Holland Recycling assesses PCBs based on their concentration of gold, silver, palladium and copper. In addition to these four elements, many other precious metals can be found in PCBs, but in very low concentrations. Examples include Rhodium or Tantalum. However, the value of PCBs is determined by the first four metals.
But why are these expensive and scarce metals used in circuit boards? This has to do with the conduction of electricity, the malleability of the metal (gold can be formed into micron-thin wire) and the resistance to corrosion.
It is therefore also possible to find gold on the outside of devices, namely on the contacts of connectors and plugs.
Because the gold used on plugs and contacts is only a few microns thick (a hair is 40 microns thick on average), PCB recycling is all about volumes. Take a computer motherboard, for example. Modern motherboards contain about 60 to 100 grams of gold per 1,000 kg. Old motherboards, more than 20 years old, contain 140 to 200 grams of gold per 1,000 kg. From a recycling point of view, the quality of PCBs (i.e. the content of precious metals in PCBs) is therefore becoming increasingly poor.
Printed circuit board recycling
Many customers ask whether we recover precious metals from PCBs ourselves. We do not do this. The refining process is very complex and dangerous. We therefore have close partnerships with renowned smelters in Europe and Japan where precious metals are refined in so-called metallurgical processing plants.
Precious metals are scarce and many products cannot be made without them. There is a perception that we have to extract precious metals from mines several kilometres deep. In addition, valuable metals are having to be increasingly mined in ecologically sensitive areas. There is an alternative: Urban Mining, in concrete terms this means the recovery of raw materials through recycling. By recycling old PCBs with Holland Recycling, you can be sure that the highest recycling percentages will be achieved.