Electronic scrap, especially the printed circuit board, is recognized as an environmental problem in all the world. The recycling practice showed that the quality of recycling of the board of today is not as good as the requirements of a sustainable product life cycling demands. To improve this of technology several things can be done. On the one side the recycling processes has to be improved, here automated disassembly can be a partial solution. In addition new technologies for the 'green' interconnect device have be investigated and a Design for Recycling tool (DfR) has to be implemented and introduced into industrial product development. This paper will show some attempts at realization.
The PCB is a mixture of most chemical elements in close compound and because of this easy material separation is hard to realize. The state of the art in PCB recycling depends on the quality of the board, which is defined as the consistence of noble metals and the number of reusable components. Mainly mechanical shreddering and sorting processes and metallurgical processes are used. Both of them are able to separate noble metals - and most of them ignore other materials which are scare on the resource world market .Taking the workers protection guidelines into account the thermal recycling processes seem to be critical. To bum flame retarded boards in a metallurgical process can produce dioxine and furan, to shredder them can produce dust which can lead to lung deceases. In addition both processes destroy the functionality of the board and of reusable components .