Professor Gisele Azimi has been featured in a recent Tech Explorist article regarding her work on developing a method to extract precious metals from electronic waste:
Electronic waste (e-waste) is considered the fastest-growing waste stream in the developed world. It comprises a multitude of components with valuable and scarce materials, some containing toxic substances that can contaminate the environment and threaten human health through improper recycling and disposal methods.
Now, University of Toronto researcher Gisele Azimi has pioneered a method using captured carbon dioxide to harvest precious metals from electronic waste like batteries and wind turbine materials. Azimi is a University of Toronto professor and the Canada Research Chair for Urban Mining Innovations.
E-waste represents a significant potential source of numerous valuable materials making the recycling of this waste economically fascinating. Recycling electronic waste provides an efficient avenue to gain these vital resources. Researchers say the e-wastes contain about 20 to 38% critical metals, which is significantly higher than the amount of these metals in mined ores – which is only 1 to 2%.
The new process that researchers have developed for recycling e-waste is called supercritical fluid extraction. Previously, the supercritical fluid extraction process was developed for recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment; however, the process mechanism remains unexplored.