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Removing lead from metallic mixture of waste printed circuit boards by vacuum distillation: Factorial design and removal mechanism

Li, Xingang, Gao, Yujie, Ding, Hui
Chemosphere 2013 v.93 pp. 677-682
condensation, distillation, evaporation, experimental design, heat, lead, mass transfer, mathematical models, particle size, temperature
The lead removal from the metallic mixture of waste printed circuit boards by vacuum distillation was optimized using experimental design, and a mathematical model was established to elucidate the removal mechanism. The variables studied in lead evaporation consisted of the chamber pressure, heating temperature, heating time, particle size and initial mass. The low-level chamber pressure was fixed at 0.1Pa as the operation pressure. The application of two-level factorial design generated a first-order polynomial that agreed well with the data for evaporation efficiency of lead. The heating temperature and heating time exhibited significant effects on the efficiency, which was validated by means of the copper–lead mixture experiments. The optimized operating conditions within the region studied were the chamber pressure of 0.1Pa, heating temperature of 1023K and heating time of 120min. After the conditions were employed to remove lead from the metallic mixture of waste printed circuit boards, the efficiency was 99.97%. The mechanism of the effects was elucidated by mathematical modeling that deals with evaporation, mass transfer and condensation, and can be applied to a wider range of metal removal by vacuum distillation.