Oftentimes our computers and periphery equipment is obsolete within 2 years of purchase because of rapid increases in technological advances. This makes it difficult to resell or trade in older versions when it’s time to upgrade. As a result, the majority of our computer “wastes” end up in landfills. Computer wastes are toxic because they usually contain flame retardants, lead, and mercury. A group of scientists from Romania and Turkey collected circuit boards from old computers and devised a method that turns toxic computer parts into safe raw materials.
Specifically, this method uses a combination of chemical filtration, catalysts and high temperatures which converts the old circuit boards into oils. The oils could then potentially be made into fuels or used to make other consumer products. At this point, this method has only been used on a smaller scale. Hopefully in the not too far future it will be possible to execute the process on a larger scale.