Type: Specific Objective 1.1.1 "Improve research and innovation capacity and the ability of Latvian research institutions to attract external funding, by investing in human capital and infrastructure". measure “Industry-Driven Research”

Agreement No:

Duration: 2021. – 2023.

Project Leader: Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Dr. Phys. Vladimirs Pankratovs.

Project partners:

  • Rīgas Tehniskā Universitāte, Riga Technical University (RTU)

Total budget: 540 540,00 EUR

ISSP UL budget: 216 216,00 EUR

Project description:

General goal of the project: Development of suitable electrochemical recycling technology of electronic scrap (e-scrap) from printed circuit board (PCB) by alternating current (AC) of industrial frequency for the most complete extraction of all metallic components into solution and evaluation of its profitability.

The tasks of ISSP UL:

The ISSP researchers will be responsible for the implementation of the following tasks: i) Investigations of raw material impact on efficiency of metal extraction process; ii) Investigations of electrolyte impact on efficiency of metal extraction process; iii) Investigations of technical parameters on efficiency of metal extraction process; iv) Study of metal extraction process reproducibility.


Project progress

Reporting period: 01.06.2022. - 31.08.2022


Based on the obtained results, two manuscripts have been published:

  1. P. Talebi, A.A. Kistanov, E. Rani, H. Singh, V. Pankratov, V. Pankratova, G. King, M. Huttula, W. Cao, Unveiling the role of carbonate in nickel-based plasmonic core@shell hybrid nanostructure for photocatalytic water splitting, Applied Energy 322 (2022) 119461
  2. E. Blumbergs, V. Serga, A. Shishkin, D. Goljandin, A. Shishko, V. Zemcenkovs, K. Markus, J. Baronins, V. Pankratov, Selective Disintegration–Milling to Obtain Metal-Rich Particle Fractions from E-Waste, Metals 12 (2022) 1468

The results have also been presented and discussed at Joint International Conference Functional Materials and Nanotechnologies and Nanotechnology and Innovation in the Baltic Sea Region (FM&NT – NIBS 2022), Riga, Latvia, July 3 – July 6, 2022:

  1. V. Serga, M. Kuzmins, A. Zarkov, E. Elsts, V.  Pankratov, Leaching of valuable metals from scrap printed circuit boards under the action of alternating current, (poster presentation) FM&NT – NIBS 2022, Book of Abstracts p. 244
  2. E. Blumbergs, A. Shishkin, Application of the disintegration grinding method to increase the efficiency of the processing of used printed circuit boards, (poster presentation) FM&NT – NIBS 2022, Book of Abstracts p. 248

The Latvian patent application has been successfully submitted:


Reporting period: 01.03.2022. - 31.05.2022


Based on the obtained results, materials for publications and participation in conferences were collected. One publication was submitted to the high-ranking journal Applied Energy. A referee report was received from reviewers indicating the need to revise the publication. A new version of the edition has been prepared and submitted. In addition, the conference abstracts were submitted to the FMNT conference, and these conference abstracts were successfully accepted for participation in the conference as poster presentations. A Latvian patent application has been prepared. The patent application has been approved by the ISSP Innovation Department. The patent application has been sent to the FORAL office for further approval.

Reporting period: 01.12.2021. - 28.10.2022 


During the period under review, e-scrap was studied, consisting mainly of printed circuit boards from which liquid samples were prepared by model experimental processes for the quantification of metals. X-ray phase (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis was continued, and dry residue characterization by XPS was performed. In addition, photoluminescence measurements of non-metallic nanoparticles in both liquids and solids were performed.

Reporting period: 01.09.2021. - 30.11.2021


An experimental electrochemical cell with two removable graphite electrodes and an electrolyte volume of 350 ml was prepared. The material is selected and containers are made for placing the test sample. Cell testing experiments using crushed copper foil as raw material were performed. A series of model experiments were performed to investigate the effect of the dispersion of the raw material (PCB) and the content of the “non-metallic” (non-conductive) part. Three powdered fractions with particle sizes <0.09 mm, 0.09 - 0.18 mm and 0.18 - 0.35 mm with a content of “non-metallic” fraction from ⁓5% by weight to ⁓50% by weight were used as objects. Liquid samples were prepared by model experimental processes for the quantitative determination of metals in electrolyte solution by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Solid residue samples were prepared both after opening the raw material samples and after model experimental processes to perform X-ray phase (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis, as well as characterization of the dry residue by XPS method.

Reporting period: 01.06.2021. - 31.08.2021


Review of the scientific literature on XPS, XRD, microscopy and Raman spectroscopy methods for the characterization of drag and rare earth metals and metal oxides. Experimental design and testing of a laboratory electrolytic cell (V = 500 ml) in model experiments. Preparation of samples for XPS, XRD, Raman spectroscopic measurements from raw scrap materials.