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Quantitative analysis of precious metals in automotive shredder residue/combustion residue via EDX fluorescence spectrometry

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The recovery of precious metals from automotive shredder residue (ASR) dust/combustion residue is an option that is not usually considered due to the lack of available information. Therefore, before any disposal or recovery application can be considered, it is necessary to determine the significance of the levels and distribution of precious metal in ASR dust/ASR combustion residue. In the present study, quantitative analysis of precious metals (Pt, Pd, Au, Ag and Cu) in the ASR residue samples was performed using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) fluorescence spectrometer. With the fundamental parameter (FP) method, the X-ray intensity is obtained and the quantitative analysis is performed using theoretical calculation. This method is very effective for quantitative analysis of unknown samples without standard samples. Further, in order to analyse the precious metal distribution within the ASR combustion residues, the microstructural characterisation and elemental mapping were also carried out with the aid of field emission scanning election microscopy combined with electron dispersive spectroscopy (FE-SEM EDS). Significant amount of Pt, Pd, Au, Ag and Cu element concentrations in the ASR residue were identified. Total precious (Pt, Pd, Au, Ag and Cu) metals obtainable values are representing about 12.23 wt% from its initial ASR dust/combustion residues. Considering their relevant concentrations, these metals should be properly recovered for recycling purposes before to dispose or landfill.
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Keywords: EDX; FE-SEM; automotive shredder residue; end-of-life vehicles; precious metals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Ulsan, Nam-gu, 680-749, Republic of Korea

Publication date: September 26, 2015

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