Computer waste can now be turned into fuel

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Washington, May 18 (UNI) If you consider your old computer only worth adding to environmental waste, you can heave a sigh of relief as one day it may even end up fuelling your car.

Researchers in Romania and Turkey have developed a simple, efficient method for recycling printed circuit boards into environmentally-friendly raw materials for use in fuel, plastic, and other useful consumer products, Science Daily reported.

The boom in the use of computers has also created one of the world's biggest environmental headaches: What to do with all the discarded circuit boards, which contain high levels of pollutants such as heavy metals and flame retardants that can potentially harm human? Researchers are seeking ways to remove these toxins so that these scrap materials can be safely recycled.

In the new study, researchers led by Cornelia Vasile and colleagues collected printed circuit boards from discarded computers and processed the boards with a combination of high temperatures, catalysts, and chemical filtration.

The processing method, removed almost all the toxic substances from the scraps, resulting in oils that can be safely used as fuel or raw materials called feedstocks for a wide variety of consumer products, the researchers say.

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