Advances in technological development have resulted in a high consumption of electrical and electronic equipment, including cell phones and computers that are composed primarily by printed circuit boards (PCBs), liquid cristal display (LCD) screens, batteries and other components. With the frequent renewal of these products, e-waste is among the fastest growing waste in the world. In this context, the proposed research project seeks the development of analytical procedures for direct analysis of electronic waste samples of difficult preparation using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and wavelength dispesive X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF). This proposal is relevant in several aspects, since it covers studies related to the preparation of important samples to be monitored, as well as the application of spectrochemical and chemometric tools to solve analytical problems of national interest. Several methodologies will be applied for determination of precious (Au and Ag), toxic (Cd, Cr and Pb) and strategic (Pd, Pt, In and Ta) elements in PCBs and LCD screens, from mobile phones and computers discarded with no reuse intention. The development of these studies can contribute to applications of LIBS and WD-XRF to complex matrices, enabling research strategies to eliminate possible interference, and thus establish a methodology with similar analytical performance or better than the existing alternatives.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: