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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Testing on recovery of tantalum from electronic scrap

Our contribution to the SDGs

With our switch-over to IP img technology and dismantling of analog infrastructure, we will be removing tons of old electronics over the next few years. We intend to recover precious metals such as gold and tantalum from the scrap. However, there are not yet suitable recycling methods for all metals. The tantalum used to manufacture condensers is extracted from coltan, which is considered a conflict resource. For this reason we have been conducting a project together with the bifa Umweltinstitut environment institute since 2013. The goal is to develop the perfect method for disassembling and recycling tantalum condensers. Different manual and automated methods for disassembling tantalum condensers were tested. Based on the results, we opted for an automated method in 2016. The circuit boards will be disassembled using thermal treatment. In order to implement the method in regular operations, a sufficiently high amount of electrical waste would be required. In 2017, we have not yet been able to provide this. We are planning to implement this method starting in 2018.