>> It shows how important these alternative approaches to mining are.
Absolutely, it has been called the next phase of mining. China leads in it. Picking rare earth metals from scraps and take them back to products. One major challenge especially for developing world is that it requires technology to do so efficiently.
>> . There are very few companies that do that and they are considered NGOs and they cannot compete with regular industries. Collection of e-waste from source is almost not there.
e-Waste requires special tools and technologies that developing nations do not have. That is one of the reasons why it is not done at scale. Also, the fact that most developing nations do not consume through manufacturing some of the by-products of e-waste, the market is small for major investments.
@goafrit, you bring a very interesting perspective to this whole subject. Am not an expert in organic or biochemistry but I believe that it will take very many mushrooms to extract 100 grams of gold from, say, a ton of electronic waste. As such, there is the possibility that while working to save the environment by using non-toxic disposal methods they may actually end up harming the environment by using up too much of the natural resources for the process.
The article brings out a very important point on e-waste. In developing nations like India, e-waste recycling is still at its infancy. There are very few companies that do that and they are considered NGOs and they cannot compete with regular industries. Collection of e-waste from source is almost not there. You are at your will to either get it recycled by going and giving personally to the right manufacturer or just throw on the streets and no one cares. Its hig time waste is seen seriously and people come forward to get it recycled. It must be a citizen's responsibility.
Never read of that one but it sound great. But it is truly non fancy to put bio before anything electronics as electronics is the most polluting and non-biologized all of modern industrial processes. Etching and the whole thing done in clean waste water and use really bad chemicals.
I think when we run out of these rare metals, we will then develop a way that when we discountinue a device, the non-essential part will chemically breakdown leaving the useful metals. I do not see how the world can run in the next 100 years if there is no new way of doing things as these materials are not regenerative.
It may be possible to use some kind of a targeted farming where the e-waste is used as a manure and plants specifically more likely to absorb the precious metals from the e-waste are grown in such targeted farms.
The produce from such farms can then be processed to recover the metals.
This could be an envorinment friendly option to recycle e-waste.