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The Five R’s: A New Standard for Chemical Recycling

Updated: May 25, 2019


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What Does AMIA Do?


The closed loop of AMIA is run by the company itself, firstly by selling its chemicals to customers, then buying back the used chemicals from their customers, and then once again selling the recollected compounds back. Every month, they sell over 8,000 tons of chemicals and annually they are able to reproduce 15,000 tons of pure copper from recycled copper. Additionally, AMIA’s waste liquid treatment plant is graded A by Department of Environmental Protection in Taoyuan.

Dr. Yen-Heng Chen is the General Manager of AMIA Company. He started his talk by clarifying two terms: Reuse and Circulation. He also clarified what the so-called 5Rs are - Research, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery and Reduce.

A Good Example for Others


AMIA sells specialty chemicals to the electronic industry. For example, copper conductors are widely needed and used in 3C products, but firms would have to acquire whole copper metal to manufacture it. Therefore, AMIA is an important supplier of those chemicals for getting the needed materials to firms. AMIA buys chemicals back, extracts the metal from them and make use of the rest of the chemicals again. Firms to make PCBs, SMTs and BGAs accept these reusable chemicals. Moreover, they can use the metal extracted to obtain compounds as end products. Though there are still fresh inputs during the process, by selling both reused chemicals and the compound back to electronic firms, a permanent closed loop is created.


AMIA’s Way to Close Loops


AMIA’s aim is to utilize reused resources as much as possible. Additionally, they take into account energy saving. Inefficiency of energy within the recycling and reusing process may be a problem, but AMIA are making it a goal to be as efficient as possible. Last but not least, is the so-called “industry 4.0.” To put it simply, supplementary software is enabling them to use less energy and fewer resources for a similar output. Green energy like wind power and solar energy can help them reduce their carbon footprint and help them to refine copper sulfate in order to produce electrolytic copper cathodes.


Conclusions


The 5Rs are AMIA’s core spirit. Unfortunately, they do face a few problems such as, high-tech companies being weary of using products made from their own disposed waste; by using two kinds of assembly lines, the costs of reusing recycled resources may exceed those of manufacturing new goods; and lastly if current policies don’t evolve to support recycling initiatives, the market won’t grow significantly enough for companies to make profit.

*This is speech summary from the Link and Loop Conference which was edited and compiled by the Link and Loop team. It was written and reported with the best available knowledge from the talk. There may be information discrepancies. Please contact the speaker for clarifications.


*中文版連結

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