ARR was awarded the funding through the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which encourages small businesses to research and develop environmental technologies from concept to commercialization. Electronic Waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States. E-Waste disassemblers send circuit boards to refiner/smelters for precious metals recovery. The disassemblers find it advantageous to remove the electrical parts from these waste circuit boards so that only certain parts are smelted.
The patented ARR D2000 depopulator removes electrical parts from circuit boards. Only the precious metals parts go to the smelter as opposed to the whole circuit board. The weight reduction is 5:1 which in turn reduces smelting costs and pollution, which are both based on weight. All this is accomplished without burning, smelting, or using chemicals, which reduces air pollution and electronic waste in landfills. The depopulator also serves to remove components such as integrated circuits for reuse.
The $300,000 award is being used to build a production level version of the depopulator and should be ready for commercial sale by early 2018. The EPA’s commercialization phase of funding matches $100,000 dollars from private equity for a total additional amount of $200,000.