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Jacob Nyholm Mountaintop Experience 2023 Week 1: The Start of a Journey

     Over the course of the first week, the foundations for the Metals Recycling and Sustainability project were laid. In order to promote team collaboration, I created a team folder to hold our notes, important documents, and links to helpful websites and articles. This shared space will allow us to more effectively communicate ideas and pieces of information required for our project. By sharing this shared document with the faculty mentor of our project, we have another method of communication of documentation and information.
     I have also found and read through different articles on the metals recycling process of
printed circuit boards, including an overview of the steps required to recover metals, specific techniques involved in the process, and typical materials and metals contained within a printed circuit board. While there are three defined steps in metals recycling, being disassembly, recovery, and purification, I focused on the recovery process for the week, since it contained the most varied methods. This variation of techniques, such as pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and biometallurgy, acted as an excellent starting point to branch out into different subjects in the field. My exploration of the recovery process led me to the recovery of metals in lithium ion batteries of laptops, which could act as an expansion of the project. Unfortunately, there are many unfamiliar terms that I needed to pause in my reading to get a better understanding of the content.
     I was able to contact the tech department of my old high school district, Upper Moreland
School District about obtaining broken chromebooks to use as material for future experiments. While willing to give some broken chromebooks, the district requires proof that the memories of the chromebook are wiped and that they will be sustainably disposed of, which is not a major setback for the project. I will be maintaining contact with them to see if they could direct me to their current electronic waste recycling company which might have insight into our own project.

Screenshot of Loewy Institute Summer 2023 Mountaintop Experience Google Drive organization scheme.
The Mountaintop Loewy Shared Folder for communication and shared information.