Powerstax Offers Rectifiers For Contaminated PCB Etchant SolutionsJanuary 16, 2008 by Jeff Shepard
Powerstax plc announced the availability of a range of dc rectifiers for use in the etching process of printed circuit boards. Manufactured in the United Kingdom by DP Energy, the rectifiers are said to be built to exacting industry-standard specifications for the process of removing the Amonical or cupric (copper) from the solution used to etch PCB’s. This process is said to enable the etchant solution to be re-used saving material costs and providing an ecologically sound manufacturing process.
The company claims that, during the PCB etching process unwanted copper is dissolved into the etchant solution decreasing its effectives over time. Spent etchant is a hazardous waste which is becoming increasingly expensive to deal with and is normally precipitated as Copper Oxide and discarded for landfill. Using an electrolytic recycling process powered by a suitable DP Energy rectifier is said to not only greatly prolong the life of the etchant but allows waste copper to be collected for recycling.
Tim Worley, CEO of Powerstax commented, "Manufacturing industry is increasingly aware of the environmental impact of its processes and the costs involved of materials and recycling. Using an electrolytic process to keep PCB etchant free from waste copper improves the quality of the manufacturing process, eliminates chemical treatments and the need to store fresh and used etchant solution and leaves only copper as a waste product. This is a very green and cost effective solution to a problem faced by any large-scale electronic equipment manufacturer."
The rectifiers are available in the range 4 to 8000A @ 10Vdc depending on the scale of the PCB etching bath.
DP Energy systems are sold worldwide to original equipment manufacturers and contract manufacturers. Smaller versions of the rectifiers have been supplied for removal of trace metals from water for applications such as whisky distilleries.