Realistically speaking, is not possible to introduce the circular economy approach in the waste management sector all at once. More precisely, it is not possible neither to introduce this vision for the entire class of e-waste. For this reason, Envin decided to focus first on the treatment of waste printed circuit board (WPCB) which is commonly recognized as an example of high value waste, as it contains precious metals and rare earth elements. With the Printed Circuit Board Innovative Solution (PCBIS project) Envin propose a novel hydrometallurgical approach for WPCB treatment, based on the use of electrochemistry, which not only allows to reduce energy consume and CO2 emissions, but also gives a product with a the highest quality possible.
PCBIS project potentiality were shown for the first time in 2017, during the business idea competition organized by the ARCA consortium, which is the incubator of the university of Palermo. Even if a prototype or a demonstrator wasn’t already built, the jury of the competition appreciated the actuality of the topic, the concreteness of the objectives and the understanding of customer needs, electing the project as the best among 50 others.
After the local and regional levels, PCBIS project was brought at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) business Idea competition. After three different selection rounds and two pitch stage involving hundreds of competitors, PCBIS project was declared the third best European idea for secondary raw materials recovery in 2018.
In the same year the idea become the spine of a new entity, Envin ltd, and the theory became reality at the lab scale, by building the first prototype of the combined leaching/deposition reactor.
In this moment Envin team is looking for potential investors for equity in order to obtain the funding required to scale-up the process to an industrial relevant size.