Recycling Waste Electrical Socket as a Carbon Resource in Ironmaking
Globally, millions of waste electrical sockets (WES) are generated annually. This category of waste material is difficult to recycle because they are thermosetting polymers which cannot be remoulded after setting. In this work, the reduction of medium grade Agbaja iron ore from Nigeria, by carbonaceous materials generated from WES was investigated through experiments conducted in a domestic microwave oven. Composite pellets of medium grade Agbaja iron ore (assaying ~74 % Fe2O3) with WES were irradiated in a domestic microwave oven (Pioneer, Model PM-25 L, 2450 MHz and 1000 W). The reduced mass was characterised by XRD and SEM/EDS analyses and the extent of reduction after 40 min was determined. SEM/EDS analysis revealed a highly reduced mass with distinct peaks of elemental iron and this was corroborated by XRD analyses that confirmed the formation of metallic iron. The extent of reduction obtained after using WES as reductant was over 80%. Accordingly, carbonaceous materials generated from waste electrical sockets are effective reductants for producing metallic iron from the Agbaja iron ore.
Keywords: Waste Electrical Sockets, Thermosetting Polymer, Agbaja Iron Ore; Municipal Solid Waste