ReCollect - Efficient Manufacturing of Recyclable Composite Laminates for Electrical Goods – No 34163

Bill Wilkie

ReCollect Dissemination Newsletter

Feb 2021

The ReCollect project is funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. It began in October of 2019 and is intended to run for 30 months.

Normally, the ICT would be holding events which could be used to disseminate the latest information on the project, but during the Covid-19 lockdown, we are using this on-line vehicle to ensure that the Industry is kept up to date.

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. The aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

LEAD PARTNER

Established in September 2017, Jiva Materials Ltd is a sustainability start-up based in London, UK.

Jiva, as the inventor of Soluboard, will lead the specification and development of the thermoplastic input materials, as well as the conversion of the substrates into working circuit boards. Jiva will also coordinate the project.

DEVELOPMENT PARTNER

Coventive Composites is a specialist independent consultancy, providing technical expertise and access to pilot-scale equipment and testing facilities to help our clients develop and commercialise novel composite materials and components. Our expert advice and technical support cover all aspects of the product development lifecycle.

DISSEMINATION PARTNER

The ICT facilitates dissemination of knowledge and expertise by a series of seminars and symposiums in varying locations throughout the UK. The ICT Quarterly Journal contains papers and information regarding novel processes and techniques and they also offer an annual Foundation Course in PCB manufacture and design. This is a valuable source of information for both novices and more advanced engineers wishing to widen their knowledge and experience of the application of cost effective and reliable processes and techniques.

Review of progress at our last evening event

At the end of the second quarter, Dr Jonathan Swanston, chief technical officer with Jiva Materials, gave an update on the ReCollect project and explained the background to the development of the world's first fully recyclable PCB laminate. He passed-around samples of his material, composed of a natural fibre bound with a polymer soluble in hot water but not in cold water, which had the appearance of a light-brown-coloured unclad laminate.

Dr Swanston reviewed some statistics which indicated that PCBs made up 8% of the 50 million tonnes of electronic waste that was generated in 2018. The ReCollect project explored an alternative way of managing end-of-life circuit boards. Currently, the only practical way of recycling glass-epoxy circuit boards involved shredding and incineration to recover the metal content. The ultimate aim of the project was to remove glass-epoxy boards from the supply chain, by demonstrating that Jiva’s Soluboard® could match the performance of CEM-1 and FR-4 materials.

He explained that Soluboard® was a fully biodegradable and non-toxic product based on flax. A primary aim of the project was to demonstrate the feasibility of producing the material in high volumes at a competitive price, using a continuous-production process in development by Coventive Composites.

The nature of Soluboard® was to delaminate when immersed into hot water, enabling the flax fibres to be composted or repurposed and the electronic components to be removed for re-processing. Silver printing was a feasible method of creating functional circuits, but in order to use existing aqueous manufacturing processes it was necessary to seek a means of chemically protecting the material in-process, and this was part of the project.

Dr Swanston commented that “white goods” – large household appliances – constituted more that 30% of e-waste, and that the Global E-Waste Monitor had reported that less than 20% of this was documented as collected and recycled. The rest went to landfill. Jiva intended to push for the safe recovery of e-waste in line with the WEEE2 Directive. The white goods market was their initial target, and specifications from potential customers had defined electrical, flammability and mechanical requirements. Soluboard® had a Tg of 126°C and a UL94V0 flammability rating. Its electrical properties were being determined by a third-party laboratory and final results were awaited. As part of the project, functioning populated PCBs would be designed, manufactured and evaluated as specified by end customers.

We intend to update this newsletter as monthly  link to our website as a way of keeping the project in the Industry's in-tray, during the lockdown.

FIRST QUARTER 2021 

Much has happened recently, including a Zoom Dissemination Webinar, where Jonathan Swanston of Jiva Materials was able to update an interested group of delegates from the Fabrication and Supply sectors of the electronic Industry.

A write up of the presentation was prepared by ICT Recorder, Pete Starkey, who also arranged for a copy of the write up to appear in the prestigious on-line technical Journal, PCB.iconnect007.

The project was also brought to the attention of Delegates at our ICT AGM Meeting in February

LATEST NEWS

25.02.2021

Jiva Announced as Runner-Up in Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge

Jack Herring

Jack Herring, Jiva CEO receiving his award.

On the evening of 24th February, it was announced that Jiva had been selected as the runner-up of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020 on a Dutch TV show watched by 2 million people.

The TV show titled 'Iedereen Kan Het' or ‘Anyone Can Do It’ was broadcast by Omroep Max. It showcased all six finalists of the competition, highlighting the problem that each of the start-ups are tackling and presenting their sustainable innovations for the future.

Jiva was one of the two UK start-ups in the finals, with both of them securing the first and second prizes of €500,000 and €200,000 respectively. There was also more than just the two companies’ locations that they have in common, with Jiva CEO and co-founder, Jack Herring, and the founders of SoluBlue, Ayca Dundar and Francis Field, all being alumni of the Royal College of Art in London.

Over 650 start-ups applied to the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020, from countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Germany. The Green Challenge fund is managed by the DOEN Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organisation which also connects parties in its network to assist the finalists following the award of the prize money.

During the TV show, Jack engaged with the Dutch scientific journalist and presenter, Anna Gimbrère, as well as the CSR manager for KPN, Brechtje Spoorenberg. KPN is a Dutch telecommunications company that is focusing on the circularity of their electronic and electrical products. The company states that they are already recycling 80% of their TV receivers and modems, with a target being set of achieving 100% circularity by 2025. This is an attempt to help contribute to the Netherlands’ goal of achieving a truly circular economy by 2050.

Jiva will be using the competition winnings to continue expanding their new pilot facility in Waterlooville, Hampshire. This will enable the company to demonstrate the utility of Soluboard to potential customers, transferring many of the production processes from third party facilities in-house. Jiva will also use the funds to finance to produce their initial batches of Soluboard for prototyping projects with potential customers.
The funding will also allow the British start-up to build the core team. Jiva now plans to hire a Materials Development Engineer with experience in materials science in order to fast-track their research and development and accelerate our route to market.

Securing second prize in one of Europe’s most prestigious sustainability focused competitions is validation of Jiva’s novel solution for the fastest growing waste stream in the world – electronic waste or ‘e-waste’. The international recognition will provide Jiva the platform that is required to publicise this huge problem and position Soluboard as a commercially viable solution.

Jiva is now preparing for fundraising, planning to fulfil a seed investment round later in 2021. Further investment will allow the UK based company to collaborate with more of the world’s leading electrical and electronic equipment producers. Jiva would like to hear from any potential customers who feel that Soluboard would be a good fit for their portfolio.
Jack Herring, CEO of Jiva, said:
“Electronic waste is increasing at an alarming rate, but now Jiva Materials is one step closer to tackling it. The prize money from Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is going to transform Soluboard, propelling Jiva Materials from our R&D phase to offering customers a product that significantly cuts their carbon footprints and electronic waste worldwide.”
https://www.greenchallenge.info/articles/news/British-start-up-wins-half-a-million-euros

Bill Wilkie
7th March 2021

 
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