For the purposes of x-ray absorption, I'm trying to discover the average chemical composition of a typical PCB.

My research so far has indicated that the most common type of PCB is designated FR-4. It is composed of fiberglass and epoxy resin. The resin often contain Bromine to add fire resistance. Let's ignore any printed copper for the mean time. So we are looking at H, C, O, Si, Br, and probably some other bits and pieces. But what are the percentage of these elements?


This article should be useful for you...

Material Recovery and Characterization of PCB from Electronic Waste
Jessica Hanafi, Eric Jobiliong, Agustina Christiani, Dhamma C. Soenarta, Juwan Kurniawan, Januar Irawan, (doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.1194)
Printed Circuit Boards are commonly exist in computers, laptops and mobile phones. Since it contains of a variety of metals and semiconductors, it is difficult to recover the materials in PCB. This paper aims to characterize the composition of these materials and a method to properly recycle and recover the materials in them. This paper utilized simple mechanical and chemical procedures to recover PCBs. Collected PCBs were disassembled, pulverized and separated by using density and magnetic separation method. By using the chemical recycling method, 98.82% purity of CuSO4 hydrate and Al2(SO4)3 hydrate were recovered from the PCBs. It is found that the milling methods, size of the sample and the density of the separating solution determine the effectiveness of the materials recovered.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you maybe give a short resume of the article's most important points concerning the question. Link-only answers might sometimes be helpful but really good answers add some additional text to make it as easy as possible to get the required information and a linked article often contains more information than is actually needed. $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Nov 5 '13 at 0:14

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