Circular Economy Case Studies

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Lord of the recycled rings

Platinum recovery

Working alongside leading healthcare company, Accord, we have recovered high-quality platinum from obsolete pharmaceutical drugs.

As with all pharmaceutical products, Oxaliplatin, a cancer medication, has a limited shelf life and must be destroyed if it is not used within a certain period. But with a high platinum content - a valuable precious metal and resource - it was important to unlock the value in this waste stream.

Veolia set about isolating the platinum from the product. This was achieved by the decomposition and chemical reduction of the organic compound. Applying a two-step recovery process, including both solid waste and liquid waste extraction, Veolia successfully recovered a significant amount of platinum.

The high quality of the recovered platinum means it can be reprocessed into other cancer drugs or smelted to produce a range of consumer desirables such as wedding bands, bracelets and earrings.

The recovery process practised at Veoila's Hazardous Waste Services' Laboratory is a great example of our innovative approach to unusual and challenging customer requests.

Mining precious metals can be devastating to the environment. Recovery techniques that maximise reuse help reduce reliance on mined ores so make sound economic sense in the highly volatile metals market.