Data center equipment

N2S has been conducting bioleaching trials on Colt Technology Services’ end-of-life electronics. | Funtap/Shutterstock

An electronics reuse and recycling company is conducting trials of a technology to recover precious metals from end-of-life network and data center equipment.

U.K. electronics processor N2S employs a bioleaching process, developed in partnership with Coventry University, that uses microbiological techniques and living organisms to extract rare earth and precious metals from e-scrap. The company recently opened two new locations and expanded its Suffolk headquarters, where the bioleaching process occurs.

According to a Nov. 11 press release, for the past six months, N2S has also been conducting trials with British company Colt Technology Services, a managed network and voice services provider. The companies are working to apply the bioleaching to Colt’s end-of-life electronics.

“When we replace a piece of old equipment within our business, we look at how we can keep it out of landfill and ideally within the value chain, to produce less waste overall,” Caroline Griffin Pain, Colt’s general counsel, stated in the press release. “As a result, we’re investigating the viability of using bioleaching to recover precious metals from our own equipment, in partnership with N2S, and will be evaluating the results as we near the end of the trial.”

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