Supporting cellphone recycling with NTT Docomo, Inc.

The communications devices we use every day contain gold, silver, copper, palladium, and other rare metals, to the extent that their collection is sometimes called “urban mining.” In 2010, we worked with NTT Docomo, Inc. to develop pyrolysis (thermal decomposition) technologies that are now being applied to some cellphones and other communications devices that customers bring to Docomo shops for recycling. We create recycled petroleum from plastic components, which is used as fuel to power pyrolysis plants. Pyrolysis increases the metal content in what remains, called “residue,” which is passed on to a refining company for transformation into high-purity metals. By effectively recycling mobile terminals that have outlived their usefulness, we are contributing to the reuse of mineral resources.