Improve subsequent leaching efficiency and extraction rate of germanium in optical fibre cables with pre-treatment

Wei Sheng Chen, Bi Cheng Chang, Chih Kang Shuai

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Germanium is an important and rare material which widely used in fibre optic industry, accounting for about 40% of the total germanium product usage. Due to the rarity of germanium, developing an effective recycling process of recovering germanium metal from waste fibre optical cables is significant. Fibre optical cables was arranged to do characteristic analysis, pre-treatment and dissolution in this study. In the characteristic analysis, the content of germanium dioxide in the glass fibre was 0.15%, and the remaining components were all silicon dioxide. In the pre-treatment part, it consists of two steps which are the solvent treatment and roasting. At the solvent treatment step, glass fibre can be separated by acetone with a concentration of more than 50% and ethanol with concentration of more than 75%. At the roasting step, NaOH was used as a roasting additive. Adding 5 molar ratio of NaOH/SiO2 at 500 °C for 2 hours can totally convert the optical fibre into the silicate. After roasting, it could be leaching by dilute H2SO4 and its leaching rate is higher than 99.5%. This study can provide a process to recovery germanium from optical fibre effectively. According to the optimal conditions, the recovery of germanium could be up to 99%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012005
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 7
Event4th International Conference on Optics in Materials, Energy, and Technologies 2019, ICOMET 2019 - Tainan, Taiwan
Duration: 2019 Jun 242019 Jun 28

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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