How To Make Money Recovering Scrap Gold From Electronics
Do you want to start a scrap gold business from home? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to make money recovering scrap gold from electronics. If you just stumbled on this article, you would be glad you did because only a few people have their eyes opened to the fact that making money from just recovering scrap gold from condemned computers or electronics is indeed in existence.
Table of Content
How To Refine Gold From Electronic Scrap
People are often amazed to learn how much precious metal is lost whenever they throw away their old electronic devices. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium can all be recovered from circuits and processors of electronics. Of all the precious metals, gold is the one most frequently recovered and refined from electronics. Although it is possible to melt the gold plating away from the circuitry, you will cause more of a mess and lose some of the precious metal. The most effective way to reclaim gold from scrap components is to use a process referred to as reverse electroplating.
Mix The Stripping Solution With The E
After placing the e-waste into the beaker, add the stripping solution of vinegar and salt into the beaker. Do this slowly, ensuring that all the computer parts are fully submerged in the solution.
Next, add hydrogen peroxide. Be extremely careful as you do this, as hydrogen peroxide can be corrosive. Then, cover the beaker and let the solution bubble for 24 hours.
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Environmental And Safety Concerns
We already mentioned the dangerous extraction methods that release toxic chemicals. An even more significant challenge is the need to have a reliable system for disposing of the toxic waste created during the extraction process. This system will need to follow strict guidelines for hazardous waste disposal, including reducing personnel safety hazards.
On a side note, environmental concerns do not end there. A large-scale recycling and extraction operation requires a constant supply of raw material for extraction, in this case, electronic boards. The material often comes from other regions or even countries, which drastically increases the operations carbon footprint.
Prepare The Computer Parts
The best parts to use in this experiment are printed circuit boards, motherboards, central processing units, random access memory chips, drives, and other internal modems.
Identify areas with gold color on these parts and strip the surrounding plastic. You should have more gold-colored components than plastic to extract a sizeable amount of gold. Break the parts into small bits to fit in a beaker and submerge under the stripping solution.
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Evaporate The Solution Containing Gold Foils
Leave the solution containing gold foils to evaporate on low heat. The level of the solution will reduce with time, which indicates that evaporation is taking place.
Add vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, to the solution before it evaporates completely. Add the ascorbic is small increments as you stir the solution. Ascorbic acid helps to precipitate the gold in preparation for melting. When this happens, the light green solution will turn brown.
Once the gold has precipitated, it is now time to separate it from the solution. Place a coffee filter on the opening of a funnel beaker and pour the solution through the filter.
How Much Gold Can You Refine From A Bunch Of Old Computer Parts
Some! But not enough to be worth the trouble.
Earlier this month, we learned all about the painstaking but far-from-impossible process of refining gold in your own kitchen and backyard from Cody of Cody’s Lab. That was fascinating in its own right, but now the DIY chemist has but his metallurgical know-how to what seems like a slightly more practical purpose: ripping the gold off old, useless computer parts.
Gold is a incredible conductor of electricity, which is why it’s used as a coating in a lot of electronics, especially parts where data transfer happens like RAM. So what if you could get a handful of this old computer crap yourself and set to ripping the gold right off? The process isn’t that difficult, as Cody shows , but the results are maybe not worth the effort.
When all is said and done, Cody was about to get about a third of a gram of gold-ish metal out of the parts you see above, and even that third of a gram did not look especially pure. Best best best case scenario that might net you $10? And no matter how little you value your labor, that’s almost certainly less than the cost of refining materials. This would only be profitable at huge, much-bigger-than-kitchen scale.
So while it might be a fun if time-intensive trick to strip the gold out of your old computer chips, your probably better off just recycling.
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Leaching Tests For A Duration Of 4 Hours
According to literature reports . Breuer and Jeffrey, 2000Breuer, P. L. Jeffrey, M. I. Thiosulfate leaching kinetics of gold in the presence of copper and ammonia, Minerals Engineering, 13, 1071 . Chandra and Jeffrey, 2004Chandra, I. Jeffrey, M. I. An electrochemical study of the effect of additives and electrolyte on the dissolution of gold in thiosulfate solutions. Hydrometallurgy 73, 305-312 . Zhang and Nicol, 2005Zhang, S. and Nicol, M. J. An electrochemical study of the dissolution of gold in thiosulfate solutions. Part II. Effect of Copper. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 35, 339-345. Ha et al. 2010Ha, Vinh Hung Lee, Jae-Chun Jeong, Jinki Hai, Huynh Trung Jha, Manis K Thiosulfate leaching of gold from waste mobile phones. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 178, 1115-1119 . Ha et al. 2014Ha, V. H. Lee, Jc. Huynh, T.H. Jeong, J. Pandey, B. D. Optimizing the thiosulfate leaching of gold from printed circuit boards of discarded mobile phone. Hydrometallurgy, 149, 118-126 .), the main function of the use of copper ions in the leaching process with thiosulfate is to accelerate the rate of chemical reaction. In view of this, all the tests with thiosulfate for a duration of 4 hours included copper ions .
Connect The Apparatus To An Air Pump
Take another glass beaker and insert a tube connected to an air pump. This setup will help to circulate oxygen and remove unwanted gas from the stripping solution.
You need enough oxygen to ensure that the solution strips as much gold from the electronic parts as possible. Next, add the e-waste to the beaker to hold down the oxygen tube and keep it from shifting around
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The Second Chemical Bath Refining Your Gold Foils
THIS STEP SHOULD NEVER BE ATTEMPTED without your CHEMICAL MASK.For this chemical bath I will be reproducing the process on small scale. this is by far the most hazardous step and with the most reactive wastes.For this step I am going to use a 100 ml beaker a portion of recovered foils, about 3 grams.I will be using Muratic acid, and clorox.I will be adding only enough Muratic acid to cover my 3 grams of foils, Using a Pipette I will slowly add Clorox until all of my foils have dissolved. you can use a glass rod to help felicitate the process.After your foils have dissolved the resulting solution will be a deep golden yellow maybe a little orange in color.it may be desirable to filter your solution with the coffee filters 1 more time, depending on if little bits of green plastic from the board found their way into this step.
Selecting Materials To Be Recovered
I was taught by the method of Crap in Crap out. You want your materials to be as clean as possible with the least Amount of Garbage as possible. Gold fingers are typically found on PCI cards, ISA cards, or on Memory sims/dimms/etc. They create the corrosion free connection between the computer and the expansion card. This process can also be used to recover gold from CPU such as Pentium Pro, or Cyrix or older 486 and lower generation chips.
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How To Remove Gold From Circuit Boards
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If youve opened an electronic device before, such as radios, televisions, or even your old cellphone, youve seen their inner workings. Ever noticed those shiny gold-colored parts on the circuit boards? Those bright pieces of metal are, in fact, gold. Gold is used on electronic circuit boards because of its excellent conductive properties and because it doesnt corrode or rust over time. If you still have any of those circuit boards lying around, have a bit of fun and mine them for gold.
Prepare A Buffer Solution For The Foils
Prepare a buffer mixture of vinegar and sea salt. This solution will protect the foils from direct contact with bleach and heat when converting the foils into gold particles.
To prepare the solution, mix 120 ml white vinegar with four tablespoons of sea salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Decant the liquid into a separate beaker.
Ensure that the solution remains slightly acidic. Ideally, you should be aiming for a pH of 4.5 to 5. To check, drop a pH test strip into the decanted solution.
If the solution is too acidic, add a pinch of sodium bicarbonate to bring the solution to the desired pH level. Continue adding sodium bicarbonate bit by bit until you achieve the required pH.
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Create Your Etching Solution
In this step, you take the hydrogen peroxide and toilet bowl cleaner and mix equal parts of each with enough total solution to be able to fully submerge PCBs. After the solution has been made, drop the PCBs in and make sure they are fully submerged.
This solution is called an etching solution because the solution made above dissolves the nickel under the gold. as a result, the gold foils are detached from the nickel because it has been dissolved.
If keeping outside, I recommend putting a large cup with holes in it so the fumes can escape and contaminates don’t enter the solution.
WARNING: This is the most hazardous part as tiny amounts of chlorine gas are released . Make sure you are outside or in a very well ventilated area with the right safety equipment.
How To Extract Gold From Electronics
In this Instructable, I will show you how to extract gold from computers using products most people have lying around in their homes. The way I extract the gold is relatively straight-forward and pretty easy, but the chemicals used are very dangerous and should not be performed without proper knowledge and equipment.
This process is not supposed to be lucrative. It is a great science project. So don’t try to make money off of this process. You will end up losing money!!Also, please remember if you like this Instructable, please vote for me. I work very hard and spend a lot of time to make these Instructables. It would truly mean a lot. Thanks and Enjoy!
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Removing Gold Using Nitric Acid
Availability Of Trained Workforce
Getting qualified people to join your operation is always a challenge. Recycling and extraction operations are often located in rural areas or areas where such operations can cause the least damage to the local environment. The staffing needed for the extraction process requires qualified labor, including workers with college degrees in chemistry or similar.
Persuading college-educated people to join your operation in the middle of nowhere is a difficult task. Offering higher salaries and bonuses might seriously affect the bottom line of your business. As the operation grows, it might be impossible to scale it in some areas due to the lack of a qualified workforce.
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The Ghosts Of Christmas Presents Past
So even though it is not possible to tell you how much your old electronics are worth in todays blog post, we can still list some of the most popular electronic devices from the past that contain enough gold to recycle profitably provided you can get your hands on a large number of them. Heres a list . . .
Smart space heaters, humidifiers and other devices that added comfort to home spaces
Cellphones and Blackberries
Cookers and other electronic kitchen devices
Countertop electronic ovens
Digital cameras and video cameras
Digital photo frames
Electronic toys of all kinds
Flatscreen and pre-flatscreen televisions and monitors
Laptop and desktop computers of all kinds
Older televisions of all kinds
Personal Digital Assistants
Personal digital music players of all kinds
Projectors, modems, and all other computer peripherals
Smart robots and other cleaning devices
Smart speakers and all home audio equipment
VCRs and DVD players
How To Extract The Gold From Computer Circuit Boards
Computers and other electronic devices contain gold and other precious metals in their circuit boards. As consumers upgrade their electronic gadgets, the precious metals remain trapped in piles of waste. Theres about 0.2 grams of gold in a typical mobile phone handset. Recovery of this gold requires knowledge of basic chemistry and considerable care.
Assemble the scrap circuit boards from computers or phones, memory chips from phones and cameras, and the small components behind LCD screens. Gold in these circuits occurs as a layer over a base metal substrate such as nickel or copper. Separate the gold-plated metal parts in the circuit boards using a magnet. Some gold-plated parts may be inside ceramic components.
Put on the goggles and gloves. Place all of the recovered circuit parts in one of the glass containers. Use another glass container to mix hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide in the proportion 2 to 1. Pour the mixture over the circuit board scrap in the glass vessel. Leave for a week, stirring occasionally with the plastic rod. The acid will turn into a dark solution. The gold will slowly flake from the scrap and accumulate at the bottom of the container.
Flush water over the gold flakes to wash them. Pour the methanol through the filter to wash the gold flakes. Wash the flakes again by pouring water over them. Leave the gold flakes to dry on the filter paper.
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So What Is Old It Hardware Worth
There are three ways that a retired device can find value in a new life: resale of the whole device, resale of its parts, or resale of the material once it has been shredded. The path that any given device takes depends on its condition, how modern its components are, storage and RAM capacity, and other factors.
If a device is truly end-of-life, it will be destroyed in bulk with similar devices, and the separated recyclable materials will be sold as scrap for manufacturing. That would include any precious metals in the device but those will make up only a miniscule fraction of the original weight.
Scrap commodities are traded by weight, and an 8-lb laptop or 25-lb monitor may only contain a few grams of precious metals at most. The majority of a devices weight comes from less valuable material like plastic and glass.
A scrapped, shredded laptop might end up being worth about $10 per pound of material, maybe more if it is an older device and contains more gold. Newer-generation devices typically contain less gold as advancements in technology and efforts to reduce production costs have pushed tech manufacturers to design thinner, lighter, less resource-intensive units.
License To Extract Gold
Here its important to bear in mind that recovering gold from computer parts and mobile phones can be done only by qualified metallurgists and other professionals. This isnt a business for the unqualified.
Before you enter the business, make sure you have proper licenses for operating a gold recovery business and possession of hazardous chemicals.
As you can see, theres a lot of money in extracting gold from computer parts and electronics. However, this business is for qualified and experienced people only.
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