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How to get gold and copper out of computer parts?

March 16, 2008

I have been trying to do some research on a good method to get the Gold Copper and other valuable materials out of computer parts. I have come across a number of interesting number of methods of getting the boards to release the copper and gold coatings. many of them sound shaky at best. Does anyone know of any legit ways to get separate the gold copper and other valuable materials out of the computer boards?

Scott Mann
Interested person - Oakland, California, USA


March 19, 2008

1/Burn the scrap to get rid of organics.
2/Melt the metal residue and cast into anodes
3/ Bag the anodes and plate in a sulphuric electrolyte to recover the copper
4/ Collect the anode "slimes" which now contain the gold and other precious metals.
5/Dissolve in Nitric/Hydrochloric
6/Evaporate off the excess acid
7/ Precipitate the gold with sulphurous acid (sulphur dioxide in water)
8/ Analyse the residue to determine the best method for other metals

And while doing this, comply with all the local legislation

Or MUCH better

Send the lot to a specialist reclaim house.

Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


March 27, 2008

Hi, Scott. Geoff's closing sentence is the operative one. E-waste is a huge global problem and almost every major environmental organization in the world is begging you not to do that for three reasons: First, the obvious one of you using creating non-ecological waste under non-permitted conditions; second, the problem of scattering the toxins under uncontrolled conditions, as we are now dealing with a pile of parts rather than one computer; third, the fact that 'cherry picking' makes recovery of the remainder of the wastes economically unfeasible. Please see letter 18889 which has a couple of videos imbedded which dramatize the problem.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey
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