Extract Gold from your Old Computers and Phones

Today gold reached another record level high that its costing 28,540 Rupees for 10grams of gold. In the international markets, like New york Commodity Exchange its costing $1900 for each Ounce (31.1 grams).

In India its must to purchase gold for all major occasions and weddings. So, i was thinking how to mine gold. With a little bit of searching i found out that gold is used in most mother boards of computers and other electronic items. The computer industry uses several hundred tons of the element every year. Traces of gold is found in almost all computer components–processors, motherboards, extension cards, memory DIMMs, and so on. Of course, the amounts used in each part are very small. But with the price of gold reaching all time high in recent years, it’s becoming more and more economically-viable to recover gold from old electronic and computer components than to mine it.

Gold is found in numerous places on a motherboard: IDE connectors, PCI Express slot, PCI, AGP, ISA, and other ports, jumper pins, the processor socket, and DIMM (SIMM on older motherboards) slots.

All of these connectors are often covered with a fine layer of gold a few microns thick, deposited by flashing or plating.

Please find the video of Jem Stansfield doing the same at BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14621075?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

And Youtube is filled with more such videos.

I suggest you not to experiment it, unless you are properly guided and have full safety gear ready. As various chemicals used and produced during the experiment can be very dangerous. Sodium metabisulfate, HCl, nitric acid are the basic chemicals that are required.

The reaction between magnesium and chloroauric acid is Mg + HAuCl4 = Au + MgCl2 + H2
But if you use sodium metabisulfite, then the reactions are as below:
Na2S2O5 + H2O –> 2 NaHSO3

3 NaHSO3 + 2 AuCl3 + 3 H2O –> 3 NaHSO4 + 6 HCl + 2 Au

So if you are one of the students of chemical engineering and looking for your final semester project ideas, this could be a great one. As the chemicals used are easily available in any chemical engineering lab.