Modern Alchemy: Salvaging gold from electronics

November 25, 2018

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I was onto that subject since last couple years but didn't have enough time and parts to try it. As mentioned in previous entry, i'm keeping my e-waste since my childhood and send them to trash at earlier months. Except precious computer parts including cpu, ram, gfx card etc.

You can repurpose an 20 year old power supply from an i386 ibm pc but even a 5 year old cpu is have no use today. Only thing you can do is extract it's gold plated base connectors.

Well, impossible to convert one element to another as title describes but it's possible salvage hidden elements laying around here. I followed that instructions to initiate process but my experience was different a little due to time and economical limitations.

Probably you have all the required components at the home right now, all you need is hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid That mixture melting the Nickel which used as glue/base plate of gold in electronics. It's easy to find hydrochloric acid but h.peroxide is a little bit challenging. I visited a mall that sells industrial cleaning solutions and readed their labels one by one. Finally found hydrogen peroxide in a fabric stain remover.

Trimmed the unnecessary parts and throwed to 50/50 solution and leaved it overnight. The next morning i noticed the gold dust at bottom of solution. That was a success but i did a mistake by using wool sheet as filter. All those gold specks are attached to wool which removing them was more challenging than extracting them from electronics.

I washed wool sheet multiple times and cut out the clean parts, after couple hours all gold was flying around in pure water. Pulled the water by using a syringe and there it is, an exact 2gr of gold which worth 400tl/75usd today.

Ofcourse it's hard to cash it out but i will try after melted them. It can be used as electroplating material in worst case.

Shopping List
+ Hydrogen Peroxide
+ Hydrochloric Acid
+ Syringe
+ Two glass bottles

+ Do not stir, that dissolves gold into more tiny particles even makes harder to filter it out.
+ Do not use a filter, just let them drop onto bottom of solution and pull solution by syringe.
+ Use a gas mask or do it at outdoors.

that was the first attempt, i'll post the results after the second round.

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