Recover Gold From Electronic Waste
Get ready to recover hundreds of tonnes gold from your old electronic devices like TV sets, computers, laptops and Smartphones. Reports suggest researchers have found a simple chemical method to recover gold from electronic waste.
Researchers said the current methods of extracting gold from old gadgets are inefficient and hazardous to health, as toxic chemicals like cyanide are used commonly. Over 7% of world’s gold is used as a key component when it comes to printing circuit boards found inside the electrical devices like televisions, mobiles, and computers.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in the UK feel upgrading the method in which gold is recovered from the electronic waste can reduce the environmental impact of gold mining and cut carbon dioxide emissions as well. They have made developments in the extraction method where no toxic chemicals are used. This method also manages to recover gold more effectively that the traditional methods.
They are confident it will help salvage some of the estimated 300 tonnes of gold used in electronics each year. Researchers solved the complex chemistry modifying the extraction process, discovered a compound that could be used to recover gold more effectively.
The process involves adding an oily liquid containing the chemical compound, the printed circuit boards placed in a mild acid. This extracts gold selectively from the complex mixture of other metals.
Researchers are confident their findings will help in the development of methods for large-scale recovery of gold and other precious metals from waste electronics.
Jason Love from University of Edinburgh said – “We are very excited about this discovery, especially as we have shown that our fundamental chemical studies on the recovery of valuable metals from electronic waste could have potential economic and societal benefits,”
The details of the findings are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.