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General Chat Thread, How Much Gold Do You Own in General; ...
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    alonebfg's Avatar
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    How Much Gold Do You Own

    I found out today something really interesting. Due to the price of gold being so high pc components mobile phones and anything with electronics in it get broken down for amongst other things gold. A friend Helps in plant using chemicals to extract the gold. any the funny thing is that your old mobile phone thats broken and someone will give you 5p for can be worth up to £10 in gold. I thought he was joking till i told the other half and apparently the kids saw it on TV (bang goes the theory I think) where a bloke produced £50 in gold from old phones sim cards motherboards but could of got £120 if he done it right. Perhaps i am in the wrong business. LOL I wonder why the kids love to recycle there money in it for someone lol.

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    Hot sodium cyanide solutions and aqua regia sound like a fantastic school project

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alonebfg View Post
    I found out today something really interesting. Due to the price of gold being so high pc components mobile phones and anything with electronics in it get broken down for amongst other things gold. A friend Helps in plant using chemicals to extract the gold. any the funny thing is that your old mobile phone thats broken and someone will give you 5p for can be worth up to £10 in gold. I thought he was joking till i told the other half and apparently the kids saw it on TV (bang goes the theory I think) where a bloke produced £50 in gold from old phones sim cards motherboards but could of got £120 if he done it right. Perhaps i am in the wrong business. LOL I wonder why the kids love to recycle there money in it for someone lol.
    Sounds like schools could be quids in when they do a refresh then!

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    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    Giving it a try

    This thread has REALLY brought out my geeky side.
    I was chatting with the Head of Chemistry and he's agreed to let me have a go. THe reagents are all quite cheap, and he's bought me a bottle of conc nitric acid for the task!
    I'm going to try a small scale experiment, and if it works I'll involve our A-Level applied Scientists so that they can use the experiment with the object of calculating % yields.

    I'm doing this more for educational benefit and kicks and giggles, rather than expecting to produce vast quantities of gold.

    for others; this is my procedure. Feel free if you have anything to add. I'm going to make a start next week and will of course post photos (of the fire engines)
    I've attached a risk assessment as well if anyone feels confident

    Small Scale Reclamation and Refinery of Gold Metal from Waste Electrical Components


    Reagents and Equipment

    Waste Electrical Compnents
    Concentrated Nitric Acid
    Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid
    Urea
    Sodium Metabisulphite
    Isopropanol
    distilled water
    Glass rod
    Large Beaker (750ml)
    Small Beaker (100ml) x2
    Mechanical heat/stirrer
    Flea (large)
    Retort clamp and stand
    crucible
    Glass funnel
    Filter paper
    Buchner funnel (incase)
    Ice bath
    Lab Coat
    Goggles
    Fume Hood
    Gloves (thick rubber)

    Introduction

    Gold is known to be mostly insoluble in Nitric acid, forming Au3+ ions but soluble in the form of Chloroauricacid with the addition of cholrine ions which are present in aqua regia.
    Au (s) + 3 NO3− (aq) + 6 H+ (aq) → Au3+ (aq) + 3 NO2 (g) + 3 H2O (l)
    Au3+ (aq) + 4 Cl− (aq) → AuCl4− (aq).
    The Nitrix acid in the aqua regia mix can be neutralised with the addition of Urea, producing Urea Nitrate
    (NH2)2CO (aq) + HNO3 (aq) → (NH2)2COHNO3 (s) (explosive)
    Gold metal can be precipitated with the addition of Sodium Metabisulphite and production of Sulphur Dioxide as a by-product.
    2Na2S2O5 (s) + HAuCl4 (aq) + 3H+ (aq) → 4NaCl (aq) + Au (s) + 4SO2 (g) + 2H2O (l)

    Method:

    The waste electrical components are cut into small pieces which contain visible gold. These pieces were placed into a 750ml beaker and covered with conc H2NO3. The mixture was heated and stirred for 30min to dissolve organic materials and non-precious metals.
    The mixture was filtered and washed with hot conc H2NO3. The filtrate was neutralised and discarded as aqueous waste. The remaining solid was placed into a beaker and a solution of 3:1 conc HCL and conc H2NO3 (aqua regia) were added so that the liquid just covers the solid material. The mixture was heated and stirred for 40min to dissolve all of the gold. The mixture was filtered and the glassware and undissolved electrical components were washed with hot aqua regia. The filtrate was retained. Once the solution had cooled to room temperature, excess urea was added to the mixture until the acid stopped fizzing. Approximately 3-4g Sodium metabisulphite were slowly added to the solution until the smell of Sulphur Dioxide could be detected. A small amount of Isopropanol was added as a surfactant to release any floating particles. The solution was further cooled and left overnight. The solution was filtered, collecting gold which was melted in a crucible.



    RiskAssessment.docHow Much Gold Do You Own-gold.jpgHow Much Gold Do You Own-waste.jpgHow Much Gold Do You Own-components.jpg

  6. 3 Thanks to CyberNerd:

    nephilim (17th October 2011), speckytecky (17th October 2011), stevenlong1985 (18th October 2011)

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Based upon the above information and calculating the average Edugeek members electronics collection, I would estimate that we have enough gold between us to solve the nations debt crisis.
    So everybody send your gold filled gadgets to @CyberNerd and we can all sleep easy that the financial woe brought upon us by the bankers will be resolved.

    PS send me a postcard from the Cayman Islands @CyberNerd

  8. Thanks to m25man from:

    stevenlong1985 (18th October 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Based upon the above information and calculating the average Edugeek members electronics collection, I would estimate that we have enough gold between us to solve the nations debt crisis.
    So everybody send your gold filled gadgets to @CyberNerd and we can all sleep easy that the financial woe brought upon us by the bankers will be resolved.

    PS send me a postcard from the Cayman Islands @CyberNerd
    Just as long as he doesn't start plating everything in gold, then advertises for a junior technician under the terms they wear a bowler hat and are rather nifty at throwing things...

  10. Thanks to korifugi from:

    cromertech (18th October 2011)

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    cromertech's Avatar
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    Say no more

  12. Thanks to cromertech from:

    dave.81 (18th October 2011)

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    Reclaiming the gold from computers isn't a new idea. Most of the big irons especially IBMs contained large amounts of gold and other precious metals and they were often wrecked for the content at the end of their lives. This is why there are so few 1960's machines such as the IBM System/360s around. These machines typically occupied an entire room and the amount of gold was quite significant.

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    When I saw my Nan at the weekend, she was carefully taking the chocolate off of a Crunchie. When i asked her what she was doing, she said she was going to send it to Cash For Gold!

    I can't remember which comedian said this, but i loved it!

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    Cant you just send in a stock pile of computers to Cash My Gold and say cash that! hehe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman View Post
    Reclaiming the gold from computers isn't a new idea. Most of the big irons especially IBMs contained large amounts of gold and other precious metals and they were often wrecked for the content at the end of their lives. This is why there are so few 1960's machines such as the IBM System/360s around. These machines typically occupied an entire room and the amount of gold was quite significant.
    Someone else remembers 360's.....first computer I ever worked on.

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    I'm attempting this now. I've adapted the method (from above) and added some photos.
    It's pretty noxious - so I'm doing it in a fume cupboard as per the risk assessment.

    Method:

    The waste electrical components are cut into small pieces which contain visible gold. These pieces were placed into a 750ml beaker and covered with approximately 150ml conc H2NO3. The mixture was stirred for 30min to dissolve organic materials and non-precious metals. The reaction was exothermic and produced a turquoise collared gas and turned the liquid turquoise/blue. Once the fizzing stopped and the solution was cool the mixture was filtered and washed with conc H2NO3.

    How Much Gold Do You Own-img_20111024_113310.jpg

    The filtrate was neutralised and discarded as aqueous waste. The remaining solid was placed into a beaker and a solution of 3:1 conc HCL (100ml) and conc H2NO3 (50ml) (aqua regia) were added so that the liquid just covers the solid material.

    How Much Gold Do You Own-img_20111024_113801.jpg

    The reaction was exothermic and produced brown fumes and a dark brown liquid.

    How Much Gold Do You Own-img_20111024_114438.jpg


    The mixture was stirred for 60min to dissolve all of the gold.

    The mixture was filtered and the glassware and undissolved electrical components were washed with aqua regia. The filtrate was retained.



    Will post back some more info later.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 24th October 2011 at 03:04 PM.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Are you going to create a lump of purest green?
    Actually, I'm really interested to see how this turns out. So far it's getting my vote for 'Most original thread of the year'.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    So far it's getting my vote for 'Most original thread of the year'.
    challenge accepted!

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