Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Ars Technica)   There's GOOOOLD in them thar fills   (arstechnica.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Electronic waste, Printed circuit board, Chemical element, Metal, Breadboard, Atom, researchers' gold-scrubber, Electronic engineering  
•       •       •

2266 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Jun 2020 at 5:05 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



35 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-06-28 1:23:23 PM  
They should call it round-tine!
 
2020-06-28 1:29:31 PM  
For those that don't know how it is done presently:

Turning SCRAP Electronics into GOLD BARS!
Youtube toijA2e1sLw
 
2020-06-28 2:32:16 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-28 4:46:21 PM  
Back in the early 1980s there was gold to be found in junk circuit boards, the ICs in particular.
 
2020-06-28 5:02:06 PM  
The polymer, called COP-180, selectively captures gold after it has been leached from e-waste.

Leave it to cops to selectively capture gold.
 
2020-06-28 6:02:19 PM  
Selectively capture the gold, flush the rest into the nearest stream. Got it.
 
2020-06-28 6:23:17 PM  
Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?
 
2020-06-28 6:38:35 PM  
Woah this could be huge.

It sounds hugely viable for extracting the precious metals on a ROI basis.

With a set of laws that basically make this impossible:

loudboy: Selectively capture the gold, flush the rest into the nearest stream. Got it.


Then this could solve the eWaste problem. No one touches it because it's a loss maker. But if the end to end is even slightly profitable then someone will do it. Just need to make sure they're regulated properly before they start.
 
2020-06-28 6:49:49 PM  
Seawater has a few parts per trillion of gold suspended in it, I wonder if you could drop this polymer in a location with a current and let the seawater pass over it for a couple of months.
 
2020-06-28 7:04:35 PM  
yar
 
2020-06-28 7:48:59 PM  

VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?


This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.
 
2020-06-28 8:43:02 PM  

Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.


The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.
 
2020-06-28 9:55:20 PM  

Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.


Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?
 
2020-06-28 10:48:20 PM  

VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?


I prefer the faster and more dangerous method. Shred components, drop in mercury bath, apply 2400 F degree flame, turning the mercury and non-gold parts into an aerosolized gas. Stand upwind.
 
2020-06-28 10:49:17 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Seawater has a few parts per trillion of gold suspended in it, I wonder if you could drop this polymer in a location with a current and let the seawater pass over it for a couple of months.


You're better off filtering for He3.
 
2020-06-28 10:50:18 PM  
Or "heavy water".
 
2020-06-28 10:51:02 PM  

dyhchong: Woah this could be huge.

It sounds hugely viable for extracting the precious metals on a ROI basis.

With a set of laws that basically make this impossible:
loudboy: Selectively capture the gold, flush the rest into the nearest stream. Got it.

Then this could solve the eWaste problem. No one touches it because it's a loss maker. But if the end to end is even slightly profitable then someone will do it. Just need to make sure they're regulated properly before they start.


I've been told environmental regulations are for pussies.
 
2020-06-28 10:54:34 PM  

VisualiseThis: Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?


There has been nothing stopping the US doing it prior to now. There's nothing magical in Asia that means they can do it and you can't.
 
2020-06-28 10:58:53 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Seawater has a few parts per trillion of gold suspended in it, I wonder if you could drop this polymer in a location with a current and let the seawater pass over it for a couple of months.


There's a sci-fi story that deals with this. The crux was that, yes, it's possible; but the ROI (if any) is low.
 
2020-06-28 11:02:50 PM  

Thosw: Mr. Eugenides: Seawater has a few parts per trillion of gold suspended in it, I wonder if you could drop this polymer in a location with a current and let the seawater pass over it for a couple of months.

There's a sci-fi story that deals with this. The crux was that, yes, it's possible; but the ROI (if any) is low.


Arthur C. Clarke's "The Man Who Mined The Sea."
 
2020-06-28 11:11:55 PM  

VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?


It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.
 
2020-06-28 11:20:13 PM  

Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.


There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.
 
2020-06-28 11:21:09 PM  
Or BS accounting, if you prefer.
 
2020-06-28 11:24:11 PM  

baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.

There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.


Carbon Offsets have NOTHING to do with PCB/Electronics manufacturing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

I have no idea what you're talking about, no voodoo accounting at all. Any of the subsidized-recycling scams involving e-waste revolve around ROHS-related initiatives.
 
2020-06-28 11:42:27 PM  

Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.

There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.

Carbon Offsets have NOTHING to do with PCB/Electronics manufacturing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

I have no idea what you're talking about, no voodoo accounting at all. Any of the subsidized-recycling scams involving e-waste revolve around ROHS-related initiatives.


Gaining carbon offsets by proving that your method is more environmentally friendly. Sorry. That could help lower costs.
 
2020-06-28 11:42:49 PM  
Reclamation method*
 
2020-06-28 11:55:17 PM  
"But what's worth more than gold?"

"Practically everything. You, for example. Gold is heavy. Your weight in gold is not very much gold at all. Aren't you worth more than that?"
 
2020-06-29 12:04:49 AM  

Current Resident: "But what's worth more than gold?"

"Practically everything. You, for example. Gold is heavy. Your weight in gold is not very much gold at all. Aren't you worth more than that?"


Would depend on how you define worth. For example, if you mean worth...as in worth, then probably not.

70kg of gold is just short of four million USD. But if you define worth as in "what do I think I'm worth if I were to be sold at the market?"...then probably not. I don't presume people who are human trafficked fetch several million USD.

I would only be worth more than gold if you define worth as "What price would I willingly put myself on the market for?" but then again that would be worthless because once you're owned then you would lose whatever you put yourself on the market for. So you couldn't put yourself on the market for any worth because you wouldn't get any price that was settled.

So you don't have worth as in gold unless you've already relinquished it, and at that point it's likely less than 4 million USD, unless you yourself are worth that based on actual...worth.
 
2020-06-29 12:26:17 AM  

baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.

There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.

Carbon Offsets have NOTHING to do with PCB/Electronics manufacturing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

I have no idea what you're talking about, no voodoo accounting at all. Any of the subsidized-recycling scams involving e-waste revolve around ROHS-related initiatives.

Gaining carbon offsets by proving that your method is more environmentally friendly. Sorry. That could help lower costs.


This does nothing to effect that.

PCB/Electronics manufacturing doesn't qualify for carbon offsets, by the time you're squeezing plattens and placing components your CO2 emissions are wholly accounted for by your employee's commutes and your electricity usage.

This is about reclaiming rare metals and rare-earth elements from e-waste. PCB and Electronic manufacturers are almost wholly removed from that process. Nobody is going to get offset credits of any kind, all the profit to be made will be from sales on commodity markets of the materials salvaged.

It will result in less emissions, yes, in that mining operations won't be involved in the harvesting of those materials commoditized through salvage, but there's really no accounting methods or incentives to drive it. We're talking about actual commodities here, physical goods with tangible value. Carbon Offsets are dealing with non-tangibles.
 
2020-06-29 12:27:27 AM  

Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.

There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.

Carbon Offsets have NOTHING to do with PCB/Electronics manufacturing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

I have no idea what you're talking about, no voodoo accounting at all. Any of the subsidized-recycling scams involving e-waste revolve around ROHS-related initiatives.

Gaining carbon offsets by proving that your method is more environmentally friendly. Sorry. That could help lower costs.

This does nothing to effect that.

PCB/Electronics manufacturing doesn't qualify for carbon offsets, by the time you're squeezing plattens and placing components your CO2 emissions are wholly accounted for by your employee's commutes and your electricity usage.

This is about reclaiming rare metals and rare-earth elements from e-waste. PCB and Electronic manufacturers are almost wholly removed from that process. Nobody is going to get offset credits of any kind, all the profit to be made will be from sales on commodity markets of the materials salvaged.

It will result in less emissions, yes, in that mining operations won't be involved in the harvesting of those materials commoditized through salvage, but there's really no accounting methods or incentives to drive it. We're talking about actual commodities here, physical goods with tangible value. Carbon Offsets are dealing with non-tangibles.


Again, I was not talking about manufacturing. I was talking about the reclamation method in TFA.
 
2020-06-29 12:28:44 AM  
You can get carbon offsets by proving.... Nm. I already explained. Enjoy the internet.
 
2020-06-29 12:31:27 AM  

baron von doodle: You can get carbon offsets by proving.... Nm. I already explained. Enjoy the internet.


It doesn't matter if it's manufacturing or recycling. It's not eligible for carbon offsets.

This will result in $0.00 carbon offsets worldwide.
 
2020-06-29 1:04:43 AM  
Give everything a rough chop, run in through a magnet and eddy thrower to filter the metals, vibration table to filter chunky plastcs (you then run through ACFox) then grind the bits to powder to toss in a furnace. The metals make blocks of mostly copper and silver, and electrowinnow the copper to wind up with a sludge of silver, gold, gallium, etc. The problem of forming this ore is gathering it.
 
2020-06-29 1:12:34 AM  

baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: VisualiseThis: Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: Esc7: VisualiseThis: Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?

This still requires acid, in two batches. One to get the gold into the polymer and one to get it out.

I don't know how expensive, energy wise or pollution wise the acid step is. Seems like a lot of acid.

The important part about this step is that it eliminates acid waste.

Follow up question - does this mean we don't need to send our e waste in shipping containers to Asia and can actually do it in the US?

It disincentivizes it, the reason there's even a dollar to be made doing it is because the thought was that low enough labor costs would make manual rare metal scavenging possible.

That of course turned out to not be the case. These days if conexes full of e-waste are going anywhere it's to the bottom of the ocean in a subsidized-recycling scam.

If this stuff pans out, yes, it will be profitable (although certainly not attractively so) to recycle e-waste for rare metals, most importantly in a commodity fashion:  spend this much to get that much. The major hurdle at that point would be standardizing the physical processes: pulverizing the PCBs, separating the materials (sheet metal, PCB, plastic, etc), and sorting. Unlike regular recycling, sorting isn't a huge hurdle, profit margins aren't as razor thin. Pallets of computers aren't going to be sent to the landfill for having organic waste mixed in.

Is it going to magically fix e-waste recycling? No. But NOW the reagents are a known commodity and the expense of the chemical process just got much cheaper. No more $35 Million water treatment plants needed to process the water going through an e-waste recycling plant.

There is another profit stream using this method (even though I consider it voodoo accounting and really difficult to figure out). Carbon offsets.

Carbon Offsets have NOTHING to do with PCB/Electronics manufacturing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

I have no idea what you're talking about, no voodoo accounting at all. Any of the subsidized-recycling scams involving e-waste revolve around ROHS-related initiatives.

Gaining carbon offsets by proving that your method is more environmentally friendly. Sorry. That could help lower costs.

This does nothing to effect that.

PCB/Electronics manufacturing doesn't qualify for carbon offsets, by the time you're squeezing plattens and placing components your CO2 emissions are wholly accounted for by your employee's commutes and your electricity usage.

This is about reclaiming rare metals and rare-earth elements from e-waste. PCB and Electronic manufacturers are almost wholly removed from that process. Nobody is going to get offset credits of any kind, all the profit to be made will be from sales on commodity markets of the materials salvaged.

It will result in less emissions, yes, in that mining operations won't be involved in the harvesting of those materials commoditized through salvage, but there's really no accounting methods or incentives to drive it. We're talking about actual commodities here, physical goods with tangible value. Carbon Offsets are dealing with non-tangibles.

Again, I was not talking about manufacturing. I was talking about the reclamation method in TFA.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-29 1:31:49 AM  

Inebriated Bolshevik Muppet: baron von doodle: You can get carbon offsets by proving.... Nm. I already explained. Enjoy the internet.

It doesn't matter if it's manufacturing or recycling. It's not eligible for carbon offsets.

This will result in $0.00 carbon offsets worldwide.


As I said before, I don't understand it. I will assume that you are correct.
 
Displayed 35 of 35 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.