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(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  
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2265 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



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2020-06-28 6:02:19 PM  
4 votes:
Selectively capture the gold, flush the rest into the nearest stream. Got it.
 
2020-06-28 6:49:49 PM  
2 votes:
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 1:29:31 PM  
2 votes:
For those that don't know how it is done presently:

Turning SCRAP Electronics into GOLD BARS!
Youtube toijA2e1sLw
 
2020-06-28 11:11:55 PM  
1 vote:

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 11:02:50 PM  
1 vote:

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 10:54:34 PM  
1 vote:

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 9:55:20 PM  
1 vote:

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 7:48:59 PM  
1 vote:

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 6:38:35 PM  
1 vote:
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 6:23:17 PM  
1 vote:
Sooooo, no more dunking in mercury and acid?
 
2020-06-28 4:46:21 PM  
1 vote:
Back in the early 1980s there was gold to be found in junk circuit boards, the ICs in particular.
 
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