Experiment: Can You Mine Gold From Old Motherboards?

Page 3 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

back_by_demand

Splendid
BANNED
Jul 16, 2009
4,821
0
22,780
0
[citation][nom]hang-the-9[/nom]Great article! You also basically taught us how to produce toxic chemicals, yay![/citation]
Next week on Tom's Guide...
"How to produce World War One chemical weapons"
The week after...
"Dispose of a body so CSI won't catch you"
Next month...
"Ethnic cleansing for dummies, part 1 - foreword by Idi Amin"
 
G

Guest

Guest
A solid gold sphere with radius 1.5 mm would weigh .25g, and would be worth about $11 according to my calculations.
 

XD_dued

Distinguished
Dec 23, 2008
415
0
18,810
6
Today, we're going to show you how we recovered the gold from old motherboards using do-it-yourself methods. Please note: The chemicals used in this demonstration are extremely dangerous, especially in the concentrations used. Therefore, we strongly discourage you from attempting to reproduce this experiment at home.
I thought that was funny :).

None the less, great article, as always
 

warmon6

Splendid
The melting point of gold is around 1064° C (1947.52 °F), so an oxy-butane torch will do the job.
Aw, you mean 8 gtx 480's (from 2 rigs) all running at full speed and the heat wont melt gold? :lol: jk.

Anyways, interesting article......
 

gmarsack

Distinguished
Jul 25, 2009
320
0
18,780
0
Very awesome article.

This is the kind of stuff Tom's Hardware needs, like a dedicated section for science articles and processes. I loved it and found it simple, easy to understand and very educational.

Great article!
 

Hockeyguyinoc

Distinguished
Jan 9, 2009
112
0
18,690
1
I always appreciate articles like this that talk about things maybe you thought of but would never attempt to do. I figured it wouldn't be worth it cost wise that is why you very very very rarely see a company paying for old computer parts.
 
G

Guest

Guest
You missed a bet on the true best way to recover the gold from these parts- Fire Assay. That is a method of heating your gold bearing metals (or ore, as the case may be) in a lead flux which collects the gold into a lead button at the end. Then you cupel the button (basically melt and oxidize the lead button in a furnace) and the remainder left is a dore (accent on the "e") which is a collection all the precious metals (gold, silver, platinum group metals) into a little ball. The hard part for home users is the furnace, which requires temps at around 1000 C and the flux, although you might be able to make some.
 

Device Unknown

Distinguished
Jun 15, 2010
181
0
18,690
4
Thank you for the very informative story. I would never try this but still fascinating to see it done. Now I know why I keep seeing signs all over saying " Buying Old circuit boards"
 

rohitbaran

Distinguished
Mar 21, 2010
1,938
0
20,160
116
[citation][nom]back_by_demand[/nom]Next week on Tom's Guide..."How to produce World War One chemical weapons"The week after..."Dispose of a body so CSI won't catch you"Next month..."Ethnic cleansing for dummies, part 1 - foreword by Idi Amin"[/citation]
Ghosh! Good that people at Tom's don't think that way.
 

Trueno07

Distinguished
Apr 15, 2009
508
0
18,990
1
[citation][nom]Yannick_G_THFR[/nom]Indeed : dont do this at home, some steps are really dangerous !Sorry, I keep it Thanks a lot[/citation]


That step with the chlorine gas has to be the most dangerous step in the whole process. I've done a few reactions where Chlorine gas is a product and it is NOT nice stuff. I wouldn't even do it outside. A fume hood, as mentioned, is the way to go. Those precip reactions are so cool to watch though. I've also done quite a few of those and they have to be my favorite. (but the chemistry behind them is hard to wrap ones head around)

But, still an awesome article though. I love stuff like this :D
 
G

Guest

Guest
Interesting article, sadly I wont sit through clicking 20 pages worth of one image and a couple of sentences. This type of format is annoying and disgusting.. I am literally puking over my mac book pro right now, my boss is not impressed..
 
G

Guest

Guest
The most accepted industrial method is to shred the parts and then soak in a cyanide bath to disolve the precious metals out. They then percipitate them out later and separate the metals using various methods...

In fact most gold mining in the US is done this way with giant man made dirt piles that they soak with cyanide laced water to disolve the minute particles of gold along with other metals... mostly silver.

Also do you need to go through the steps of electroplating and just skip to the dissolving the gold the agua regia.
 

particleman

Distinguished
Jul 20, 2008
134
0
18,680
0
I am a scientist by trade and a tech geek at heart. I just had both of my passions quenched in this awesome article.

Thanks Yannick!!!

-PM
 

redgarl

Distinguished
Be careful to always pour acid into water, and not the other way around! If you do it wrong, the first drops of water that touch the surface of the sulfuric acid will immediately be vaporized and could cause acid splashes.
Isn`t the other way around?

Water in acid = suicide?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY