Experiment: Can You Mine Gold From Old Motherboards?

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What about silver on a motherboard or other computer peripherals? That would also b interesting.
 

mapesdhs

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Ahh, brings back fond memories... trying to persuade my chemistry
teacher to make 18M Aqua Regia (he never did, but I had a go when
nobody was looking, just 4M, succeeding in disolving part of a
sink grill. :D), electrolysing just about anything I could find in
my own expts, making HCl and hydrogen gas, fun with sodium chlorate
and sugar (plus sulphur, charcoal and sawdust), high voltage
transformers and salt solutions on wooden blocks, etc... those
were the days! 8) Young & care free.

Nice article!!

Ian.

 
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After seeing this, I think it is easier to get little bits of gold by panning than working the computer parts. VERY interesting though.
 

Oslacker

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A solid gold sphere with radius 1.5 mm would weigh .25g, and would be worth about $11 according to my calculations.
I think your calculations are right with those figures, but the sphere appears to have a diameter of about 1.5mm.
 
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Easiest but much more dangerous method. Break motherboard and all into small pieces, add mercury, get ball of gold and mercury. Evaporate the mercury with a blowtorch, left with pure gold.
 

Old Faithful

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What about recovering the 35mg of gold deposited on each Kodak Gold CD? Could burning the plastic liberate the gold leaf deposit?
 

makwy2

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Great article. Informative although not terribly practical. Great job TH! I hope I can look forward to an article like this at least once every couple weeks!
 

jecastej

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Hey, nice experiment! It is like a Myth Busters special on Toms Hardware. And don't try this at home!!!
A ball of gold, I say Approved.
 

unwanted

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[citation][nom]anamaniac[/nom]318 tons of gold equates to $4,173,797,700.
4 trillion dollars in a single year, back in 2005.W[/citation]

4 BILLION not Trillion big difference.
 

blitzace

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lol yea I'm a pre-med student so I really had an appreciation for the science depth which this article contained. It combines my two favorite (tech and science lol) so this article was a win!

As MU_Engineer was saying though, these reactions can be very dangerous! Whenever we work in the lab, there are a number of precautions that need to be taken and he pretty much listed them all. First day of labs is always safety training so please take it seriously.

You guys may not realize this, but being preemptive is one of the safest things you can do. At most universities they won't even let you enter the lab or participate in experiments if your wearing shorts, sandals, long hair, etc. And a lot of times even that isn't enough! Fume hood's is a pretty big one as well as all the protective gear.

Most important safety feature is the eye and shower wash though. A lot of things can go wrong, but many are recoverable. Eye damage is rarely one of them though so please be careful :)
 

Gin Fushicho

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Yeah, I'd hurt my self doing this, unless I had LOTS of old computer parts, I wouldn't even bother, I'd want to be sure I'd get at least 30 grams of gold.
 

pasickshooter

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I have worked with several of the motherboards in that pile! Hehehe
The red MSI board that sticks out the bottom middle was the most recent one, and i still have it!
 

7amood

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am disappointed T_T, i thought that i'll buy the car of my dreams tomorrow.
never the less, interesting article, never thought i'd see it on toms.
EDIT: last pic shows a ruler with digital number, and for some reason that's funny ^_^ lol
 

spartanii

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[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]

Month after that weapons grade C4 from bleach
 

sviola

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[citation][nom]anamaniac[/nom]That was actually somewhat interesting.Though just for an idea on the scale of things...Gold was worth ~$450 per troy ounce in 2005.There are ~29,167 troy ounces per ton.318 tons of gold equates to $4,173,797,700.4 trillion dollars in a single year, back in 2005.With gold closing at $1185, and growth in the electronics industry, can you imagine what kind of numbers are involved in this year?[/citation]

Actually, that's 4 billion not trillion.
 

sviola

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[citation][nom]Userremoved[/nom]Wait was this done in France or something? All the stickers are in French.[/citation]

Yes. It says in the article: Source: Tom's Hardware FR
 
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This is the most interesting piece I've seen on Tom's Hardware in a long time. Great job.
 

onecallednick

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Shame on you for wasting what I presume to be perfectly good computer components on a frivolous experiment. A lot of people are still living without computers these days, and good nonprofits are out there taking donations and building great desktops for them. Those motherboards could have helped provide a disadvantaged person with their first computer.
 

Yannick_G_THFR

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[citation][nom]onecallednick[/nom]Shame on you for wasting what I presume to be perfectly good computer components on a frivolous experiment. A lot of people are still living without computers these days, and good nonprofits are out there taking donations and building great desktops for them. Those motherboards could have helped provide a disadvantaged person with their first computer.[/citation]

All the motherboards are KO...
 
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