Canada scientists have discovered a new way to turn electronic waste into precious gold metal. If this approach further succeeds, then it can revolutionize the e-waste recycling industry as it can prove as a veritable gold mine.
The researchers have found a simple, cheap and environmental friendly benign solution that can extract gold in seconds and can be recycled and reused. The way it ‘s working on a present note can change the gold industry in future.
It is a known fact that Gold is one of the least reactive chemical elements, making it difficult to dissolve. So, the common practice of mining gold creates environmental issues because it requires large amounts of sodium cyanide.
But scientists from University of Saskatchewan Canada have found a way to extract gold from electronic scraps like computer chips and circuits which otherwise land up in landfills and water bodies when their reuse is not possible.
The researchers at the university have discovered a process to use the solution-acetic acid combined with very small amounts of oxidant and another acid( kept secret)- that extracts gold in an efficient and effective way without the environment concerns of current industry practices. In this practice, the gold extraction is done under mild conditions, while the solution dissolves gold at the fastest rate ever recorded. The best part of all this process is that gold is stripped out of the circuit in about 10 seconds, leaving other metals intact.
The researchers have said that previously over 5,000 liters of Aqua Regia ( a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid) was used to extract one kilogram of gold from circuit boards, none of which can be recycled. But now with the new solution over one kilogram of gold can be extracted using just 100 liters of solution, all of which can be recycled over again. So, the overall cost of this solution is only 50 cents a liter.
The next step is to develop this research to such an extent that it serves large scale gold extraction.
More details are awaited!