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Materials

Experiment: Can You Mine Gold From Old Motherboards?
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...along with some equipment and chemicals.

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  • 32 Hide
    welshmousepk , August 4, 2010 6:50 AM
    excellent experiment. was very fun to read.

    what will you do with the ball of gold? would make a cool giveaway ;) 
  • 29 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 4, 2010 6:21 AM
    A very nice, off-the-track article!
  • 26 Hide
    cangelini , August 4, 2010 6:59 AM
    greghomeWhy is there not a Don't Try this at home quote?


    There is, right on the first page ;-)
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Fetal , August 4, 2010 6:14 AM
    Amazing. Nothing can replace gold of course. Good for us, giving advice not to do in your home or i was ready to do it.
  • 29 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 4, 2010 6:21 AM
    A very nice, off-the-track article!
  • 32 Hide
    welshmousepk , August 4, 2010 6:50 AM
    excellent experiment. was very fun to read.

    what will you do with the ball of gold? would make a cool giveaway ;) 
  • 26 Hide
    cangelini , August 4, 2010 6:59 AM
    greghomeWhy is there not a Don't Try this at home quote?


    There is, right on the first page ;-)
  • 14 Hide
    dragonfang18 , August 4, 2010 7:14 AM
    Soo... That pile of motherboards would make a nice gold tooth for someone...
  • 25 Hide
    victomofreality , August 4, 2010 7:16 AM
    Quote:
    But it’s still interesting and fun to know that it’s technically possible to recover gold from motherboards using a homemade process.


    Homemade process? where does someone find 95% concentrated sulfuric acid for home use? I've read cockroaches can swim in sulfuric acid and have always wanted to test that :p 
  • 2 Hide
    TheStealthyOne , August 4, 2010 7:49 AM
    That's so cool!
  • 10 Hide
    jimslaid2 , August 4, 2010 7:55 AM
    Now lets all send Tom's all of our old Motherboards and add in cards and see what we can come up with. I've got about a Dozen.
  • 7 Hide
    mortesv , August 4, 2010 8:04 AM
    Cool article! Can I buy the gold BB? I think I have 3 dollars stashed away somewhere... :) 
  • 6 Hide
    calmstateofmind , August 4, 2010 8:42 AM
    You could imprint the small amount of gold with a design and make a charm for a bracelet or something...if you had a nerdy girlfriend she'd love the idea!
  • 19 Hide
    pioykowsky , August 4, 2010 9:08 AM
    It could be even more interesting (and reasonable) to recover copper from old computer parts. Everyone tried? :) 
  • 1 Hide
    jsm6746 , August 4, 2010 9:09 AM
    this remind anyone else of making hash?
  • 22 Hide
    MU_Engineer , August 4, 2010 10:42 AM
    I have worked in a lab with dangerous chemicals, and this reaction certainly uses dangerous chemicals. You would need the following equipment to work safely with these chemicals:
    1. Fume hood (which the author obviously didn't use)
    2. Chemical gloves (which he did have)
    3. Chemical-resistant apron (which he didn't use)
    4. Full face shield (we didn't see his face)
    5. Closed-toe shoes or boots (we didn't see his feet)
    6. Emergency eye wash and emergency shower (we didn't see these)
    .
    So basically, it's a "don't try this at anything less than a university lab" type of procedure.
  • 3 Hide
    rohitbaran , August 4, 2010 10:50 AM
    That is some dangerous looking practical chemistry with a pretty lucrative result! :) 
  • 4 Hide
    shortbus25 , August 4, 2010 10:55 AM
    I have about 30 or 40 mobos and diff old circuit boards with gold on them what are the names of some of these companies that recycle these? Do they pay for them or is it donation only?
  • 4 Hide
    ethaniel , August 4, 2010 11:01 AM
    Make a pair of those, put them in a pair of earrings, and you could melt the heart of any geek girl out there. :D 
  • 2 Hide
    Reynod , August 4, 2010 11:09 AM
    MU made some good points about safety there but I will assume the THG team had all of the PPE.

    I would imagine the older mobos and peripherals would have had more gold deposited on contacts than newer ones.

    The price of gold was much lower in the past for a start.

    I am thinking those Russian X86 clone CPU's would have been a great source of gold, along with high end Mil Spec components.

    The inside of older Klystrons and other microwave devices would have also been a good source.

    Mil Spec Cannon connectors ... other avionics components and cabling.

    Great article Yannick.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , August 4, 2010 11:38 AM
    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?
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