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In Pictures: Tom's Hardware Recovers Gold And Silver From CPUs

Gold Powder!

The sodium bisulfite is what will allow the gold to precipitate.

3 NaHSO3 + 2 AuCl3 + 3 H2O -> 3 NaHSO4 + 6 HCl + 2 Au

Now we need to recover the powder by filtering the solution, then allow it to dry.

Let It Dry

It still doesn’t look like gold, and yet…

Melting The Gold Powder

After drying the gold powder, we need to melt it in a crucible. Our oxy-butane torch can do the job, since the melting point of gold is around 1064°C.

A Golden BB

The result is a pretty gold BB! As with the silver, our homemade process can’t extract perfectly pure gold, which is one reason why industrial operations use other, more dangerous processes. But that’s another story...

  • The Greater Good
    A lot of work for that little BB.
    Reply
  • jprahman
    It's kind of sad to see these processors get destroyed, I mean some of those are classics that would be cool to have as a keepsake.
    Reply
  • gmcizzle
    And here I thought high school chemistry was useless. Don't try this at home though...well unless you want to see how fast chlorine gas kills everything around you.
    Reply
  • alhanelem
    i have an old pentium MMX on display (in my room on a shelf where all my unused computer hardware goes)
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    Woah! Better keep those AMD CPU's- those are ancient relics of when AMD used to actively compete with Intel!
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    I love these articles!
    Reply
  • slicedtoad
    huh, didnt know gold could become a compound.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    very nice article.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    High School Chemistry FTW!
    Reply
  • frostmachine
    Simple electrolysis can get it to even higher purity. 999 might be difficult but 916 n above should be easy. Good enough for a ring/pendant. Heck, with enough CPU u can even engraved "Intel Inside" :D
    Reply