Mining Motherboards

Panning for gold in Rocky Mountain streams is so 19th century. If you want to prospect for gold the 21st century way, look no further than your nearest computer castoffs. The computer industry uses hundreds of tons of gold every year, making the most of the element's exceptional thermal and electrical properties--not to mention its resistance to oxidation--to do, I dunno, important stuff with our computers. Of course, it's only used in the most minute amounts, sprinkled like fairy dust in processors, motherboards, extension cards, memory DIMMs, etc. The new millenium miners over at Tom's Hardware wanted to see how much gold they could extract from a stack of old motherboards, walking readers through the process in 18 steps, including electrolysis and some redox chemistry that generates chlorine gas. Don't try this at home, please. Ultimately they extract tiny golden bb from many, many motherboards. In totally unrelated news, it looks like Paul is back.

Author: Bethany Halford

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  1. My business is favoring the use of gold and precious metal mining by way of a environmentally friendly process. Without gold mining everybody is definitely much different.