May 21, 2024, 02:48:15 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: Gold Electrolysis!  (Read 8488 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gmandoit

  • Very New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Gold Electrolysis!
« on: July 27, 2012, 06:00:18 PM »
So recently I Came to realize motherboards contain gold so I decided to see what would happen if I wrapped a couple in aluminum foil clipped the positive on them and left the water as the anode with the negative jumper clamp holding a piece of gold I added a bit of hydrochloric acid to help the water threw in my hydrogen fuel cell in the mix to produce hydrogen left it over night in a ice cooler and in the morning I disconnected it and let it settle and half of It was clear water and the other half a gold powder in the bottom with ing pieces of aluminum becAuse of the HCL I collected it by sucking it up and filtering it then dried it with a hair dryer l. Then I threw it in some hydrochloric acid to see what color the acid would turn and it turned yellow what does this mean. And If it's gold how could I precipitate it from the HCL?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 06:14:06 PM by Gmandoit »

Offline aliphatic

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Mole Snacks: +4/-2
Re: Gold Electrolysis!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 09:40:36 PM »
I think your electrolysis technique is a bit flawed.  Why would you wrap the boards with aluminum foil? That will just get eaten by the HCl. Motherboards also contain alot more than just gold, (lead, ruthenium, platinum, copper, zinc, palladium, tin, etc) all of which will readily dissolve in HCl, and the amount of gold in each board is negligible- you probably paid more for the quantity of HCl.
I take it you are trying out the Wholwill process of purification? It only works if Gold is the only soluable metal salt in the mix.  Ideally, your gold should be deposited directly on the cathode, and shouldn't not precipitate out. The money bet is on the yellow precipitate being a mix of Aluminum Chloride and Iron Chloride and God-knows-what-else Chloride you pulled off that board.
There are a few guides online as to how to extract metals from boards that are easier and cheaper. Here's one that shows what components contain what metals, so you can take out just what you need and not bother with 95% useless bulk.
 http://www.goldnscrap.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49:recovering-gold-and-precious-metals-from-circuit-boards&catid=34:scrap-circuit-boards&Itemid=27
Good luck and have fun!
Gentleman, Scholar, Judge of Fine Whiskey.

Offline vmelkon

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 474
  • Mole Snacks: +28/-10
  • Gender: Male
Re: Gold Electrolysis!
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 10:38:16 PM »
Here is a good one
http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/550-gold-motherboard-chemistry.html

You need H2SO4. He used 95% conc but lower will work as well.
50 motherboards and some tools.
HCl 35%.
NaClO 5%.
sodium metabisulfite. Na2S2O5. I guess you need to order this.

I think he obtained 80.8 mg of gold. Gold is @ 55$/g these days.
Value = 4.44$ of gold.

Offline aliphatic

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Mole Snacks: +4/-2
Re: Gold Electrolysis!
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 11:09:27 PM »
I was doing a little looking around this morning while having breakfast and found claims that the break-even point in motherboard metal reclamation is somewhere around one and a half tonnes of PC board. Not sure if this is metric or imperial tonnage. Still a neat process, should be a fun afternoon.
Gentleman, Scholar, Judge of Fine Whiskey.

Offline vmelkon

  • Chemist
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 474
  • Mole Snacks: +28/-10
  • Gender: Male
Re: Gold Electrolysis!
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 12:17:57 PM »
I imagine that the big companies just put the motherboards in a giant blender and then the pieces go into acid or something. It would be fun to work there.

Sponsored Links