Old computers and office equipment are worth mere pennies on the second-hand market because they are not fit for purpose. European governments countries are developing a bill that would require device manufacturers to deal with the subsequent disposal of devices, since such equipment contains a lot of chemical elements that have a negative impact on the environment. However, there are also precious metalsincluding gold. It is quite realistic to mine it. How much gold in the computer, and how do I get it out of there?
Where do precious metals come from in office equipment. Reasons for using gold in microchips. Gold-bearing computer equipment of the 1990s
Precious metals are not susceptible to corrosion and do not oxidize in contact with other metals. But this is not the only reason they are used. This metal has an extremely low electrical resistance, so it does not have any effect on the signal transmitted through the contacts of the microprocessor (the formation of "noise" is excluded). In addition, this metal has a high coefficient of heat dissipation, which prevents the overheating of components of office equipment. That is why gold is used precisely on contacts (gilding).
Gold computer parts
This metal is found in the following computer components:
- HDD (hard disk drives);
- pins of microchips (north bridge, south bridge, multicontrollers).
Gold in the motherboard is contained on the PCI pins, RAM slots, as well as the needle pins (to which the front USB, audio outputs are connected). It is also found on the pins inside the power supply.
How much gold is in the processor, are there differences in models? A typical "home" system unit with a Pentium Celeron series processor on the 775 socket (and all others released after 2010) contains up to 20 - 30 mg of gold in total. Obsolete PCs contain more. The reason is banal - sputtering technology precious metal Ten years ago was different, its consumption for gilding contacts by manufacturers was more. Many computers produced before the 2000s contained up to 1.5 grams of the precious metal on the components total! It really can be obtained by household means.
Servers contain even more precious metal - up to 50-60 mg. But it is difficult (and unprofitable) to buy such equipment on the secondary market.
Is there a lot of gold in a laptop
In laptops Au is also present. Modern models, where BGA soldering is used for all chips, contain a minuscule amount of it. So small that it is not even profitable to mine it (reagents costs are higher). This also applies to smartphones and tablets. The scheme of their internal structure is similar. They can be disassembled, extracting all the parts from gold-plated contacts.
Older models of laptops, where the processor was installed on the PGA-socket, there is more precious metal (comparable with the amount that corresponds to the "home" PC).
Gold content in processors: table
How much gold is in a processor? Miners know that the older the model, the higher the content precious metals.
|Au content (in grams)
|AMD K7 Athlon
|IntelPentium II, Pentium III
|IntelPentium MMX (in plastic case)
|AMD 80286 (in ceramic case)
|Intel 486 SX
|AMD K6, K6-2, K6-III
|Pentium MMX (in ceramic package)
|AMD 386 DX
|Intel 386 DX
|Intel 486 DX4
|PentiumPro (in plastic case)
Article in the legislation on the illegal trafficking of precious metals and the instruction on the procedure for disposal of computers. Requirements for disposal of computer equipment and reporting to the state for legal entities
Retrieved from and subsequent sale of precious metals from old computer equipment is a criminal offense. It is regulated by the provisions of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of the RF.
For this reason, it is forbidden for legal entities to dispose of computer equipment. Only specialized accredited companies can do this (approved by Government Decree No. 340).
Techniques for extracting gold from a computer
There are several techniques for extracting the precious metal from computer equipment and office equipment components. All techniques involve the use of chemical reagents.
Etching. Josehf Murchison's Guide to Removing Gold from Office Equipment
Josehf Murchison is an engineer and chemist who was one of the first to come up with the "domestic" option of etching Au from machinery. He shared this instruction on the forum. It is performed as follows:
- The necessary materials for gold extraction. We will need a solution of hydrochloric acid, methyl alcohol, sodium salt of boric acid. From the equipment - a torch, which can be used to melt the metal and get a single ingot.
- Remove the boards from the gold-containing electronics. Anything with a gold color can be taken. The parts have to be crushed (printed circuit boards can easily be broken apart by hand).
- Place in a solution of hydrochloric acid for one week. It is recommended to stir the contents every day. The gold there will gradually flake off. This can be noticed by the formation of dark "flakes".
- We pass the peeled off pieces through an ordinary coffee filter. It is not recommended to use gauze. You can replace it with a fiber filter for a vacuum cleaner (do not use HEPA or paper filters).
- We treat with methyl alcohol. Methanol is toxic, so be sure to protect your respiratory system while working.
- Add the sodium salt of boric acid to reduce the melting point of the gold. You can just sprinkle it on the resulting Sludge. Otherwise, you have to heat the metal to the melting point up to 1064 degrees.
- We melt it on the burner in the gold bar and cool it down.
Afinage. The method of obtaining gold using royal vodka
Mining Au this method involves using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. The proportion for mixing: 3 to 1, the output is that "royal vodka". It is recommended to use aluminum or enamelware for work.
The refining process will go faster if the solution is heated to about 60 degrees. And be sure to do all this outdoors, as the mixture of these acids has a very pungent, unpleasant odor.
After the precious metal has dissolved, iron sulfate or hydrazine is added. Then the solution is left for several days, stirring occasionally. Grains of the precious metal will fall to the bottom. It remains to filter them, rinse with water and fuse.
Safety rules for working with acids
All work with acids must be done outdoors (if indoors, be sure to have a forced air recuperation system). It is also necessary to use personal protective equipment (respirator, mask, gloves).
Reagents cannot be reused! The hydrochloric acid and nitric acid must be mixed immediately before refining.
Mass and consistency as the key to profitability in mining gold from computers. What is the profitability of the computer rush?
Modern computers contain very little Au. Therefore, if there is only one system unit, there is no point in extracting precious metal from it. Income can be obtained when there are at least 10 PCs for disassembly. But do not forget that gold can be extracted even from keyboards, "mice", printers, old TVs, tape recorders and so on. Each such device contains several microchips with gold-plated contacts.
If you believe the reviews of experts, one computer manufactured in 2000-2005 contains about 1,500 to 2,000 rubles worth of precious metal. Modern ones will allow you to earn only 100 to 150 rubles. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on obsolete equipment.
Video: gold in the computer and its extraction for income
Question and answer section
How much gold does an Intel processor contain?
How much gold does a motherboard contain?
How much gold does the notebook contain?
Where is the gold in the computer mouse?
It is contained on the pins of the built-in microchip that processes incoming commands, which is located inside the case. It is also found gilding on the USB connector.
So, mine for precious metals from computer equipment is profitable, but only if you can get a lot of scrap (processors, chips, contact pads). This is why system administrators, as well as service center engineers who work directly with this equipment, get involved in this kind of business.