First time refining gold from scrap

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cosmicshock

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Hi I recently discovered refining gold and other metals from electronic scrap and I am pretty enthused about it. I acquired some scrap the past two-three weeks and am setting up for my first gold recovery:

Acquired scrap consists:
17 K6
29 Athlon (17 ceramic, 9 brown board, 3 green board)
1 lb. full ram sticks
10 lb very high grade, vintage looking board, already trim and without other components, covered in gold

Materials acquired thus far:
500ml 70% Nitric
1 pound urea
1 pound sodium metabisulfite
ceramic melt dishes

Pending materials:
1 gal. muriatic acid from the local hardware store
some sort of buckets
torch(es)
safety equipment
filter

Draft procedure:
de-lid the k6, crush
crush the athlon
trim fingers and remove memory chips off the ram, crush the memory chips
shred the 10lbs of board
put the results into a bucket
add 1:3 nitric to HCL
wait
filter out solution to another bucket
check for remaining gold, might aqua regia the scrap again, filter, etc.
neutralize with urea
precipitate with sodium metabisulfate
pour off
dry the precipitant
melt

_________

Obviously a rudimentary procedure, I might use a sulfuric method in the future since I sourced a 55 gal barrel for $180. I found nitric 2.5L for $65 or $70 though I overpaid for the nitric I got for this refinement 2x. I read technical grade nitric is pretty cheap so who knows but $3.27 gal for sulfuric seems reasonable. I'll continue to read and read the materials on this site and on scribd, etc. but I am planning on refining next week or so so it would be good to get some potential veteran input.

cosmicshock
 

FrugalRefiner

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cosmicshock said:
Draft procedure:
de-lid the k6, crush
crush the athlon
trim fingers and remove memory chips off the ram, crush the memory chips
shred the 10lbs of board
put the results into a bucket
add 1:3 nitric to HCL
wait
filter out solution to another bucket
check for remaining gold, might aqua regia the scrap again, filter, etc.
neutralize with urea
precipitate with sodium metabisulfate
pour off
dry the precipitant
melt
Terrible idea. Keep different types of scrap separate. They need different processes.

Urea is for your garden. Don't use it in refining. Sodium metabisulfate will not precipitate any gold.

When do you test? How are you going to deal with all the fumes? How are you going to deNOx after overusing nitric acid? How are you going to treat and dispose of your waste?

Obviously a rudimentary procedure, I might use a sulfuric method in the future since I sourced a 55 gal barrel for $180. I found nitric 2.5L for $65 or $70 though I overpaid for the nitric I got for this refinement 2x. I read technical grade nitric is pretty cheap so who knows but $3.27 gal for sulfuric seems reasonable. I'll continue to read and read the materials on this site and on scribd, etc. but I am planning on refining next week or so so it would be good to get some potential veteran input.
You bought 55 gallons of sulfuric acid?

I think planning to refine in a week or so would be a huge mistake. You will lose some of your gold and could poison yourself and others.

Dave
 

cosmicshock

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About what I expected.

I haven't bought the sulfuric yet, just found a solid source for that amount and price.

Urea is for your garden. Don't use it in refining.
What's the difference between https://www.ishor.com/aqua-regia-precipitating-pure-gold and your information?

Sodium metabisulfate will not precipitate any gold.
https://www.goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=8219

When do you test?
Stannous Chloride test after filtration to test for other metals such as copper.

How are you going to deNOx after overusing nitric acid?
I am assuming that you mean during the reaction. Diluting the nitric with an appropriate amount of HCL if still in reaction. And am I overusing nitric?

How are you going to treat and dispose of your waste?
Baking soda in a seal-able container to neutralize the acid.

Keep different types of scrap separate. They need different processes.
The ram memory I might keep separate. What's the differentiation point besides the metals in the scrap? The board doesn't really have much different on it than ram fingers. Do I want to separate ceramic cpu and ram fingers? Mind expanding?

cosmicshock
 

FrugalRefiner

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cosmicshock said:
Urea is for your garden. Don't use it in refining.
What's the difference between https://www.ishor.com/aqua-regia-precipitating-pure-gold and your information?
Ishor is not a good source of information. They sell common chemicals under their own magical names like "Storm" at inflated prices. Get your information here.

Sodium metabisulfate will not precipitate any gold.
https://www.goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=8219
If you'll look again, the link you provided refers to sodium metabisulfite, not sodium metabisulfate. Both chemicals exist and are readily available. One works, the other doesn't.

When do you test?
Stannous Chloride test after filtration to test for other metals such as copper.
You test with stannous chloride to detect the presence of gold, not base metals like copper.

How are you going to deNOx after overusing nitric acid?
I am assuming that you mean during the reaction. Diluting the nitric with an appropriate amount of HCL if still in reaction. And am I overusing nitric?
You DeNOx your solution after the digestion is complete. Don't premix AR. Use sufficient HCl, then add nitric incrementally, and only as much as is needed.

How are you going to treat and dispose of your waste?
Baking soda in a seal-able container to neutralize the acid.
Baking soda is a weak base. You'll need massive amounts. Then what do you do with all that waste? You can't just toss it in the garbage. A plan for proper waste treatment is critical before you start anything.

Keep different types of scrap separate. They need different processes.
The ram memory I might keep separate. What's the differentiation point besides the metals in the scrap? The board doesn't really have much different on it than ram fingers. Do I want to separate ceramic cpu and ram fingers? Mind expanding?
If you take the time to study, you'll begin to understand. This isn't a quick hobby to learn. Spend a year or two studying, and you might be ready.

Dave
 

cosmicshock

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Ishor is not a good source of information. They sell common chemicals under their own magical names like "Storm" at inflated prices. Get your information here.
What do you suggest instead in this circumstance?

If you'll look again, the link you provided refers to sodium metabisulfite, not sodium metabisulfate. Both chemicals exist and are readily available. One works, the other doesn't.

My original post quoted metabisulfite in the materials section and metabisulfate in the procedure. I did indeed buy metabisulfite

You test with stannous chloride to detect the presence of gold, not base metals like copper.
Stannous chloride test will return a change in color of the solution depending on the metals present. I had remembered something about copper on this website, etc. Gold will turn the solution purple.

You DeNOx your solution after the digestion is complete.
https://goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=4059

I believe I put urea in the procedure in a generally correct spot, albeit without the DeNOx terminology

Baking soda is a weak base. You'll need massive amounts.
Suggestions?

If you take the time to study, you'll begin to understand. This isn't a quick hobby to learn. Spend a year or two studying, and you might be ready.

As dangerous as it is, I don't have a year or two to study. I need the money. I'm taking a calculated risk. I am going to attempt this process in the next week or two. I've worked with acids in chem lab in college although I don't consider that sufficient expertise, just enough experience to respect the materials. Obviously not the recommended on-ramp to the hobby nor necessarily the spirit I am sure this forum seeks to maintain. Handling things properly should always be the first priority and not necessarily monetary incentive. Though it's no recommendation to you, I am aware of the risk and considering the materials I would be refining are well known for their contents, I have sufficient confidence to attempt the process. That being said, it would be good to get some potential input from the vets on what I ought to do in this particular case considering the materials involved and my limited budget so I don't harm myself or someone else.

Cosmicshock
 

cosmicshock

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Conservative estimate 20g.

5g for the cpus, 15g for the pcb since they might yield even more than the same weight in fingers.
 

jadedalex

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Cosmic,
You want to put all the components in one bucket then add Nitric. One thing that I learned from Harold, Garbage in, Garbage out. You are just making your life harder. Refining is about separation. Whether your seperating metals or long-chain Alkyds, the whole point is Purification. The cleaner your crucible charge the less additives you need to get a pure product...
 

niks neims

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Suggestions?
I need the money.
Sell the scrap (& acids) as is, 100% you'll make more money than doing whatever it is you are trying to do...

This ain't cheap (or fast, or easy) hobby to learn...

Or study forum and Hokes book until your early posts bring a smile to your face.

Or proceed as you would , make a mess, and learn something the hard way - just don't kill yourself or anyone near you...

You do know that a good whiff of nox fumes will mess up your lungs. Permanently...
 
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Alabama938

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Messages
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Aqua regia to dissolve e scrap right off the bat makes this gross black solution, gold try’s to cement out on anything not dissolved, which is hard to tell because the solution is so black and dirty. Adding nitric to fresh escrap makes a mess if there’s tin present🤮 Acid peroxide leach is the way to go, you can start a bucket bubbling and now you have two weeks to plan next step. If your trying to hurry you can it hot, but you’ll need stannous to ensure gold doesn’t dissolve. Hard to scale up to profitable I imagine. Sure is fun though
 

au-artifax

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Terrible idea. Keep different types of scrap separate. They need different processes.

Urea is for your garden. Don't use it in refining. Sodium metabisulfate will not precipitate any gold.

When do you test? How are you going to deal with all the fumes? How are you going to deNOx after overusing nitric acid? How are you going to treat and dispose of your waste?


You bought 55 gallons of sulfuric acid?

I think planning to refine in a week or so would be a huge mistake. You will lose some of your gold and could poison yourself and others.

Dave
WHAT?!?!?! Urea has no use in gold refining? Sodium metabisulfate won't precipitate gold? WTH DUDE!!!! Here is a little clarification. We are confusing SMB with SMBS (sulfate vs sulfite). In the presence of HCl the metabisulfate produces SO2 gas, which precipitates gold because of its affinity to gold atoms. In the presence of HCl the metabisulfITE becomes H2SO4 and NaCl... and there is no free SO gases to bond with the gold.
I would estimate there is about a 50% confusion level online when you research gold precipitation techniques... half say sulfate, half say sulfite. If you are purchasing the chemical, it should be metabisulFATE, the other is used to treat waste water and as a reactant/modifier in some plating operations.. like in chrome plating.
 
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Martijn

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I have Na2S2O5. (6 years past its expiration date)
Then why does this work to precipitate all the gold from solution, given your explanation? IMG_20211101_152642.jpg
 

MicheleM

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I think that Na_2 S_2 O_5 (aq) + 2 HCl (aq) give 2 SO_2 + 2NaCl + H_2 O ,am I wrong? I know sodium sulfate is Na_2SO_4 , but I never heard of metabisulfate
 
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FrugalRefiner

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WHAT?!?!?! Urea has no use in gold refining? Sodium metabisulfate won't precipitate gold? WTH DUDE!!!! Here is a little clarification. We are confusing SMB with SMBS (sulfate vs sulfite). In the presence of HCl the metabisulfate produces SO2 gas, which precipitates gold because of its affinity to gold atoms. In the presence of HCl the metabisulfITE becomes H2SO4 and NaCl... and there is no free SO gases to bond with the gold.
I would estimate there is about a 50% confusion level online when you research gold precipitation techniques... half say sulfate, half say sulfite. If you are purchasing the chemical, it should be metabisulFATE, the other is used to treat waste water and as a reactant/modifier in some plating operations.. like in chrome plating.
au-artifax, you've got it backwards. Sodium metabisulfite (SMB) is what we use to precipitate our gold. Sodium metabisulfate does not.

Dave
 

pawnshop

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Ishor is not a good source of information. They sell common chemicals under their own magical names like "Storm" at inflated prices. Get your information here.
I agree 100%. I started with the ishor system and the NOX fumes like to kill me. Look up Sretips on Youtube. He has videos that cover almost every type of DYI refining.
 

Marcel

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I would try to evaluate the value of the CPUs and the RAM first. Many of these items sell for far more than their value in precious metals.
You only aim for the Gold, maybe the Silver and once you are through, you come back to the forums to ask how to separate the Palladium from the rest.. But there are even more precious metals (and expensive base metals like Indium) in this mix, which will go down the drain, because it is difficult to recover them without experience and the right equipment.
Better try to sell them in an auction or to a recycling company for the best possible price. I am quite certain, that will max your profit and eliminate a chemical adventure with unforseeable result.
 

GoIdman

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Hi I recently discovered refining gold and other metals from electronic scrap and I am pretty enthused about it. I acquired some scrap the past two-three weeks and am setting up for my first gold recovery:

Acquired scrap consists:
17 K6
29 Athlon (17 ceramic, 9 brown board, 3 green board)
1 lb. full ram sticks
10 lb very high grade, vintage looking board, already trim and without other components, covered in gold

Materials acquired thus far:
500ml 70% Nitric
1 pound urea
1 pound sodium metabisulfite
ceramic melt dishes

Pending materials:
1 gal. muriatic acid from the local hardware store
some sort of buckets
torch(es)
safety equipment
filter

Draft procedure:
de-lid the k6, crush
crush the athlon
trim fingers and remove memory chips off the ram, crush the memory chips
shred the 10lbs of board
put the results into a bucket
add 1:3 nitric to HCL
wait
filter out solution to another bucket
check for remaining gold, might aqua regia the scrap again, filter, etc.
neutralize with urea
precipitate with sodium metabisulfate
pour off
dry the precipitant
melt

_________

Obviously a rudimentary procedure, I might use a sulfuric method in the future since I sourced a 55 gal barrel for $180. I found nitric 2.5L for $65 or $70 though I overpaid for the nitric I got for this refinement 2x. I read technical grade nitric is pretty cheap so who knows but $3.27 gal for sulfuric seems reasonable. I'll continue to read and read the materials on this site and on scribd, etc. but I am planning on refining next week or so so it would be good to get some potential veteran input.

cosmicshock
Uhh man, you attempt to do something very dangerous. This aint fast money or a cheap hobby. If you need the money fast, take the advice of selling your scrap for as much as you can. If you do a mistake, you`ll end up without the precious metals and money spent on other materials used in the refining process. Don`t fall for youtube videos, seeing how easy some people recover PM`s, those people probably doing it for years.
Listen to Dave, he knows what he is talking about.
Sometimes it is just easier to sell stuff than process it.
Btw. where/how do you plan to sell your recovered gold button to earn the reward?

Pete
 

JDT

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Sep 7, 2012
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You are trying to learn with to big and messy groups of materials. You will never get what you paid back from that lot.

But a small 10k or 14k ring and learn the process with it, much easier that way. Continue to learn.

Then try a small ewaste batch to notice the process and incredibly small yields. Finally, and only after you've learned from those processes, make a choice what you want to do next.

That material will sell for more as it sits now, then it will after you process it. Plus you'll have zero operating cost and won't lose a lung lobe like I did at 38years old.
 

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