Create Your Own Industrial Contamination
March 16, 2004 8:16 AM   Subscribe

There's Gold in Them Thar PCs. If you're worried about the growing problem of e-waste, if you don't want to ship your toxins overseas, you now have another option. You can recover heavy metals (precious and otherwise) in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Just make sure you leave a window open so you have some fresh air.
posted by alms (8 comments total)
Given the shown use of a strong blowtorch, as well as the (explained) production of nitric acid and aqua regia, I'd say this is definitely not something you'd want to do in the privacy and comfort of your own home!
posted by clevershark at 8:42 AM on March 16, 2004

This is insane for about a half dozen different reasons.

People do the darndest things. I could make money about 10 times faster collecting scrap aluminum or - if I were lucky enough to live in a state with a bottle and can deposit law, about 20 times faster collecting beer cans and bottles.

It must be about the challenge...or it's actually a cover for...errr...other activities
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 AM on March 16, 2004

So you buy a used computer. Buy necessary capital to extract gold. Spend considerable amount of time extracting. Then you have to cleanup the hazardous waste. There i would say anything less then 1/2 oz of gold per PC is worthless. But that's just a guess.
posted by geoff. at 9:42 AM on March 16, 2004

Oh and isn't the whole big thing with aqua regia that it dissolves gold? Your byproduct would dissolve your product, no? Argh now I have to buy the CD to find out.
posted by geoff. at 9:44 AM on March 16, 2004

Most people that'd do this to make money would neglect the hazardous waste disposal. That's what the shower drain, toilet, storm sewer is for, isn't it?
posted by substrate at 11:38 AM on March 16, 2004

If you're worried about the growing problem of e-waste

Last Call for Unwanted cell phones, Waste in the Wireless World: The Challenge of Cell Phones, Findings and Recommendations (pdf)
posted by eddydamascene at 12:00 PM on March 16, 2004

Just don't ever tell your bank, insurance company, or any government employee that your doing this. If you plan on ever being able to sell you home, that is.
posted by bonehead at 5:15 PM on March 16, 2004

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