North America – A research team at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan has found ‘a simple, cheap and environmentally benign solution’ for extracting gold in seconds. ‘This could change the gold industry,’ declares Professor Stephen Foley.
The new process uses acids combined with very small amounts of an oxidant that extracts gold efficiently and effectively. Not only is gold extraction achieved under ‘mild’ conditions but also the solution is said to dissolve the metal at the fastest rate ever recorded. ‘Gold is stripped out from circuits in about 10 seconds, leaving the other metals intact,’ Foley explains.
The technique would require 5000 litres of aqua regia to extract 1 kg of gold from printed circuit boards. This way, 1 kg of gold can be extracted using only 100 litres of solution – and this ‘revolutionary’ solution costs only 50 cents a litre, it is pointed out.
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