How to Remove Gold from Electronic Circuit Contacts

Electronic circuits contain gold which can be removed, although it’s not advisable. Any old circuit board contains a little bit of gold, which can be removed by using nitric acid and a few other tools. However, there are other ways also through which you can extract the gold from these boards as well. It is said that the more number of e-waste you have, the higher are your chances of getting more and more gold. A single circuit board cannot get you much gold but, if you have number of circuit boards then your chances of getting gold increases. While extracting the gold the right tool must be used. The circuit should be removed carefully and placed in a clean place before extracting the gold.

The steps to be followed are as follows. The tools that are required to extract gold from electronic circuit boards are:

A glass beaker, steel tweezers, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, copper and steel plate and many other things. All the metals must be removed carefully from the board. The metals that are removed will have gold, silver and copper. The nitric acid and hydrochloric acid solution must be placed on the metal and then slowly you will find that each of the metal is coming out in the powder form. 

The accumulated gold and silver can be sold off at good price, although the amount may not be much if you’re starting with one or just a few boards. The fine brush must be used to remove the metals carefully. The same process must be repeated. You can collect circuit boards from your friends and relatives and also some of the spare shops who sell them at a low price, if you think they’re worth it. There is also Circuit board powder that is also available in the market that helps to complete this procedure easily.

The gold can be removed by using various acids and there are certain chemicals that also help to remove the metals. The board must be soaked in the solution for 6 to 7 hours and then the processing must be done. Once the metals are separated you must dry them and then use it for any purpose or sell them. The scraps should be OK to be thrown out.

While extracting the metals always wear rubber gloves so that none of the chemicals come in contact with your skin. If by chance irritation persists, clean it thoroughly with water. There are strips available in the market that helps in this process. Not only gold, but precious metals like platinum can also be easily extracted from some circuit boards. 

Be careful when using any types of chemicals to remove these metals. They can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Follow directions carefully and take your time so that you remove all of the metals correctly.


over 11 years ago

I was watching Gold Rush on the Discovery channel one night and saw that Cell Phones provide a little bit of gold as well. They said that all the gold in all the phones in the world would be worth billions of dollars. You would think that there would be a lot of companies trying to get people to send them their phones and electrical parts (with boards) so that they could recover that gold. I'm sure it has to be a pretty big business if you got enough of them.

Interesting post.w

over 10 years ago

This is fascinating!

I'd imagine that a professional facility would be able to extract more precious metals, and do so more safely and efficiently, than would be possible at home. I was big into chemistry as a kid, but I was cautious about working with the more caustic acids, as they can be quite dangerous. Nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are unpleasant even to breathe vapors of!

I also recall reading that the amount of precious metals in circuit boards is vastly different based on the age of the board, and that it's less on newer boards, especially on low-cost items, because the technologies have developed so as to minimize the metal.

Do you know if there are any services that pay for old circuit boards, on the basis of making money from recycling the metals and other materials in them? I know that electronic recycling is a huge business but I don't know if it has enough of a payoff that you can actually sell your old boards.

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