Did you know the concentration of gold in a computer is more than the gold concentration in a gold mine?
Due to this, few people are always on the look out for garbage electronics and computers as these are practically, gold mines. You can extract the gold and make a good profit specially when you have a large amount of electronic components.
In 2020, over 1500 tonnes of Gold has been used in Electrical equipment including computers. When done in large scale with latest metal extraction equipments, there is a good profit margin in extracting and selling gold from Old Computers.
Table of contents:
- Use of Gold in Electronics and Computer
- Amount and Cost of Gold in Computers
- Concluding Note
In brief, a Computer has around 0.310 gram of Gold which is worth around $20. Gold is present in Microprocessor, Wire tip coating and other components in a Computer. Extracting gold for several computers together is cost productive.
Use of Gold in Electronics and Computer
Gold is an expensive metal and is stored by common people as an asset. In financial market, gold has proved to be a good and safe investment in the long run with constant growth.
Gold is a very good conductor of electricity and hence, it is used in electronics frequently in a wide range of ways. In Electronics, Gold is used in:
- electroplating chemicals
- gold bonding electrical wires
- hybrid inks and solders
- electroplated coating on connectors and contacts
- Gold as metal layers on semiconductors acting as conductor track and contact pad.
Despite the wide application of Gold, the use is limited because of its cost. In commercial products, most applications of gold are replaced by other alternatives but still some amount of gold is used in every electronics for good performance and reliability.
In Commercial Computers, Gold is mainly used as an electroplated coating on connectors and contacts.
Gold is used as an because of:
- excellent corrosion resistance
- high electrical conductivity
- Gold when alloyed with small amounts of nickel or cobalt, has good wear resistance
Only copper and silver has better electrical conductivity but lacks in wear and corrosion resistance. Hence, if gold is replaced in Computers, then the cost will go down further but the performance and durability will go down greatly.
Amount and Cost of Gold in Computers
Following components in a Computer have Gold which can be recycled:
- RAM memory
- any Printed Circuit Board
- fingers, connectors, pins like D Plug
Following is the image of Gold plated connector pins and D plug which are essential components of a Computer:
On average, 1000 kg of circuit board results in 1500 gm (1.5 kg) of Gold. This is 40 to 800 times more concentration compared to Gold Ore Mines.
Smelters are used to extract Gold and other metals from computers.
Circuits in modern CPUs and Laptops weigh around 100 gm so you can expect to extract 0.150 grams of Gold. Additionally, the wires and connector pins have gold which will amount to another 0.070 gram and another 0.090 grams for gold plated contacts.
So, on average, a Computer along with its accessories will have 0.310 grams of Gold.
On specific high performance processors/ computers like Intel 386 and 486, Pentum 4 CPU, AMD Ryzen CPUs, Intel 80286 microprocessor have higher Gold content. The total amount of Gold from a single computer can go upto 0.500 grams.
On older Computers from 1990s and Computers designed for Military purposes, the Gold content is highest ranging upto 1.000 gram. This is the reason why the demand of recycling old computers is high.
As of 2022, price of 1 gram of Gold in USA is $62. So, the Gold cost from a Computer and associated equipments will have a worth of $19.22 (~$20) to $31.
There are two rules:
- Never throw or give away your damaged Computer for free
- Never refuse to accept a free damaged computer
You can take the computer to a metal extraction company and extract the gold and other precious metals for it and potentially, sell it to make a profit.
If you want an easier route, then sell it to a garbage collector for a reasonable rate. You know how much gold is in the computer and hence, you can easily calculate the amount of profit you are leaving on the table.
A computer is an asset. You know it now with this article at OpenGenus.