Recovering scrap gold from electronics requires the removal of gold-plated components that are then stripped using a chemical solution. Industrial processes typically shred and granulate electronic components in bulk before heat-treating them to recover precious metals like gold. Gold-plated electronic components are widely used in the manufacturing of CPUs, RAM chips and cellular phones.
A copper chloride etching process is one way to recover scrap gold from electronic devices and components. In this process, components are placed in a plastic strainer inside a plastic pot fitted with a small air pump. Components are then covered with hydrochloric acid and a copper chloride solution. This process may require between 24 hours and a week. Washing and drying components thoroughly is accomplished after removal from the chemical solution.
Components are then heated in a solution of hydrochloric acid and water that dissolves the gold. The dissolution process typically takes no more than 30 minutes. Once the solution cools down to room temperature it is filtered into a clean receptacle for precipitation. Another option is to remove and forward gold connecting pins and other components to a specialty metal smelter or refiner. These services complete the recovery process and pay a return based on the volume of gold recovered.