Over the years I've accumulated a bunch of electronic surplus, much of it gold-plated (edge connectors, PC boards, etc).
I was wondering whether anyone has a simple process for using this scrap as the sacrifical electrode to perhaps "plate" all the gold onto another object, from which it may be easily scraped off and recovered? My only experience with similar processes is electrolytic de-rusting.
Is it possible to plate the gold without also transporting the base metal to the plated electrode?
Kind of. There's a guy who has come up with a new process. It doesn't actually plate the gold onto anything, but it does remove the gold and it precipitates out. It doesn't work on non-conductive substrates like PC board edge fingers, though.
You could actually de-plate the gold onto something like graphite, but it is very slow and you still get base metals.
a new forum discussing this. They've just moved the forum to new servers, and so I'm not sure where everything is now. You have to "join", but it will be WELL worth your while to do it. This is one of the best resources I've ever seen on the net!
I have been salvaging gold from connector edge fingers with a highly toxic solution sold for this purpose (cyanide). The company that makes it wants to do the recovery from solution for you, but you'd need a hazmat license to ship the stuff back to them, so I couldn't if I wanted to! I have been fooling around with this and have recovered about 3/4 Troy Oz of gold so far. I have no idea how much I may be losing in the process.
The process the above web forum describes looks very good, it is all done with drain cleaners and such from the hardware store, and the amount of gold these guys are getting out just about has me drooling! Just so you know which one I am talking about, I think it is "LazerSteve" has a process where he uses sulfuric drain cleaner plus glycerine to deplate the gold. Another guy figured out you could put a layer of the pins on a stainless steel screen and the pins would deplate just the same, with much less handling. He uses a lead anode on the bottom of the jar. When the solution is full of the "black" colloidal gold, he then dilutes the solution and filters out the gold with coffee filters. He then purifies the result with another process to remove the small amount of base metal.
I don't know why you are having the problem, but they just moved to a new server, maybe that has something to do with it. But, this is ONE site where I will stand up and say it REALLY IS worth it to try to register. If you can't, send them an email telling them you are having a problem. These guys are truly experienced in the gold reclaiming art, and are not selling anything. They have descriptions of a bunch of different techniques, info on how to build your own equipment, results of the different techniques and types of salvage material, it is really good.
Having worked as a refiner of precious metals for roughly 20 years, I am one of the contributors to that forum. The move to a new server occurred just yesterday (Thursday July 19th), and there are some issue yet to be resolved. Registration is one of them.
Let me assure you, the information you can access on that forum is outstanding. It is worth the effort to get signed up, so be patient and keep trying. There is enough information already posted that would allow a rank novice to refine gold, silver, platinum and palladium, assuming you are willing to follow instructions.
I believe this link will lead you to the new board:
Richard J. K> "LazerSteve" has a process where he uses sulfuric drain cleaner plus
"Right. All those centuries of purifying with cyanide was a waste. Stuff from Walmart will do it."
Centuries? Purifying with cyanide? Cites, please.
What reason do you have to doubt the claims of common household chemicals being used for gold extraction? What makes you think cyanide is used for gold purification? You couldn't be more misinformed if you tried, and that boggles the mind.
It may come as a surprise to you, but cyanide is not used in the refining process for gold. If you think it is, perhaps you can enlighten us as to how it is applied, so we, too, can know. I'm thinking you not only can't tell me, but don't have a clue why.
Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth closed and your eyes and ears open, and quit trying to be the leading authority on every damned subject there is. This is one of those times.
I'm well versed in the use of cyanide for extraction, and have used the process in an agitation tank to recover values from a high grade gold complex. The operation required the use of bromine, which allowed the cyanide to dissolve the values. From this process I recovered a mix of silver and gold.
While you are correct, extraction has nothing to do with refining. They are two distinctly different processes, which was the point I was, and still am, addressing. Kinch needs to learn to shut his mouth.
No, it's not a case of semantics. Not if you understand the chemistry of gold. Cyanide is unable to separate gold from silver, and can in no way be construed as a refining process. It is commonly used as an EXTRACTION process. They are not one and the same, not to those that are informed. You might say that a colt is a horse, but a horse isn't necessarily a colt.
By sharp contrast, because silver can not remain in solution in the presence of chlorine, the parting of silver and gold are easily accomplished in an acid environment.
I did some research into this years ago. Didnt like the cyanide process at all.
There was another system I saw that used sufuric acid in an electroplating process. You'd put the scrap on an aluminum screen and the process would depsit the gold dust in a small pile below the positive terminal. The thing ran off a 12 volt battery.
I got this out of a book at the library, so I have no idea where to find it on the net, but it IS possible.
Well, this sounds a lot like LazerSteve's process. He has a bunch of videos describing it, linked to from the GoldRefining forum. I haven't tried it yet, as this is a spare-time pursuit for me, and I haven't had any of that time lately. I have gotten a lot of help with other reclaiming processes (I have a lot of scrap PC board card edges that need a different process) on the group, and previously from Harold, who really knows what he is talking about. He has refined a veritable Fort Knox some years ago.
That's a patented process, and works very well. (Patent # 2,185,858). It can be used to strip various precious metals without removing base metals. Like cyanide, it does not refine, but is a wonderful reclamation tool.
It was originally intended to salvage parts that had defective plating, but were otherwise good. The federal government ran a gold reclamation operation in New Mexico during the 70's, at which time I visited their facility and witnessed their stripping cell, which I subsequently duplicated for a customer, with minor changes.