Tech

The Royal Mint of Great Britain is using “revolutionary” new technologies to extract gold from e-waste.

In a nutshell: The British Royal Mint, which produces coins, will soon recycle discarded phones and laptops to extract gold, silver and other precious metals from devices using a “revolutionary” world’s first technology.

The Royal Mint partnered with a Canadian startup Excir use extraction technology that is capable of recovering 99% of the metals contained in e-waste. It says chemistry selectively separates precious metals from printed circuit boards and recovers them in seconds. The gold can then be smelted into ingots and used to make Royal Mint items.

The Royal Mint plans to recover precious metals at room temperature at its core Wales facility, rather than stockpiling e-waste in landfills or sending it outside the UK for high-temperature processing in smelters. The initial use of the technology has already made it possible to obtain gold with a purity of 999.9. When fully scaled up, it can potentially also recover palladium, silver and copper.

Excir claims the process is “an extremely gentle and environmentally friendly solution that can be recycled with little environmental impact.” The company recently received about $ 4.3 million in financial support from a Canadian government green technology fund, The New York Times writes. Washington Post

Global E-Waste Monitor 2020 shows that consumers dumped 53.6 million tonnes of electronics globally in 2019, up 20% from five years ago and is estimated to reach 74 million tonnes by 2030. – The amount of waste generated in 2019 is approximately $ 57 billion, which exceeds the GDP of most countries in the world, and is currently recycled less than 20%.

Mint executive director Anne Jessopp said the new technology will help “have a real impact on solving one of the world’s greatest environmental problems.”

Companies like Apple and Samsung ship their new phones without chargers and earbuds to cut down on e-waste, although some are wondering why their phones haven’t dropped in price as a result.


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