How to Recover Gold From IC Chips

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Gold can be recovered from several types of IC chips.
Gold can be recovered from several types of IC chips. (Image: cpu 1 image by Robert Molnar from Fotolia.com)

Integrated circuit chips (IC chips) have small amounts of gold you can reclaim after the chip serves its purpose. Separating the gold from the chip is not an easy task. The corrosive chemicals used to recover the gold can cause serious health problems and injury if you do not handle them properly. If you use caution and good sense when working with them, however, you should be fine. With hard work, you may be able to collect a decent amount of gold.

Things You'll Need

  • Acid resistant gloves
  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Two 1.5 gallon ceramic buckets
  • One gallon of water
  • Circuit board stripping powder
  • One-foot long glass wand
  • Metal salad tongs
  • Metal coffee filter
  • Large ceramic plate
  • Metal tweezers
  • Glass jar

Don a pair of sturdy acid-resistant gloves, goggles and a face mask. Cover all the skin on your arms with a long-sleeved shirt. Take every precaution you can to protect your eyes, lungs and skin from the stripping chemicals.

Fill a 1.5 gallon ceramic bucket with one gallon of water and the manufacturer recommended amount of circuit board stripping powder. Submerge your circuit boards in the solution. Mix with a one-foot long glass wand and allow it to set for at least eight hours.

Lift the circuit boards from the solution using metal salad tongs. Remember to wear your gloves. Don’t touch the solution or reuse the tongs for food preparation. Shake the circuit boards over the ceramic container to remove any loose pieces of gold.

Place a metal coffee filter over a second 1.5 gallon ceramic dish. Slowly empty the contents of the first bucket into the second, allowing the liquid and gold to pass through the coffee filter. Lift the filter from the bucket once you finish.

Dump the contents of the coffee filter into a clean, white ceramic plate. Sift through the contents of the plate for gold scraps with the metal tweezers. Store the gold scraps in a clear glass jar so they remain safe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area for your safety.

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