The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom will soon begin turning e-waste into gold, in the hopes of reducing the environmental impact of these metals. The new recycling operation in South Wales is the world’s first of its sort, turning old laptops and cell phones destined for the landfill into gold.
This is in preparation for the annual production of hundreds of pounds of gold, which will be used to manufacture coins and other items. According to experts, the globe produces 50 million tonnes of electronic trash each year, but only 20% of it is recycled, with more than 300,000 tonnes of power wasted each year in the United Kingdom alone.
Electronic garbage is being recycled by melting it at high temperatures. The new factory, which will be operational by next year, will be based on a chemical method created by Excir, a Canadian technology company, and will be capable of recovering nearly all of the gold in electronic waste. In fact, utilizing the printed circuit boards from electrical devices, scientists can make gold liquid in a matter of seconds. It is eventually transformed into solid gold in furnaces that reach temperatures of over a thousand degrees.