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Gold From Electronic Waste

Gold From Electronic Waste

In a major breakthrough by researchers at IIT Delhi, a project was successfully tested in lab conditions and is now being validated for techno-economical feasibility to extract gold and other precious metals from electronic waste.

The ministry of science and technology funded this project under Make in India Initiative. It is learnt that the technology that is used to extract the high-value metals is also going for exclusive patent rights. Scientists are anticipating that by 2018-19 this technology can be available for industrial production.

Researchers used clinical chelation technology and green chemical technology which are cost effective and environment-friendly. Another research project which is still under lab-testing by Vellore Institute of Technology used Cyanobacteria to extract the metals.

Interestingly, electronic waste contains 20 to 250 times more gold than in its ore. If this gold can be extracted in a cost effective manner, probably India may need not import gold at all, according to scientists

Scientist Krishnakanth Pulicheria told that if this project gets through the economic feasibility test, it can change the entire Scenario of Indian economy. If the entire e-waste in the country can be processed, may be India not have to import gold or at least can stop gold mining which is a very tedious process.