Modern technologies of recycling precious metals
26 October 2012

Processing of precious metals is one of the important branches of industry in many countries. Platinum, gold, silver and other precious metals are not only the source of beautiful jewelry, but a country's finite resource. These metals are also very valuable as an investment.

Valuable metals can be recovered as mineral resources, or as the result of the recycling of jewelry. Every day, the amount of waste containing certain amounts of precious metals grows. High-quality recycling of computers, electronic components, integrated circuits and other material will help to improve our environment. Therefore, extraction and processing of precious metals is a very profitable business, which plays an important role in the modern economy.

The recycling technology does not involve a complicated process. First, the connectors and devices need to be removed, after which the scrap must be ground. After grinding, the scrap is sorted in an electrostatic field, using magnetic and air separation. Then, the valuable metals are removed and chemically cleaned.

Today, there are also other ways to obtain precious metals. For example, silver and gold can be cleaned using procedures like electrolysis, and platinum by dissolving it in mineral acids with reagents. Base metals can be removed by bathing gold in chlorine. Silver can be cleaned in three ways: electrolytic, chemical and by cupellation.

Various types of feed bins and pulley-operated or suspended magnetic separators are also employed. Suspended separators separate metals from non-magnetic components, with pulley-operated separators enabling small ferromagnetic elements to be removed. If the non-ferrous impurity content of the scrap is high, vortex separators are used.

Thus, the recycling of various materials for extraction of precious metals is a new, developing industry of the economy, which is crucial to the environment.