Gold plated from old cell phone keypads

 Gold plated from old cell phone keypads

Here are a few key points about recycling gold from old cell phone keypads:

- Cell phone keypads often contained small amounts of gold plating to provide good electrical conductivity for the metal contact pads.

- As phones have transitioned to using touch screens without physical keypads, the old keypad-style phones have become a potential source for recovering this gold through recycling processes.

- The gold plating is very thin, typically just a few millionths of an inch thick. However, when collected from millions of old phones, even these tiny amounts can add up.

- To recover the gold, the keypads go through processes like shredding, burning to remove plastics, acid leaching, and other chemical extraction methods to separate the precious metals.

- It takes a lot of old phones to collect enough gold for it to be economically viable to extract and refine it. Large scale recycling operations consolidate vast quantities of e-waste.

- Recovering gold and other precious metals from e-waste helps reduce the environmental impact of mining for new gold supplies and keeps valuable resources in the manufacturing loop.

So in summary, while each individual keypad has miniscule gold content, aggregating and processing huge volumes of obsolete mobile device components allows this gold to be recycled and repurposed efficiently.

Every modern cellphone contains silver, usually in small but important quantities. Here are some key points about the use of silver in cellphones:

- Silver is an excellent conductor of electricity and is used in the manufacture of virtually all printed circuit boards found in cellphones and other electronics.

- The silver is typically electroplated onto the copper tracks of circuit boards to improve conductivity and prevent corrosion.

- While the amount varies by model, it's estimated that an average smartphone contains around 0.3-0.4 grams of silver.

- For perspective, with over 1.5 billion smartphones sold annually worldwide, the total silver used just in mobile phones is estimated at over 300 metric tons per year.

- Silver's superior conductive and thermal properties compared to copper make it ideal for the ever-shrinking circuit pathways in compact phone designs.

- As phones add more advanced features like 5G and augmented reality, their need for silver content is increasing.

- The value of the tiny amount of silver in each phone is minor, but multiplied across billions of devices, it represents a significant global demand for this precious metal.

So in summary, while not apparent at first glance, that simple smartphone in your pocket relies on silver for critical conductivity components. The mobile industry's vast scale makes it a major driver of silver consumption.

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