Researchers Use Mushrooms To Mine Gold From Your Old Cellphones
Apr 15, 2014 11:45
If you had 100,000 cell phones with you, there's an estimated 2.4 kilograms of gold inside. 900 kilograms of copper and 25 kilograms of silver. That's a lot of precious metals!
Now, you can recover it with mushrooms! This is very profitable, but current techniques require the use of toxic chemicals like sulfuric acid and cyanide to dissolve out the previous metals. That's dangerous!
But using fungi on the other hand allows this whole process to be so much more friendly. Finnish scientists from the VTT Technical Research Center have figured a way to filter out gold with biomats made of mycelium - part of a fungi that lives underground.
The researchers say this process recovers 80 percent of the gold, compared to just 10 or 20 percent in the common but toxic chemical processes.
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