Recycle instead of throwing away

March 18 was Global Recycling Day. We are taking this as an opportunity to highlight a few very commendable recycling trends. How to make sunglasses from old fishing nets, for example. Or extracting gold from electronic waste. But read for yourself, have fun.

Recovering gold from electronic waste

A team of scientists at ETH Zurich has developed a novel recycling process to recover gold from electronic waste. The process is based on protein fiber sponges made from whey. The sponges can be used to selectively adsorb gold from a solution of metal ions. When heated, the gold ions crystallize into flakes, which are then melted down to form a gold nugget. The scientists were able to obtain a nugget weighing around 450 milligrams with a gold content of almost 22 carats from 20 old computer circuit boards.