Student extracts gold from scrap CPUs
A Chinese student has extracted pure gold from scrap CPUs, earning him the title 'modern alchemist'.
Li Dianwu, a chemistry senior at Nankai University in Tianjin in north China, dissolved useless CPUs in a solution of sulfuric acid, thiourea and hydrogen peroxide, and filtered the solution with activated carbon.
Then he put the metal-filled activated carbon in a muffle furnace and extracted 65 milligrams of gold at a temperature of 1,100 degrees Celsius, the Shanghai Morning Post reported Wednesday.
The three pinhead-sized beads are 99.99 percent pure gold, Li told the newspaper after he posted 20 photos of his gold extracting process on the popular social networking website, renren.com.
His post immediately drew more than 60,000 viewers.
Though Li's process is not poisonous, a chemical expert surnamed Ye told people not to follow his example because the method requires professional knowledge and equipment.