Most Computers & electronic devices contain circuit boards inside that will contain many types of precious metals. Printed Circuit Boards, Connectors and Components have high levels of precious metal content.
Valuable & Precious metals – where they are in Computers:
- Gold – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips (CPU), connectors / fingers
- Silver – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips, keyboard membranes, some capacitors
- Platinum – Hard Drives, Circuit board components
- Palladium – Hard Drives, Circuit board components (capacitors)
- Copper – CPU heat sinks, wiring and cables, Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips
- Nickel – Circuit board components
- Tantalum – Circuit board components (some capacitors)
- Cobalt – Hard Drives
- Aluminum – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips, Hard Drives, CPU heat sinks
- Tin – Printed Circuit Boards, Computer Chips
- Zinc – Printed Circuit Boards
- Neodymium – Hard Drives (magnets)
Chemical extraction of Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium can be extracted from such components and the removal and disposal of hazardous materials including Mercury, Cadmium, Beryllium Oxide and Batteries (NiCd, Lithium etc.) is also undertaken.
Elements found in trace amounts include Americium, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Bismuth, Boron, Cobalt, Europium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Indium, Lithium, Manganese, Nickel, Niobium, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Selenium, Silver, Tantalum, Terbium, Thorium, Titanium, Vanadium, and Yttrium.
Almost all electronics contain Lead and Tin (as solder) and Copper (as wire and printed circuit board tracks), though the use of lead-free solder is now spreading rapidly.
Computer components containing valuable metals include Motherboards, connector cards, graphic cards, memory cards, CPU’s and other various small electronic components, connectors/cables & Hard drives.
Computer CPU’s (processors) have the most precious metal value by weight, followed by Memory (RAM) & Circuit Board Fingers / Connectors / Pins, then Circuit Boards (Motherboards), then cables / wires, with hard drives & whole computers being last.
CD/DVD drives, monitors, cases, keyboards/mouse, printers, scanners & power supplies typically do not contain enough precious metal to be considered of value.
List of Chemical Elements used in Computers & Electronics:
Magnesium, Radium, Barium, Niobium, Osmium, Cobalt, Manganese, Titanium, Hafnium, Tungsten, Germanium, Gold, Silver, Copper, Mercury, Bismeth, Silicon, Gallium, Zinc, Iorn, Sulfur, Phosphorus, Cadmium, Palladium, Tantalum, Platinum, Aluminum, Carbon, Lead, Nickel, Boron, Chromium, Potassium, Fancium, Casium, Sodium, Lithium, Calcium, Nitrogen, Oxygen , Arsenic, neodymium, Selenium, & Tin.