Thursday, August 5, 2010

cell phones and ewaste

Toms Hardware had a pretty interesting article on how they extracted about 3 dollars worth of gold from a old motherboard. It is a very light article, with lots of pictures, I would recommend looking through it.

This got me thinking, is there some resource somewhere that can tell you how to perform chemical processes. Like something that could tell me how to convert one chemical substance into another? Or how to extract one or more elements from a chemical substance? I am thinking of something prolog like where I would basically state the starting substance, state the final substance, and it would then spew out a list of all ways I could do that (if at all).

convert(Lead, Gold) => None // Means that it cannot be done
convert(Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen) => //Would spew out a great number of ways of doing this

I could then filter the results, based on material cost, time, safety, energy, whatever I am interested in.

Just curious about this, I don't have any real use for it. I assume the most readily efficient ways to extract gold from motherboards have already been discovered. :]

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