Why Burning Scrap Materials Reclaims the Precious Metals They Contain

Burning or exposure to extremely high heat offers one of the most effective ways to separate precious metals from surrounding scrap. There’s a very simple reason why…

Image of poison skull and crossbones on yellow hand for blog post about how not to poison yourself recycling precious metals. Credit: iJacky/iStock.

Gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals do not burn. When scrap that contains them is reduced to ash by burning, precious metals are typically left behind and can be easily identified and recycled.

This happens during two common processes that precious metal recycling companies use to extract gold:

Note that this principle doesn’t work as cleanly when piles of black sand or other non-combustible materials are exposed to high heat. However, extreme high temperatures can cause small particles of gold and other precious metals to “glob” and bind together, where they can be more easily separated from surrounding materials and reclaimed.

Why Burning Is Best Left to a Qualified Precious Metals Smelting Company

You could try to perform those operations yourself by burning old electronic components or other metal-bearing materials at home or – preferably – in an outdoor setting where poisonous fumes are released into the air. But we cannot state strongly enough that by doing so, you can poison yourself and release noxious gases into the atmosphere.

So if you have old electronic scrap or other material that could contain gold, silver or other precious metals, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 and let us safely test and process what you have. We use only the most modern and environmentally responsible techniques, so what’s the point of making yourself and family sick by burning scrap? The safest course, by far, is to give us a call today.

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