The process of refining scrap gold involves the removal of base or other heavy metals from the scrap gold and also removing impurities from it. A lot of businesses have grown due to the demand for gold and they have found refining as a way of supplying that need for gold. This process aids the supply for gold without having to mine them from the earth and all the risks that entail this process. Aside from that, it also eliminates the costly production expenses of mining gold and also provides a way to make up for the gradually lessening sources for gold. Miners have also been endangered with mining and so this is a great way to avoid that. Environmental issues have also arisen from gold mining. But the most benefit that can be taken from it would be that it also supplies instant cash for those who have scrap gold but are short in cash.
With the price of gold going up, a lot of gold refiners have now gotten into the business of buying scrap gold to refine them. Refining can be done in a number of ways that would involve either the use of harsh chemicals, electrolysis, and heating metals in ultra-high temperatures. With the nature of this process, only professionals can be relied on to do the job. Any small mistake in the process can result to disaster. The process also gives by-products of toxic wastes and gases which can endanger health and the environment if mishandled or disposed of improperly. So, it is not recommended that one should do it in his own home and improvise. The various procedures done can also depend upon the type of scrap gold that you are dealing with: if you have lower karats of gold, you can only use a particular process as it is the best way to eliminate the other base metals from the mixture. You can also choose the kind of procedure to use if you are aiming for a higher karat or purity of gold. The process can also differ depending on the amount of gold that you are dealing with – either large-scale or small-scale, there are varying processes for it.
Some of the procedures that are used in refining are the Miller process, which yields a 99.5 karat of gold; the Wolhwill process which uses electrolysis; cupellation, which involves heating scrap gold to a thousand degrees Celsius; and the use of Aqua Regia which involves nitric and hydrochloric acids but yields a 99.99 karat of gold. Some of the procedures used for large-scale refining such as the Wohlwill and the Aqua Regia method; whereas those that are used for small-scale refining are cupellation and inquartation. With these refining processes, one can save from the costs of acquiring gold by mining.
Refining scrap gold can definitely be a way which we can avoid the more serious threats that gold mining imposes on our planet and in people’s lives. It has been said to be affecting the environment as it destroys the plants and trees in the process as well as be a cause for frequent flooding and erosion of the arable soil.