Picasso‘s favorite pigment may one day recycle metals from your cell phone

Enlarge / A new method helps recover gold from E-waste at a higher rate than it can be extracted from fresh ore.Reiko Matsushita/Shinta Watanabe

Gold and certain other precious metals are key ingredients in computer chips, including those used in consumer electronics such as smart phones. But it can be difficult to recover and recycle those metals from electronic waste. Japanese researchers have found that a pigment widely used by artists called Prussian blue can extract gold and platinum-group metals from e-waste much more efficiently than conventional bio-based absorbents, according to a recent paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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