Precious Metals in Your Mobile Phones!

Have you wondered about the contents of the mobile phone? In this era where we entirely depend on mobile phones, it is intriguing to come across certain factors which contribute towards the making of mobile phones. Dr. Arjan Dijkstra and Dr. Colin Wilkins, geologists from the University’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, blended a mobile phone to a fine powder and mixed it at 500°C with sodium peroxide. The detailed analysis of the resultant solution ensued in 33g of iron, 13g of silicon and 7g of chromium, along with smaller quantities of other abundant substances. Critical elements including 900mg of tungsten and 70mg of cobalt and molybdenum, as well as 160mg of neodymium and 30mg of praseodymium. Additionally, the phone contained 90mg of silver and 36mg of gold. On the other hand, the study demonstrated that to create just one phone you would need to mine 10-15kg of ore, including 7kg of high-grade gold ore, 1kg of typical copper ore, 750g of typical tungsten ore and 200g of typical nickel ore which is putting tremendous pressure on the earth. Dr. Wilkins, Lecturer in Economic Geology, mentioned that it is the social responsibility of all the mobile producers and users to recycle the unused cell phones to decrease mining of critical elements from the earth’s crust.

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