ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com October 18, 2017


Million Dollar Worth Of Gold Flushes Through Swiss Sewers Every Year

12 October 2017, 12:32 | Erica Roy

David Paul Morris Getty Images Scientists have struck gold in an unlikely place Swiss sewage and waste water treatment plants

Scientists find gold worth $2 million in Swiss sewage

Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver are flushed away in Switzerland each year, a new study has found. The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment - and recycling would not be economically worthwhile. While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater. Swiss refineries process about 70 percent of the world's gold.

Moreover, the same research team discovered that in this particular area where most manufacturers established their headquarters and shops, the amount of gold was so significant, they could collect it. In the southern Ticino region of Switzerland, home to many of its refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile", the scientists said. "For example, the total aluminum and copper fluxes are equivalent, respectively, to only 0.2 and just under four per cent of annual Swiss imports".

Researchers sample the wastewater at Werdhölzli treatment plant in Zurich.


Scientists had originally feared a repeat of the critical concentrations of rare earth metals lanthanum and samarium now found in the Rhine.

Swiss scientists have found that 43kg of gold worth about $1.8 million is passing through Switzerland's wastewater each year, as first spotted by Bloomberg.

However, this is not the first time that metals have been detected in sewage sludge.



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