Scientists Suggest Recovering Gold From Human Waste

By Gary Cutlack on at

Minute particles of precious metals are apparently present in the waste flung at walls by humans, with trace elements of gold and silver found alongside the even more important phone-make-work elements palladium and vanadium.

Surveyors even suggest it might be viable to recover these trace elements, by sending small children and unpaid tech site interns into sewers with sieves. Actually no, the elements could be rescued from the sea of waste we shoot out every day while staring at our phones on the toilet via industrial leaching techniques, with the team claiming that to do so would have financial and moral benefits in helping mankind dump less metallic waste back into the environment to eventually kill everything.

It may happen, too, because researchers suggest the ratio of stuff-to-poo is high enough that they would be viable to recover were the mineral quantities discovered in more traditional rock deposits, with researcher Dr Kathleen Smith saying: "The gold we found was at the level of a minimal mineral deposit."

The team also explained how the precious stuff got there in the first place with: "There are metals everywhere -- in your hair care products, detergents, even nanoparticles that are put in socks to prevent bad odours." [Standard]

Image credit: Sewerage from Shutterstock