How much gold can you extract from the four and a half pounds of electronic waste? Just a little bead of gold! And it takes an incredible amount of effort as well.
This is like looking for a needle in the haystack.
First, all of the junk is crushed in a ball mill. Next, the junk is set to fire, and the ashes are sifted. The slated trash and junk are removed. Then bits of iron are removed from the mixture by running a magnet through it. Lead is removed by boiling it down at 1700 degrees. Copper removal takes a water and acid bath and electrocution. More acid is added to the mix and is melted again with flux and litharge.
After the efforts, this YouTuber yielded four milligrammes of gold, from a bag of two-kilogram of damaged electronics. Watch him extract that tiny little bead of gold in this video: