Monday 17 July 2017

Copper bottomed

Peak oil? Are we there yet? That seems to be an ever receding gateway the other side of which is hard to contemplate: so much of our lifestyle is predicated on cheap oil. But we've also been rapacious in our looting the planet for minerals that can be smelted to metal to make gizmos to throw in landfill. Gold is the obvious one and I've written about recycling phones to recover that element. But today let's have some passive entertainment about recycling copper Cu because you can make money and save the planet by concentrating metallic copper in ingots which are worth $5.75/kg. Why copper? Because the Copper Coast is a key element in restoring the ragged fortunes of Co. Waterford where I do most of my beach-combing. [

Warning and disclaimer from a comment below a youtubeos I haven't cited here "I can't believe I just wasted 5 minutes of my life to listen to all this babble that ended up being a tutorial on how to hold a utility knife."
  • Trinket Gobblin finds a large differential in the price he can get from raw electrical wire. All those Hannukah/Christmas lights thrun in the trash at Epiphany tsk! the waste.
  • eWaste Ben advises tooling round the neighbourhood taking copper out of CRT TVs - lingo note: No.2 copper is lacquered.
  • Chris from Westsound Recycling explains diff between #1 and #2.  The latter in contaminated with lacquer, solder, aluminium coating, oxidation = patina and is therefore less valuable
  • Bracken Recycling does the maths of whether to strip wire. More lingo: 75% wire is still covered in plastic; BB bare-bright is pure copper. A spool of 75% is worth $12.51. You get a higher price $15.80 for BB by losing some weight. Is it worth $3.29 of your time to process the stuff? Convincing theatre suggests it is NOT worth the hassle. 9 lb of wire is loooooong and each meter of it has to be stripped.
  • Moose-scrapper seems to have a paleolithuc bang-two-rocks-together approach to recovering a copper coil from a transformer. Commenter suggets getting a bigger hammer.
  • eWaste Ben makes handy little 10oz ingots of copper melted from wire from coils in TVs. I gather that he is stock-piling these against Armageddon.
Sorry, readers, today has given you rather more work and less digest but the old tongue-twister is harder still:
"Are you copper-bottoming 'em my man?"
"No, I'm aluminiuming 'em Mum"
Other metal stories on the blob:
Al - Au - Cr - Li - MgSn - Pb -
by implication there's 100 more in pipeline

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