When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Germany

Mining Mobile Phones For The Industrial Metals Within

Cell phones contain trace amounts of gold, silver, copper and other valuable minerals. Lawmakers in Germany are cluing into these hidden treasures, but haven't yet come up with an effective way to harvest them.

(cogdogblog)
(cogdogblog)

*NEWSBITES

Germans are hoarding nearly two tons of gold – without even realizing it. The costly metal is hidden away in some 80 million no-longer-used mobile phones, each phone containing about 25 milligrams. Add it up and that comes to around 80 million euros worth.

The hidden treasure is beginning to draw attention from both industry and government. "Mobile phones that are no longer in use are a real storehouse of primary materials," says Parliamentary State Secretary Katherina Reiche. Gold is just one of the approximately 60 different materials built into mobiles, which also contain silver and copper. Approximately 80% of those minerals could be reused. A million mobiles harbor 150 kilos of silver and several tons of copper.

Even if quantities in each individual phone are minimal, says Bernhard Rohleder, general manager of Bitko, a high tech association, it adds up and could help considerably in dealing with the problem of dwindling natural resources. Lead, nickel, bismuth, tin, antimony and iridium are also used in mobile phones. Presently some 3% of silver resources worldwide, and 4% of gold, is being used in the manufacture of mobile phones.

So far, however, Germans have shown themselves reluctant to part with their old phones: it is estimated that only 3% of mobile phones are recycled. Even if they are willing to turn over their used mobiles, Germany doesn't have the necessary systems in place to receive and collect the devices. Then there's the logistical problem of how exactly to extract the valuable metals. According to experts, it will take five to 10 years before a recycling system for rare earths can be built up in Europe.

Read the full story in German by Thomas Heuzeroth

Photo - cogdogblog

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

When Friends "Break Up" — The Psychological Damage After Friendships End

Society sees friendships as far less important than love and life partnerships. But psychologists warn that the end of a close friendship can leave the "grieving" side in need of therapy.

The end of friendships can lead to heartbreak and grief like with any other relationship.

Paula Galinsky

BUENOS AIRES — It was Wednesday and Sofía, a 31-year-old woman living in Buenos Aires, was having a good day. She'd had a productive work meeting in the morning and her usual gym class in the afternoon. But as she walked home listening to music in her earphones, she felt an acute pain, first in her chest, then throat.

It wasn't a heart attack, but she panicked and began to cry. What prompted the reaction, she realized later, was the music she had just heard: a song that brought back teenage memories of a former friend. Sofía told her therapist the next day that the end of the friendship had upset her greatly, and until that moment had suppressed the grief.

The friend hadn't died, there had been no fight or exchange of ugly words, but the two had drifted apart, irreversibly, Sofía felt. None of this, she told the psychologist, made it any less troubling or hurtful.

The song that had triggered her anxiety was 11 y 6 by Argentine Fito Páez. It took Sofía back to her 16th birthday, which she spent with her friend. That girl "was" her teenage years, she explained and without her "a big part of what we lived together now is gone."

The end of a strong friendship causes bona fide grief, even if it is often ignored. More and more specialists believe that it needs to be processed, and perhaps treated, like one would the end of a love affair or partnership.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ