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Germanium - The Other Silver

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    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    Cool Germanium - The Other Silver

    Germanium is a rare metal that is roughly twice the price of silver ( at current prices ) .
    It is mainly used in night vision lenses, diodes, and transistors.
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    Otto's Avatar
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    ^ Do you know of any buyers for this type of ewaste? I've never heard of anyone refining ewaste for Germanium, even as a by-product of other processes. I would be interested in what others know of the topic.

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    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otto View Post
    ^ Do you know of any buyers for this type of ewaste?
    There are several hits on Google. I have never dealt directly with a recycler, but I do know (even used), these guys are not cheap
    germanium (transistor,diode) | eBay

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    When you're doing e-waste you need large volumes of material to make it profitable. From what i could tell Germanium was used during the 1950's in the manufacture of transistors & such. It's like anything else. They did it one way when the technology was first introduced and then something better came along to take it's place. The "something better" was the silicon based transistor.

    To make it work you would need to be getting lots of old electronics from the 1950's time period. That's stuff that's 60 - 70 years old. You might find a few pieces in a museum or an old barn but for the most part that it's not something you're likely to run across anymore.
    Last edited by Scrappah; 01-05-2017 at 07:36 AM.

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    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappah View Post
    When you're doing e-waste you need large volumes of material to make it profitable. From what i could tell Germanium was used during the 1950's in the manufacture of transistors & such.
    Germanium transistors and diodes are still manufactured and sold to this day. Main modern use is in music / sound equipment .

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    Okay ... let's assume that is correct. It would only be certain kinds of sound equipment that's specially made to serve the niche group that believes that the Germanium transistors provide a certain sound quality.

    It's still pretty slim pickings because you're working with what comes available to you through the waste stream. Most of what you run across these days are the the bubble back tv's & computer monitors. Next up are flat screen tv's and printers. Next are CD / DVD players,vcr's, computers, and sky boxes followed by different kinds of modems. Sometimes you see the old 8 tracks and cassette players. Once in awhile you see amps, turntables, and electric organs.

    Okay ... so the next step would be to break down the sound equipment and pull the circuit boards. Next you have to responsibly dispose of everything else that you don't have a use for.

    After that you have to pick the boards for all of the little bits n pieces that have Germanium.

    That's too much like work !

    ==========

    Seriously ..... in order to make money with e-waste you have to be doing lots of volume and working productively. (Turn n burn.) You're way better off limit yourself to disassembly and ship the undisturbed boards off to someone that can process them on an industrial scale. The less time you spend fussing with all of the little details the better off you will be.

    The other thing is that there are on the job health risks when you start breaking down the boards. ( That's covered in other threads. ) It's a good idea to know what you might be getting yourself into before you jump in.

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    I like the completed ebay listings that have prices in green

    germanium, transistor, diode | eBay

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    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaRog View Post
    I like the completed ebay listings that have prices in green

    germanium, transistor, diode | eBay
    Always interesting to explore new streams of income. Not that I'm going to be looking for germanium ...
    Following your link and looking at other items people are selling has made me reconsider my plans for some old 50 pin connector cables that I have here, A lot of that old stuff can't be easily found anymore and sells for way more than scrap value.

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    It's like anything else ... the devil is in the details.

    The ebay listings seem to be mostly for new germanium transistors that were recently manufactured to meet the needs of a small niche market. There was some old / unused stuff still in the original packages. It's probably more for collectors and museums. The problem with the older electronics is that they tend to drift out of range as they age.

    I guess it's like apples & oranges. You can't compare something new to something used and claim that the used thing has any practical value.

    Which would you buy ? New or used toilet paper ?


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