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Features

A Very Beautiful Taiwanese Green Alchemy

By Korbin Lan
Published: Jul 08,2014

What they want to refine isn’t just gold money, and even if they were able to, they wouldn’t consider doing it. In their vision, gold is green, and it not only brings riches, but also makes the earth a more beautiful place. Also, of course, these processes must not be harmful to the human body. We call this kind of beautiful technology, Green Alchemy.


Uwin Nanotech is a supplier of this kind of technology, and they independently conduct research and development in order to carry out environmentally friendly gold stripping. Their gold stripping is capable of quickly reducing precious metals with high economic value, such as gold, silver, copper, and tin, from discarded electronic components, PCB plating, and hardware. These processes are not only safe and nontoxic, but they also do not damage substrates or other metals. As a result, they are capable of sharply increasing recycling profits.


In addition to making it easier to recycle and increasing the value of recycled materials, gold stripping also allows for the precious metals that are stripped to be reused, which reduces manufacturing costs for businesses. The recycled precious metals can even be made into valuable products that can be sold to related businesses.



Figure 1 :   It easier to recycle and increasing the value of recycled materials by stripping
Figure 1 : It easier to recycle and increasing the value of recycled materials by stripping

Besides increasing economic profits from recycling, the speed and low cost of Uwin Nanotech’s precious metals are also worth mentioning.


Uwin Nanotech General Manager Hsu Ching-Hsiang said, “Many people can do gold stripping. The difficultly is finding a way to produce precious metals. Using our formulas only requires simple soaking and heating to reduce precious metals, and the degree of purity is over 99.9%.”


“Our stripping procedures are twice as fast as anyone else’s.”


The economic profits are clear-cut, and for Uwin Nanotech, attracting the attention of clients is only the first step. The key to winning people’s hearts is their distinctive environmentally friendly gold stripping formulas and their safe and nontoxic stripping processes. They are both safe for people’s health, and they also provide more humane working environments.



Figure 2 :   The metal strippers that are commonly used in the industrial world contain cyanide (sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide). However, cyanide is an acute poison
Figure 2 : The metal strippers that are commonly used in the industrial world contain cyanide (sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide). However, cyanide is an acute poison

Uwin Nanotech’s independently researched and developed metal stripping formulas are environmentally friendly and cyanide-free prescriptions, and the metals that can be reduced from them include gold, silver, palladium, nickel, copper, tin, aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel. Furthermore, Uwin Nanotech provides two separate prescriptions that are suitable for situations involving both chemical stripping and electrolyte stripping.


According to Hsu Ching-Hsiang, currently the gold strippers that are commonly used in the industrial world contain cyanide (sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide). However, cyanide is an acute poison that is lethal for humans. Moreover, it can enter the body through inhalation, oral ingestion, or skin contact as pathways and cause severe poisoning – possibly even resulting in death. Therefore, because working in a closed environment can have extreme effects on physical and mental health, gold stripping personnel must wear protective clothing.


He pointed out that in some parts of China, even aqua regia is used in gold stripping. This type of method is not only poisonous and harmful to humans, but also corrodes the components’ base materials, making it an extremely low quality method.


“Currently in China, a number of cancerous materials have been caused by the use of inappropriate cyanide and aqua regia and the arbitrarily emission of water from gold stripping,” said Hsu Ching-Hsiang.



Figure 3 :   Uwin Nanotech’s metal stripping formulas are environmentally friendly and cyanide-free prescriptions, and the metals that can be reduced from them include gold.
Figure 3 : Uwin Nanotech’s metal stripping formulas are environmentally friendly and cyanide-free prescriptions, and the metals that can be reduced from them include gold.

Rather than using cyanide in gold stripping, Uwin Nanotech’s methods use sulfide or nitric acid as their main materials. Their properties are gentle, safe, and non-corrosive. Therefore, the modulation solution is almost neutral and a person’s hand can even be soaked in it. Using these methods for gold stripping, there is no toxic threat in the work environment, and consequently, there is no need to wear protective clothing. This reduces employees’ mental and physical stress in the workplace and has a more humane spirit.


Taking the UW-860 cyanide-free environmentally friendly gold stripping as an example, the pH of 7.4 makes it a gentle and environmentally friendly additive. With only 68% of nitric acid for dilution, the gold stripping can be carried out in containers made with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials. Furthermore, the procedure is carried out at temperatures between 25℃ and 60℃, and the stripping procedure takes between 30 and 900 seconds to complete, depending on the thickness of the metal.


“In a safe and nontoxic environment, we are able to strip gold without harming the substrate – regardless of whether it is PCB plating, software panels, plastic, porcelain, stainless steel, or silicon wafers,” said Hsu Ching-Hsiang .


Furthermore, for stripping down the metals, chemical reduction methods or electrolytic recovery methods can be used for reducing gold. Talking chemical reduction as an example, gold can be quickly reduced with a purity of over 99.9% by just adding water to precipitate gold compounds, then slightly increasing the amount of potassium sulfide (K2S), and finally boiling it in nitric acid,


For materials with irregular volumes, such as discarded hardware and connector pins, Uwin Nanotech provides an electrolyte gold stripping method: the UW-700 cyanide-free environmentally friendly gold stripping method. The additives do not contain cyanide, and the stripping process is safe and environmentally friendly. In addition, it makes it even easier to reduce metals, and they can even be directly rinsed in water.


Besides providing environmentally friendly gold stripping methods, Uwin Nanotech also provides consolidated gold stripping machines which assist companies that must quickly establish environmentally friendly work procedures for stripping.


Currently, Uwin Nanotech’s consolidated gold stripping technology uses two machines: the “Fortune One,” which uses the UW-860 cyanide-free environmentally friendly gold stripping formula, and the “Iron One,” which uses the UW-700 and the UW-860 cyanide-free environmentally friendly gold stripping formulas together.



Figure 4 :   Fortune One is a first-rate environmentally friendly gold stripping machine, integrates procedures and functions for soaking, rinsing, and waste liquid and gas circulation management
Figure 4 : Fortune One is a first-rate environmentally friendly gold stripping machine, integrates procedures and functions for soaking, rinsing, and waste liquid and gas circulation management

Figure 5
Figure 5

Fortune One is a first-rate environmentally friendly gold stripping machine, and it integrates procedures and functions for soaking, rinsing, and waste liquid and gas circulation management. At the outset, personnel just have to place the materials that are going to be gold stripped onto the conveyor belt, and the machine will automatically complete the procedure. When it is complete, the materials are sent out of the machine and the stripped precious metals are separated in the storage tank, making it easy to extract the reduced metals.


Figure 6 :   Uwin Nanotech General Manager Hsu Ching-Hsiang
Figure 6 : Uwin Nanotech General Manager Hsu Ching-Hsiang

“Fortune One can be customized according to the clients’ needs and the settings and amounts can be adjusted for each part of the process in order to satisfy clients’ needs for their work environments,” said Hsu Ching-Hsiang .


Moreover, Iron One is an environmentally friendly gold stripping machine that uses a crown block style. Unlike the Fortune One, it uses an electrolyte gold stripping method. It can handle materials with irregular volumes and large sizes. In addition, Iron One can also be customized according to the clients’ practical requirements.



Figure 7 :   Iron One is an environmentally friendly gold stripping machine that uses a crown block style
Figure 7 : Iron One is an environmentally friendly gold stripping machine that uses a crown block style

Figure 8 :   Iron One uses an electrolyte gold stripping method, can handle materials with irregular volumes
Figure 8 : Iron One uses an electrolyte gold stripping method, can handle materials with irregular volumes

Figure 9 :   Simply precipitation and combustion, can be extracted metal
Figure 9 : Simply precipitation and combustion, can be extracted metal

Uwin Nanotech’s technology did not just fall out of the sky; rather, it came from its members’ rich experience in electroplating and stripping technology. The company was established in 2009, and currently there are thirty employees around the world, with some of them divided between Shenzhen and Kunshan in Mainland China and others in strongholds in Taiwan and the United States. The Taiwan headquarters are located in Tucheng in New Taipei City. Uwin Nanotech holds more than 13 patents around the world that can be divided into those used for gold stripping and those used in bio-chips.


Uwin Nanotech’s principle members all have practical experience in electroplating and stripping technology, especially General Manager Hsu Ching-Hsiang . He was a PhD student in the metallic materials division of National Taiwan University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and specialized in colloidal gold, research and development for electroplates, and precious metals stripping and recycling technology. Before founding Uwin Nanotech, he served as the head of electroplate research and development at Hon Hai Precision Co., Ltd., where he was devoted to the task of making connectors for electroplates.


Furthermore, the time that Hsu Ching-Hsiang worked doing research and development of electroplates at Hon Hai inspired him to think about the possibility of reverse electroplate engineering (which is essentially gold stripping). After a period of doing research and development, he finally successfully developed the current environmentally friendly gold stripping method and then founded Uwin Nanotech. Now Han Hai is one of his clients, and the American company, Wistron, also uses Uwin Nanotech.



Figure 10 :   Hsu Ching-Hsiang  with his excellent team
Figure 10 : Hsu Ching-Hsiang with his excellent team

Therefore, in establishing Uwin Nanotech, Hsu Ching-Hsiang ’s greatest vision is to provide a more humane and environmentally friendly living environment for people, and he hopes to be able to begin by providing environmentally friendly stripping methods and making stripping technologies, which were originally high-pollution and high-stress, into methods and technologies that are more environmentally friendly and pleasant.


Uwin Nanotech also holds parent-child events related to environmental protection and science that enables children to get practical exposure to science and knowledge about environmental protection. At the same time, these events also allow them to experience first-hand the ecological importance of protecting the environment.


“Uwin Nanotech’s principles are integrity, expertise, charity, and environmental protection. Earning big money is not what we care about. Our mission is allowing sustainable development for the world,” said Xu Jing-xiang.


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