What’s inside your mobile phone?
Aside from your SIM card, you probably don’t know much about what’s inside your mobile phone, but that small device contains many precious metals and valuable materials.
Inside any smartphone there are over 20 different materials used to make it function, including gold, silver, palladium and platinum. While most of these materials are only present in each phone in miniscule amounts (there’s about 0.034g of gold and 0.34g of silver in the typical iPhone), it all adds up, especially when there is estimated to be seven billion mobile phones in use.
The great news is that nearly all parts of your mobile phone can be recycled and reused to make new devices.
Inside each mobile phone there is:
Aluminium is used in mobile phone cases and components including batteries.
Crude oil is used to make the plastic for the casing and the circuit board.
Lead is used to solder the parts of our phones together.
Palladium is used for electrical connections on the circuit board.
Tungsten is used to make your phone vibrate.
Bauxite is used to make aluminium which is used for the phone’s casing.
Fibreglass is used to make the circuit boards.
Lithium is used in mobile phone batteries to allow them to be charged over and over again.
Platinum is used for electrical connections on the circuit board.
Zinc is used in the circuit board.
Cobalt is used in mobile phone batteries.
Glass is used for the screen.
Neodymium is a rare earth material that has magnetic strength and is used in mobile phone speakers.
Silver is used for electrical connections on the circuit board.
Copper is used for electrical connections on the circuit board and in the batteries.
Gold is used in mobile phone circuit boards because it is chemically stable and conducts electricity.
Nickel is used in mobile phone electrical connections, capacitors and batteries.
Tin is used to solder the components on the circuit board.