Most people have some idea that gold is used in electronics, jewelry and dentistry. I didn’t want to cover the common uses that everyone else knows about. Gold has so many interesting uses that don’t get talked about often so let’s talk about the lesser known and extremely interesting ways that gold is used in today.

 

Gold is Used in Satellites

I know what you’re thinking, “of course gold is used in satellites – satellites are electronics!” I’m talking about gold foil used to help satellites reduce heat. Space is cold, but it is also a vacuum. This means that there is nothing for heat to transfer to. It is incredibly hard to keep satellites cool enough to function with the sun’s heat constantly baking them. Lucky for us, gold (and silver) are one of the best thermal conduction metals that we know of. The gold protects the sun’s heat from transferring to the electronics. This is how we keep our electronics from being cooked in space. How much gold is in orbit around earth? I wish I could answer that question, but I doubt the government would like anyone knowing just how many satellites they have in orbit. Considering one ounce of gold can be drawn into roughly 50 miles of wire – I doubt there is much gold floating just above our heads.

Gold foil on Satellites

 

Gold is Used to Treat Arthritis Patients

Gold is edible and everyone in the world has a minuscule amount of it in their body. Rheumatoid arthritis patients have a bit more. The yellow metal has shown to relieve joint pain, reduce damage on joints and even reduce swelling.  Gold doesn’t work quite as fast as Advil. Studies show that it takes up to 22 weeks for the treatment to start working. An injection of gold sodium thiomalate is injected on a weekly basis. It is not clear exactly how gold helps arthritis but it is thought to help the immune system stop abnormal attacks on rheumatoid arthritis. Injecting this much gold can have side effects. Skin discoloration and kidney damage are the most common reported side effects. Around a third of the patients report these symptoms.

Gold therapy injection

 

Gold is in Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are used to remove pollutants from the air by burning excess fuel from the engine. Most catalytic converters use platinum, palladium and rhodium to break down the pollutants but gold can be combined with these other metals to obtain a stable formulation. The precious metals are shaped into a honeycomb formation. Once the pollutants touch the hot metals, a simple chemical reaction will occur to reduce the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide that enters our atmosphere.

Recovering these precious metals is big business. It is not something that the average person can do, but a simple google search will show you where you can sell your old catalytic convertor to get top dollar for the valuable metals inside.

 

 

Gold in Window Tints

Gold is excellent at reflecting heat. It’s no wonder why the Royal Bank Plaza Building in Toronto has coated all 14,000 windows with it. They have more than 70 kilograms of gold in their windows alone! At today’s gold price, that is more than $3 million. Air conditioning these towers must cost a small fortune, so over the long run they maybe saving money by covering their buildings in gold.

Royal Bank Tower

 

 

Gold in Liposuction

Nano Lipo has developed a safer way to help get rid of excess. They inject nano particles of gold that melt fat for easier removal. This method is currently being tested in animals before human trials begin. Liposuction is commonly performed by scraping a needle on the fat cells to remove them. It is brutal to watch and it takes out more than just the fat. Nerves and other tissue get removed or damaged in the process. Using gold in this popular surgery should make the process a little less barbaric on our delicate bodies. This process was first testing by melting the fat in butter, oil and bacon!

Liposuction