As we all know, the sea water is salt water. We say this for its taste but also for its salt content, for most people something salty has sodium chloride. However, in oceans there are many other different salts between them there are also gold salts. The concentration of salts varies depending on different factors, but most conservative estimates that may be about 6 mg of gold per 1000 liters of water. It is cationic gold, it should be reduced to obtain metallic gold. But considering the amount of water in the oceans these could have 10 billion tons of this precious metal. Would it be possible to go fishing gold in any way?

First of all, to take the gold of the sea, is necessary to separate it from the rest of dissolved substances, due to the small amount of gold compared to the wide variety of other substances physical methods are should be discarded. However chemistry offers sufficiently selective tools. The physical properties of cationic gold may resemble other cations, whereas the chemical behavior of each element is in some unique cases. One option to catch gold are chemical sensors. A gold chemical sensor would be a molecule that only reacts with this metal, discriminating others.

Once the compound capable of doing this task at sea would be founded it will be necessary to develop a method for implementing. For example it is possible to design a solid support in which the compound can be set, something like a polymer. This support could be coupled to a boat. The vessel should be adapted to maximize the contact between sensor and water, this kind of ship could be a catamaran provided in the central part with sensor plates.


Logically, the system described in this article is science fiction. Nevertheless technically everything could be performed but would not be at profitable. From the chemical point of view, the most costly part of the process is reducing cationic gold to metallic gold. These perspectives indicate that perhaps in the future we will see fishing boats leaving the gold in the sea.