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Thread: Silver Recovery

  1. #31

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    Metallic Silver recovery from fixing bath?

    I don't know where to post this, but maybe fits this forum area.

    Is there a "cheap" way to recover metallic silver from the fixing bath? (from any fixing bath? - I use hypo most of the time, though)

    How about some electrolysis process? But how?

    It would be even nicer if it becomes possible to recover the fixer at the same time too...

    If you know some method it could be interesting to try out... as long as it's not
    deadly insane as making silver nitrate!
    Interested in converting a Polaroid 110B into a compact 4x5" rangefinder camera? Check out how I did it here.

  2. #32
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    Steel wool. There are lots of comments on this on APUG and Photo Net.

    PE

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Steel wool. There are lots of comments on this on APUG and Photo Net.

    PE
    thanks PE,

    I should have realized this is a FAQ...

    do you have a link where several recovery techniques are described in full detail?

    thanks
    Interested in converting a Polaroid 110B into a compact 4x5" rangefinder camera? Check out how I did it here.

  4. #34
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    Nope, sorry. This is so well known to me it is the kind of thing that often goes under my radar so I don't remember the specific links.

    PE

  5. #35

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    I have found this:

    http://www.pic.uk.net/coppice/coppic...r_recovery.htm

    but does not go in deep detail

    as far as I understood with the steel wool method you replace silver with iron in the fixing bath, making it more "environment-friendly" to dispose... And you get a silver sludge in the bottom of the bucket. But it has to be refined, right? What about the fixing solution? is it gone forever?
    Interested in converting a Polaroid 110B into a compact 4x5" rangefinder camera? Check out how I did it here.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulvio View Post
    I don't know where to post this, but maybe fits this forum area.

    Is there a "cheap" way to recover metallic silver from the fixing bath? (from any fixing bath? - I use hypo most of the time, though)

    How about some electrolysis process? But how?

    It would be even nicer if it becomes possible to recover the fixer at the same time too...

    If you know some method it could be interesting to try out... as long as it's not
    deadly insane as making silver nitrate!


    I'm curious, are interested in silver recovery because you think it's an environmental hazard, or do you intend to sell-back the silver for cash?

    If it's to save the environment, that concern was nearly beaten to death a few months ago on this forum. I'll offer no further comment in that regard.
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  7. #37
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    Well, there are references here on APUG.

    Throw in steel wool and let the fix sit. After a day or so, collect the steel wool and the sludge and throw away the liquid as it is now unusable. The sludge and steel wool now contain silver. The steel wool is crumbly due to part of the matrix now being silver.

    A photo finisher can send it out for silver recovery.

    PE

  8. #38

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    The steel wool goes into solution, replaced by the silver (replacement process at the molecular level). The silver is taken out of solution (the sludge) and is a rather pure form with some monetary value.
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  9. #39
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    I agree steel wool, but if you want to get good silver to make silver nitrate then just plate it out, that@s the easiest.

    Assuming it's small scale then just rig up a rechargeable battery around 5 to 6 volts with silver wire for the anode and a carbon rod cathode.

    PIC - a company I worked for used to be a member of PIC, we installed both Electro plating units and wire wool systems. With steel or wire wool systems the resulting slugde isn't very pure usually often about 60% silver, whereas plated silver will be over 98% pure, often far higher.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 02-24-2008 at 09:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add PIC

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by panastasia View Post
    The steel wool goes into solution, replaced by the silver (replacement process at the molecular level). The silver is taken out of solution (the sludge) and is a rather pure form with some monetary value.
    The fabric of the steel wool is gradually replaced by silver and the steel wool also rusts, therefore the entire mess, sludge plus crumbly wool residue, is a mixture of silver, iron and iron salts. This mass (mess) is what can be recovered, but is by no means 'rather pure'. It does have monetary value.

    PE

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