Multiple Cells

Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
13
Hi,

I'm just wondering, does everyone (or anyone) have multiple cells running?

So say, platinum cell, a gold cell, a silver cell, a copper cell (seen a post about that recently) etc, or do people tend to stick to creating just the one cell?

My reasoning was, does one create a cell for getting gold plate, create a silver cell for silver extraction/purification and have a similar one for taking the remnants of copper, just to get the maximum recovery from each?

I'm thinking of doing something like this, and wanted make a decision based on the feedback from the experience of others.

Many Thanks
 

Elemental

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
53
Location
Charlottesville, VA
I am a hobby refiner focused on silver refining with a little bit of gold done on the side. I personally only run a single cell for Silver, but that is due to being limited to a single power supply. The process for gold that I use doesn't require additional electrolytic refining (I also don't have the gold on hand to make electrolyte). I do not re-use copper but I do not refine it in a cell, it's not worth the time/cost/effort for me to make pure copper bars.

It's my opinion but most refiners seem to stick to a single metal that they focus on. The processes, chemicals, and equipment differ for different metals, which doesn't lend itself to hobby refining. The more experienced refiners and the those here that work in industry, may have another take on it. Good luck and keep an eye on those voltages!
 

4metals

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
4,480
Location
northeast USA
A large refiner may have both silver cells and copper cells to refine their silver to .999+ and a copper cell (actually multiple copper cells) to recover precious metals from copper based bullion if they process circuit boards or smelt sweeps. Gold cells are less common as they require a large quantity of gold to be held up in solution for the electrolyte. At $1800 an ounce that gets costly.
 

nickvc

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
4,894
Location
birmingham
Cells will not negate the use of recovery processes in most cases so if you hope to avoid those forget the idea.
The most useful cell for running e scrap is a copper cell as much e scrap is high in copper but bear in mind all electrolytic cells need high grade feedstock ie95%+ of the metal you want to refine or you will foul your electrolyte quickly.
Silver cells are good if you have decent volumes of material but again they will not work too well with sterling.
Gold cells are not cheap to set up and maintain as the cost is high and for many not necessary.
 

4metals

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
4,480
Location
northeast USA
If you are looking to refine e-scrap check the library for some threads on pyrolysis and smelting (to clean up the undesirable metals) and copper cells. A lot has been said about this and it will be a good place to start.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
13
Cells will not negate the use of recovery processes in most cases so if you hope to avoid those forget the idea.
The most useful cell for running e scrap is a copper cell as much e scrap is high in copper but bear in mind all electrolytic cells need high grade feedstock ie95%+ of the metal you want to refine or you will foul your electrolyte quickly.
Silver cells are good if you have decent volumes of material but again they will not work too well with sterling.
Gold cells are not cheap to set up and maintain as the cost is high and for many not necessary.

If you are looking to refine e-scrap check the library for some threads on pyrolysis and smelting (to clean up the undesirable metals) and copper cells. A lot has been said about this and it will be a good place to start.

Guys, both have given some sound information... Getting started, I guess its good to get an opinion for those with more knowledge.

I will look into what other posts have put on this now.

Thanks guys.
 

Martijn

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
578
Location
Netherlands, Zeeland
I have a copper cell running to get leftover plating bits from melted pins, after I've stripped them with the Sulphuric cell, just to play around with
It fouls itself after some time if your copper is not pure enough. I use a fleece type of cloth as anode bag and it catches the Sulphates to be washed out periodically. If the electrolyte needs replacement you'll see once the deposited copper changes color. Mine turns lighter with some yellowish residue on it. > Time to change the electrolyte. I think it's mostly Zinc.
The yeild was so low from these pins compared to the time and power that went in, it's not worth it to chase after the tiny leftovers like I did.
But that was also to get familiar with the process and see for myself how much was remaining, without spending nitric on all those processed pins.
A cell is a refining process. You'll need a relative high purity metal to put in.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
6
Hi,

I'm just wondering, does everyone (or anyone) have multiple cells running?

So say, platinum cell, a gold cell, a silver cell, a copper cell (seen a post about that recently) etc, or do people tend to stick to creating just the one cell?

My reasoning was, does one create a cell for getting gold plate, create a silver cell for silver extraction/purification and have a similar one for taking the remnants of copper, just to get the maximum recovery from each?

I'm thinking of doing something like this, and wanted make a decision based on the feedback from the experience of others.

Many Thanks
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
6
Each different metal uses a specific voltage for refining So you cannot use One size fits all Power supply .
 

jadedalex

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
43
Sancho, you wrote:
My reasoning was, does one create a cell for getting gold plate, create a silver cell for silver extraction/purification and have a similar one for taking the remnants of copper, just to get the maximum recovery from each?
Like 4Metals says, read the Library. Everything you need to know is in there. Pay attention to the thread by Kurtak. He goes through all the steps needed to extract pure metal. Once you understand what is needed, you'll need a Copper cell after smelting out the other undesireable metals, then a Silver cell which will leave Palladium in solution then a Gold cell which leaves Platinum in solution. Any leftover slimes are probably, Rhodium, Osmium and other Platinum Group metals. If you don't understand what I just wrote, you need to start studying...
 

Yggdrasil

Well-known member
**
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Messages
672
Location
Northern Mindanao, Philippines
Sancho, you wrote:

Like 4Metals says, read the Library. Everything you need to know is in there. Pay attention to the thread by Kurtak. He goes through all the steps needed to extract pure metal. Once you understand what is needed, you'll need a Copper cell after smelting out the other undesireable metals, then a Silver cell which will leave Palladium in solution then a Gold cell which leaves Platinum in solution. Any leftover slimes are probably, Rhodium, Osmium and other Platinum Group metals. If you don't understand what I just wrote, you need to start studying...
Hmm very simplistic.
No mention about purity, feedstock and so on.
Copper cell is for "pure" copper, silver cell for "pure" silver and so on
 

jadedalex

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
43
Hmm very simplistic.
No mention about purity, feedstock and so on.
Maybe study some too?
Wasn't meant to be a class! Simplistic just for illustrative purposes. I FULLY aware of what I left out. Just telling Sancho that he needs to get reading...
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2021
Messages
13
Thanks for the comments. I'm learning, as are others. Will try to be a bit more specific when I post any other questions, so to avoid the "must read" comments.
 

Geo

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
6,748
Location
Decatur,Ala.
Each different metal uses a specific voltage for refining So you cannot use One size fits all Power supply .
Power supplies are just that. They supply power. A bench power supply can be about as big as you can afford. Using the electromotive series of metals and the size of the cell, capacity, volume and dimensions and composition of the anode and cathode and electrical requirements for the power supply itself and most likely a dozen other things that I can't think of, you can calculate the required output you will need to run the cell(s) you want to operate.
 

Geo

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
6,748
Location
Decatur,Ala.
Most lab power supplies will have volt and amp adjustments. You can adjust the current to what you need.
 
Top