Processing SilverPlate With H2O Cell

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jungle_Dave

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Anyone try silver oxide (SR) type batteries with this type of cell?

The issue I am having with Juan's method, which is brilliant none the less, is the amount of nitric acid required to process these batteries which is (as far as see) due to the electrolyte. KOH or NaOH .

It should be possible to neutralize the alkaline with a cheaper acid, wash and and process the cathodes in an H2O cell.
If nobody has tried this I'll give it a shot unless there is a good reason for not doing it at all.
 

solar_plasma

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Could you explain, what you want to try and why you think the H2O cell could help? I can't see any sense in your post. The tab water cell works fine to recover silver from silver plated stuff. It makes a mixed powder with Ag2O, Ag(OH)2, traces of AgCl and probably hydroxides and oxides of all base metals involved. The silver has to be refined. Though it is possible to go other routes than nitric, it is the only straight and proper method as far as I know.

The H2O cell with very pure distilled water is used to make colloidal silver.

edit: looking at the silver battery again, I can't see another way than to use nitric. You have to process metallic silver. It would take long time to oxidize it in a H2O cell to form silver oxides, which could be dissolved or converted and then dissolved without nitric.

If at all, I see two possibilities:

oxidize to Ag2O, dissolve in H2SO4 (low solulity of silver sulfate though) and cement or drop as AgCl
or
convert Ag2O to AgCl, dissolve in thiosulfate and cement
or
a combination of both

All basemetals like nickel would be converted to oxides and hydroxides, too. Stainless steel might be more inert.

I am pretty sure those routes would be a poor choice compared to nitric.
 

jungle_Dave

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Hi Solar Plasma,

I reviewed the construction of the batteries again, took apart 4 different types of SR and they are all the same.

SR batteries cathodes are composed with a small disk of Ag2O in elemental Ag with a layer of either KOH or NaOH (electrolyte) a barrier film and a stainless steel shell.
The Anode is a capsule, zinc, KOH, barrier film in stainless steel a cap and bezel.
Its not unlike a bullet (if a bullet was flat)

No need to convert Ag2O to Ag20. Its labor intensive but removing the disk, washing in hot water, and processing with nitric is the only way to save a bit on the nitric acid.
I'll try a kg of batteries to see if its worth the effort, otherwise Ill just grind it all up in a ball mill and separate out the steel magnetically .

Thanks for taking the time though.
 

the iron dwarf

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I have some blocks of aluminium plated with silver, inside is a small PCB that I have not managed to remove more than fragments of with silver tracks and small coils of silver plated wire soldered on, I have a few of these and thought a h20 cell may be a way to go.
I have not yet tested the solder but I suspect that is also high in silver
 

solar_plasma

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Aluminium should work. Most aluminium you can buy at your home depot has been anodized (protected with an oxide layer). The silver should strip and leave anodized aluminium.

Processing SnAg alloys that way sounds like making a mess.

Just a guess.
 

the iron dwarf

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will test the solder and see if I can remove the board with heat
dont think these blocks are anodized as they are electroplated, they are part of some sort of antenna and are machined into chambers on both sides, pictures later today

I could try leaving them in HCL to deal with the solder first

the lids are silver plated aluminium, will the H2O process attack the aluminium if it is not anodized?
 

the iron dwarf

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test showed silver on block, coils, lid and board but solder on board and under board fixing it in place I got dark brown instead of red so I have tin there.
using my hotplate I removed all the boards
SAM_0452.JPG
SAM_0451.JPG
SAM_0450.JPG
SAM_0449.JPG
 

solar_plasma

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dont think these blocks are anodized

they get anodized as soon as you put them into the H2O cell as the anode. You people would have a lot more fun with the H2O cell, if you first learn, what it does :) no bad intentions, just my two cents
 

the iron dwarf

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wouldnt electroplating on top of anodizing be difficult, from what I have heard anodizing is checked by measuring the conductivity of the surface so the aluminium under the silver would more likely be clean, it would have to remover the silver first for it to be anodized in the cell unless it does this through the silver plating.
I will start with the lids as they have no solder on them and will try soaking 1 of the blocks in HCL to try solder removal
 

solar_plasma

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edit: page 6 and 7 seem to give a quite good explanation and some answers http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/478632.pdf

Oxidation takes place at the anode. You can use this for making an inert protective layer of oxide on aluminium and other metals. Silver flakes of as Ag, Ag2O and other silver compounds. I did not say, that there is an oxide layer under the silver plate.
 

heliman4141

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modtheworld44 said:
Hi to All,

Ok where to begin! I guess with the specs of my cell,so here they are.

POWER SUPPLY(Front Panel)
Radio Shack
Regulated 12 volt Power supply
Converts 120 VAC to 12 VDC
1 on/off power switch

POWER SUPPLY(Back Panel)
120 VAC
60 HZ
60 WATTS MAX

OUTPUT 13.8 VDC- 2.5A
3 AMP reset switch

2 wires & 2 clamps
1 gallon pickle jar

ANODE and CATHODE (any SILVERPLATE WARE you choose)
ELECTROLYTE(good old H2O)

Ok now to the process .

1.Fill jar about 3-5 inches from the top so you have plenty of room for rinseing periodically .
2.Clamp Anode and Cathode to jar (Leave Anode+ half out of water helps deplate better).Do not let your clamps touch the water.
3.Make sure that Anode and Cathode are across from one another ,not side by side.
4.Turn power supply on,after about 1 1/2 minutes you should start seeing the silver coming off in a cloudy stream.
5.After it runs for a hour or two the cell will start to get real cloudy and by this time you,ll start to see growth on the anode (don,t panic) just power the cell off .
6.Use spray bottle and tooth brush to clean Anode (Make sure to do this back into the cell).Do not clean Cathode.
7.Flip Anode around so deplated end is sticking out of water and reclamp, and turn power back on.
8.When second half is done , turn power off ,unclamp Anode and use it to stir the cell for about a minute then clean second half of Anode then replace with new Anode.Continue steps 2-8 Until step 9 comes into play.
9.When water is almost to the top near clamp, power down remove and clean current Anode,remove and spray only the Cathode(You want Cathode to stay tarnished black).
10.Now that cell is pregnant filter all liquid through 3 stacked coffee filters 1 time only.
11.Rinse black powder in filter with spray bottle, dry till it hardens then save for bigger melt.
12.Now refill cell with the same fluid you filtered and start again,except now you can leave Anode in for longer time period and let the growth grow longer before cleanings.

Heres my video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WCyoq1yMgg



Very interesting science & chemistry!
I have a question tho..............Silver at the moment is low at spot & it takes (money) ......electricity to run the cell, so is it a viable source of income at this stage, or just an experiment?
Also, have you or anyone else tried this experiment on Gold plated items? I can see consuming electricity worthwhile if it worked on Gold plating or a lot faster on Silver.

Dave
 

FrugalRefiner

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I don't know what anyone else pays, but I pay a little under 6 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. One kilowatt hour will run a 100 watt light bulb for ten hours. One kilowatt hour will power a low voltage, low amperage DC power supply for a long time.

Dave
 

heliman4141

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FrugalRefiner said:
I don't know what anyone else pays, but I pay a little under 6 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. One kilowatt hour will run a 100 watt light bulb for ten hours. One kilowatt hour will power a low voltage, low amperage DC power supply for a long time.

Dave


Thanks Dave,
Its a very frugal process obviously, that is what I was hoping for. Gold recovery & refining had been a very expensive lesson I didn't want to repeat. I have a lot of plated stuff that I didn't know what to do with. Can hardly give it away. This may be the answer come Summer.

Dave
 

FrugalRefiner

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I've been reading an old book called The Precious Metals Comprising Gold Silver and Platinum recently. In the history section on parting gold and silver, they mention that the oldest methods of furnaces and cementation ruled for hundreds of years. Beginning in the 1500s, furnace work was replaced by the use of nitric acid. This was replaced by the use of sulfuric acid in 1802, because sulfuric was less expensive. The sulfuric process was replaced in the early 1900s by electrolytic methods, again because of economy.

While it is not as fast as acid refining, and the cost of metals tied up in the processes must be considered, electrolytic methods can provide frugal alternatives to expensive acids on the scale that many of us work.

Dave
 

Profikiskery

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This is a fantastic learning experience!!

It seems very safe first of all. Secondly, the safeness, lets you observe all kinds of new stuff and relate it to terms learned here, and in Hoke's book. So much is to be learned from this, its incredible. I was taken back when GSP said, and I quote lightly, "it was one of the most interesting developments or ideas he had seen in years."

From what I have gathered, when it comes to silver he is in the know. I saw another leader here saying that GSP had refined more silver than most of us had ever looked at. Things like that catch my eye. It is obvious who the shining lights are here, from one skill to the other. For one to compliment another, when at many times they seem to be at odds, is a time to take note. My interest is for now silver, and I try to seek out the post with the leaders that have shared their learnings piecemeal.

Seemed to me this post was huge in the silver arena so I am getting involved. If for nothing else to sit back and read, and learn.

Got my second spoon in now, have a much better grasp on what "colloid" is now, have been able to watch the silver move to the cathode. Learning to handle fluids better....what glassware works best for pouring and measuring. Much more of the terms used here now are connecting. Taking notes....as I said this is great for a newbie getting started like me.

Haven't even mentioned expected yields yet!! From the plated stuff, anything is a bonus. Film at 11 on that.

Forgive my being giddy. I just get that way when a lot of value is presented for free.

Thanks for the great post!!

Craig
 

heliman4141

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This was a super post at length,
Not often here one reads about a safe natural way to recover anything usually without serious fumes & acids etc...
The colloidal Silver I wanted to mention its awsome benefits ive received. Have a friend who had made some with pure Silver rods & id always had an issue with with eczema in the ear canals driving me nuts trying to cure.
Tried some cream from the Dr. that cost well over $100 a tube with almost no success then moved on to hollistic ways such as Teatree oil which worked 10 times better then the script did, but the odor of it & the fact that it still came back eventually left me a bit bewildered on what to do next.
Well, a friend I spoke with made me up a bottle of Colloidal Silver & said, read up about it first, then use some in your ears & be prepared for a surprise...........She was right!
Its been over 2 weeks now & i have absolutly zero issues so far with my ears. Its use as a topical for skin conditions & infections is well, simply amazing.
I also wanted to add that I only applied it one time with a Q-tip that was all that was necessary, no additional applications necessary, again simply amazing!
I love the fact it has no odor or any side effects at all. She has a machine that uses 2 pure Silver rods & steam distilled pure water in the process, takes about 3 hrs. I was told.
When asked why she was making this I was told it was incase she or someone else came down with a bad resperatory or other viral infection that regular meds wouldn't deal with quickly.
As far as drinking it I have no fear after reading about it but, id only do that IF I had a bad viral infection that a Z-pac couldn't cure first, so id know for certain its viral. Ive read that it can halt a viral infection fast in just a few days if that is the case. Its kept in a dark glass bottle in a paper bag in my cool basement in a cabinet.
Sometimes the most natural form of medicine is clearly the best rout verses big Pharmas push of endless pills and drugs used to treat, verses cure...............

Dave
 

Profikiskery

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The cement I yielded is very dark. This has been a slow process. So far have introduced about 13 oz of silverplate into the cell. Cleaned each piece with a torch prior.

The "smoke" that initially comes off seems to be a good light quality cement, but it doesn't take long at all for the electrolyte to start getting dark with what I am sure is mostly junk. My best guess is MAYBE 5% of that cement will be silver. I still have a ways to go before I collect the cement. My pickle jar has collected a little over 1/4 inch at the bottom.

My thoughts are what will happen with .925 sterling instead of plate? I am wondering if the H2O electrolyte will still break that down as it does the plated material and create a better quality of cement. I will try it and let you guys know.....

From what I have gathered so far, there is no upside in this process. However it seems to work and water and electricity is cheap. Just trying to see if there is a way to make it more efficient, and yield a better product.

If any of you guys have suggestions, I am willing to spend the time.

Craig
 

solar_plasma

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Sterling will just make a silver-copper-mud. This method is not and can not be selective for silver, especially not for alloys.
 

Profikiskery

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Yes. My thoughts as well.

But can I not take that mud....dissolve it in nitric, then precipitate it with copper? My thoughts are that would extract what little silver there is.
 

solar_plasma

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Ofcourse the mud will dissolve faster and you could dissolve a big part of the base metals first in order to save nitric. I've done that with mud from plated material.

I haven't been really happy with HCl for washing this powder since at least the Ag2O will create AgCl which adds additional steps. Dilluted H2SO4 might serve better since AgSO4 is soluble to some degree.

Still I think the H2O cell is pure recovery. For sterling it might work, it will add additional steps and you will probably be better off using straight conventional methods, if nitric isn't the problem for you.
 
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