Silver production

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Aunderwood458

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Hey guys I'm new to science and metals but I want to start producing. I've watched on YouTube how you can take Cu+AgNO3 to produce AG2 or silver metal. Does anyone do that here and does it actually sell at the shops?
 

FrugalRefiner

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Aunderwood458 said:
Hey guys I'm new to science and metals but I want to start producing. I've watched on YouTube how you can take Cu+AgNO3 to produce AG2 or silver metal. Does anyone do that here and does it actually sell at the shops?

Where to start?

First, don't rely on Youtube for your education. Study what's available here.

Yes, you can put copper (Cu) into a solution of silver nitrate (AgNO3) and the silver will cement out as metallic silver (Ag). I don't know what AG2 is.

"Does it sell at the shops?" What do you plan to do with the silver cement to make it saleable? What kind of shops do you plan to sell it in? Do you get your feedstock cheaply enough to allow you a profit and allow the shop owner a profit as well? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just don't know how to give you advice.

Dave
 

rickbb

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I don't know of any "shop" that will buy powdered/granulated silver. Which is what cemented silver is.

You can sell it to a refiner, if you have pounds and pounds of it.

Unless you can get the silver nitrate and copper for free and don't expect to be paid an hourly rate for your labor you will lose money on it. If you buy the silver nitrate then you have already paid more than the silver content is worth.

No offence, but you are clearly new to more than science and metals. You appear to lack a few business fundamentals as well. Again, no offence intended.
 

Topher_osAUrus

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Aunderwood458 said:
Cant i just pour it into a bar?

Sure.

I am assuming the metal silver that has been recovered.

But the problem with that is, ..you kind of need some "street cred" to be able to sell to someone.

They would undoubtedly question its purity.
Probably even wonder if theres a slug in the middle of that bar.
Maybe you know the buyer, and he just stashes it.. or one of a million other scenario. But usually, that, being taken at your word and ability doesnt just happen.

Any jerkoff can stamp 99.99 on a bar, only the best can actually produce it.
You become the best by practice and study.

Welcome to the forum.
A world of discovery awaits you :)
 

Aunderwood458

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So after doing my research I understand the transition and how the silver cements, from there I pour into to shot and then put into a bar. I want to know what grade of silver nitrate do I use? Is it .1N?

Also I read somewhere that the every gram of silver nitrate turns into 3.XX cemented silver? Is that accurate?
 

butcher

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If you have pure dry silver nitrate it would contain about 63% silver by weight (one mole silver), little over 8% nitrogen (one mole nitrogen) and about 28% oxygen (3 moles oxygen).
Now unless you dissolved a mole of silver into solution or 169 grams of silver you would not get a mole of silver out of solution.

Although you should get all of the silver you dissolved in solution, back out of solution with its weight, minus any weight of base the metals your leaving in solution...

The molecular weight for silver nitrate 169.87g/mole,
The atomic mass of silver 107.87g/mole
The atomic mass of nitrogen 14.006g/mole
The atomic weight of oxygen 15.999g/mole

You will only get as much silver out of solution as you put into solution.
Maybe your confusing something here.

It takes about 1.22ml of 70% Nitric acid diluted with 1,22ml of water to dissolve a gram of silver, it will take about three time that much solution to dissolve a gram of copper.

Approximating:
1.2ml 70% HNO3 + 1.2ml H2O to dissolve a gram of pure silver.
It takes about 3.4 times more nitric acid to dissolve copper than it does silver.

One gram of copper will cement or displace about 3,4 grams of silver from solution (that is if it was in solution to begin with, of course).
Excess nitric acid in solution will dissolve more copper so your mileage will vary with free Nitric in solution...

one mole of copper will cement two moles of silver from two moles of silver nitrate leaving us with one mole of copper nitrate.

one gram of copper will cement 3.4 grams of silver from solution, excess nitric will consume more copper....

2AgNO3 + Cu --> Cu(NO3)2 + 2Ag

copper atomic weight is 63.56g/mole
Silver atomic weight 107.87g/mole
 
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Aunderwood458

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If you have pure dry silver nitrate it would contain about 63% silver by weight (one mole silver), little over 8% nitrogen (one mole nitrogen) and about 28% oxygen (3 moles oxygen).
Now unless you dissolved a mole of silver into solution or 169 grams of silver you would not get a mole of silver out of solution.

Although you should get all of the silver you dissolved in solution, back out of solution with its weight, minus any weight of base the metals your leaving in solution...

The molecular weight for silver nitrate 169.87g/mole,
The atomic mass of silver 107.87g/mole
The atomic mass of nitrogen 14.006g/mole
The atomic weight of oxygen 15.999g/mole

You will only get as much silver out of solution as you put into solution.
Maybe your confusing something here.

It takes about 1.22ml of 70% Nitric acid diluted with 1,22ml of water to dissolve a gram of silver, it will take about three time that much solution to dissolve a gram of copper.

Approximating:
1.2ml 70% HNO3 + 1.2ml H2O to dissolve a gram of pure silver.
It takes about 3.4 times more nitric acid to dissolve copper than it does silver.

One gram of copper will cement or displace about 3,4 grams of silver from solution (that is if it was in solution to begin with, of course).
Excess nitric acid in solution will dissolve more copper so your mileage will vary with free Nitric in solution...

one mole of copper will cement two moles of silver from two moles of silver nitrate leaving us with one mole of copper nitrate.

one gram of copper will cement 3.4 grams of silver from solution, excess nitric will consume more copper....

2AgNO3 + Cu --> Cu(NO3)2 + 2Ag

copper atomic weight is 63.56g/mole
Silver atomic weight 107.87g/mole
So you’re saying if I can’t make silver profitably like this?




Also I planned on using liquid silver nitrate.

I was under the impression that If I used 1 ml or gram of silver nitrate to more physical silver .800 or so by cementing the copper. Is this accurate?
 

Elemental

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Good Afternoon Aunderwood458,

I too am a hobby refiner who is currently specializing in silver purification. While your video's do a good job of showing industrial scale operations, they only touch one two aspects of processing silver. Your first video show an electrolytic cell for growing ultra-pure silver crystal and the second shows a hobby refiner melting that crystal into an ingot. What your videos do not show is all of the chemistry that it takes to get the purified silver nitrate to grow silver crystals, nor the waste management stream, or how they are procuring their raw materials. These are all things that must be considered if you want to pursue hobby refining. If you want to make a business out of this, then I wish you the best of luck. Unless you have a cheap/free source of raw materials, from what I understand it's hard to make a profit. (My wife jokes that while I buy scrap at ~75% of spot price but her cupcakes that she bakes have a 600% profit margin).
As a school educated chemist, I picked this hobby up to dust off my wet-chemistry skills, do some research, and get back into the lab. One question I would have for you is what are your goals? Are you a new to do a new hobby, looking to build a multi-million dollar business (like in your first video).

You mentioned wanting to use Silver Nitrate to grow crystals, but do you know how to make fairly pure silver nitrate? Do you have access to safety equipment, fume hoods, acid protective gear, etc? What is your experience level with chemistry? Ultimately that is what refining is, just simple chemistry. You're trying to concentrate certain elements, while removing others.

As for how much silver you can get out of a silver nitrate solution, it's all about the molarity of the solution (aka the concentration of Silver Nitrate). I can sell you two 1L bottles, each are silver nitrate, one might be 1 molar of silver nitrate, the other might be 2 molar. The math is important here, and I would reference Butcher's brief explanation on it as he sums it up well. I would rather have the 2 molar bottle by the way.

This line here is the important one: "It takes about 1.22ml of 70% Nitric acid diluted with 1,22ml of water to dissolve a gram of silver, it will take about three time that much solution to dissolve a gram of copper."

Regardless, sorry to blast away with some many questions. Welcome to the forum, like everyone else, I recommend reading Hoke, asking questions and doing a lot of reading, there is over 20 years of wisdom here, if you want to dig for it. (a whole different take on gold mining!)
 

butcher

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Thanks Elemental, with that answer I found it very helpful.

One problem with refining silver is what is your source and how cheap or easily can you get a large supply?

Trouble with recovery and refining in general is it take a lot of study and practical work to become good enough to make a dime, and if you are lucky to have a source (most of us are not that lucky to own a gold or silver mine) you may be able to make more than a couple of dimes for your time.

A lot of silver scrap can be worth just as much unprocessed and be easily recognized for its value, sterling coin silver... Where if you refined the silver you would most likely have a harder time selling it because most willing to buy would not know its value, and even when you could sell it there would not be much profit over the expense of acquiring the scrap, your time, trouble, and dangers...

Recovering silver from other sources like electrical silver, photographic silver, industrial scrap metal, solder/ brazes, and unmarked or scrap with an unrecognized value is a different story, there it may be worth recovering the silver, refining it and maybe even electrowinning it for higher purity (for a small profit)...
 
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Lino1406

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Silver nitrate can be converted with NaOH to meltable Ag2O, much simpler than cementing
 
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Aunderwood458

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Good Afternoon Aunderwood458,

I too am a hobby refiner who is currently specializing in silver purification. While your video's do a good job of showing industrial scale operations, they only touch one two aspects of processing silver. Your first video show an electrolytic cell for growing ultra-pure silver crystal and the second shows a hobby refiner melting that crystal into an ingot. What your videos do not show is all of the chemistry that it takes to get the purified silver nitrate to grow silver crystals, nor the waste management stream, or how they are procuring their raw materials. These are all things that must be considered if you want to pursue hobby refining. If you want to make a business out of this, then I wish you the best of luck. Unless you have a cheap/free source of raw materials, from what I understand it's hard to make a profit. (My wife jokes that while I buy scrap at ~75% of spot price but her cupcakes that she bakes have a 600% profit margin).
As a school educated chemist, I picked this hobby up to dust off my wet-chemistry skills, do some research, and get back into the lab. One question I would have for you is what are your goals? Are you a new to do a new hobby, looking to build a multi-million dollar business (like in your first video).

You mentioned wanting to use Silver Nitrate to grow crystals, but do you know how to make fairly pure silver nitrate? Do you have access to safety equipment, fume hoods, acid protective gear, etc? What is your experience level with chemistry? Ultimately that is what refining is, just simple chemistry. You're trying to concentrate certain elements, while removing others.

As for how much silver you can get out of a silver nitrate solution, it's all about the molarity of the solution (aka the concentration of Silver Nitrate). I can sell you two 1L bottles, each are silver nitrate, one might be 1 molar of silver nitrate, the other might be 2 molar. The math is important here, and I would reference Butcher's brief explanation on it as he sums it up well. I would rather have the 2 molar bottle by the way.

This line here is the important one: "It takes about 1.22ml of 70% Nitric acid diluted with 1,22ml of water to dissolve a gram of silver, it will take about three time that much solution to dissolve a gram of copper."

Regardless, sorry to blast away with some many questions. Welcome to the forum, like everyone else, I recommend reading Hoke, asking questions and doing a lot of reading, there is over 20 years of wisdom here, if you want to dig for it. (a whole different take on gold mining!)
I want to become a producer of metals and scale the business. I’m trying to find out which element is the most efficient to produce.
I’ve read and watched that palladium and platinum is just refining of nickel but can’t find the refining formula.
 

Elemental

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Below is the reaction I use to recover silver, as I don't like dealing with Silver Oxide while refining (although the waste stream is much cleaner)

Ag1+(aq) + NO31-(aq) + Cu(s) ---> Ag(s) + Cu2+(aq) + NO31-(aq)

Silver nitrate (AgNO3) reacts with copper (Cu) to form copper(II) nitrate (Cu(NO3)2) and silver (Ag).

The reaction is driven to the right due to the Reactivity Series (Reactivity series - Wikipedia)

A few other worthy notes:
- Silver Nitrate solution is clear in color
- Copper Nitrate solution is blue in color

In your remarks about efficiently producing metals via refining, I don't really have any good advise for you (maybe someone else can chime in). As for myself, right now I keep the slimes from when I electrochemically refine my silver in hopes that other precious metals might be recoverable in the future. Metals such as Gold, Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium. Even the copper I use in my chemical processes has value and can be re-used as part of the reaction as well.

I wish you the best of luck building out your business, please continue to ask questions and keep reading. There is a lot to learn about refining precious metals.

Elemental
 
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