Metal Refining & Recovery, Episode 23: Recovering Inquart Silver

Metal Refining & Recovery, Episode 23: Recovering Inquart Silver


Alright everyone welcome at Cody’s lab so in this bucket is the liquid that is the result of adding dilute nitric acid to the silver gold alloy, so this liquid contains mostly silver nitrate a little bit of copper nitrate and a trace of palladium and I think today I want to extract the silver. Now I’ve done this before and I’ve actually had it in this form as it is right now, and I just added some Hydrochloric acid or salt to drop out the silver chloride, but I think this time I’m gonna make the silver metal directly by using copper So I’m melting down some scrap pieces of copper Just give this a nice little stir, get all that melted. Okay, so now I’m gonna take the copper which should be liquid and I’m gonna pour it out onto some sand and hopefully that will create a nice long copper bar. Okay. Oh it’s heavy. Here it goes. Whoa that’s hot. Oh, I think that worked a A little bit of slag poured out on top there. That can be brushed away. Awesome So you can see I’ve transferred my silver solution into this glass cylinder right there I’ve got a light on it to keep it warm and also generate convection currents, which will gently stir it It’s also to provide flicker free lighting for my time-lapse camera here I’m actually gonna pour in just a little bit of water Mostly just to bring the level up a little bit more Here’s my copper bar See I’ve cleaned it up with a wire brush and drilled a hole Into the top so you can see I’ve tied the copper bar to a glass rod and I can use this to suspend the copper down into the solution so There we go You can see the reaction is happening almost immediately Just sit that right there. Okay Now what’s going on is the copper you can actually see some silver is flaking off of it yeah, silver is Being replaced from solution by the copper so that’s going from silver nitrate to copper nitrate and silver metal Actually kind of cool to watch the silver crystals fall off There’s a little bit excess nitric acid in there, but there’s also an excess of copper here, so I don’t think we’ll have a problem See the silver forming on the outside of the copper Since the silver is heavy. It kind of flakes off exposing more copper Avalanche Ha ha Oh I shook the table Look at that That’s silver just falling off Okay, that’s interesting, seems for some reason the silver has been floating less last little while Instead of falling to the bottom. It’s floated to the top It’s just reacting with acid It’s producing gas. My guess is the Dissolving capability of the water has been reached Nitrogen dioxide is starting to come out of solution a little bit faster. Oh yeah, I can even see that there’s a little bit of an orange tinge above the liquid It doesn’t really affect the reaction much though I’m sure it’ll settle down eventually Yeah, you can see down in the silver powder on the bottom of the container that bubbles are forming And the excess nitric acid is causing the silver to You know some of it to dissolve back into solution and produced nitrogen dioxide monoxide gas At first that gas was just dissolving right into the water being oxidized by dissolved oxygen but now All the dissolved oxygen is used up so it’s just coming out of solution almost like a fizzy drink This will actually help because it’s stirring the silver around because every once in a while this will lift off and mix into the solution I guess one thing I could do is add some ammonia and neutralize the solution That’d work It’s unnecessary though Alright, so it’s been right around six hours Let’s have a look at this you can see the crystals quite well right now I think because the reaction rate has slowed down the crystals are able to grow a larger before breaking off I’m actually a little bit worried about it bubbling over tonight. I might stir everything down See as the gas is released you can see it reacts with the air and makes that brownish orange color All right Give this a nice good stir Notice the solution is darker Because it’s got more copper in it Now that I’ve released all that gas the silver is able to settle so I just give it a good strong stir You can see most of the silver crystals are now on the bottom Some of them are entrained in the mixture You can see it’s forming bands it almost looks like Jupiter It’s kind of cool and rather pretty let’s see if I can zoom in on that Yeah Silver crystals flowing around in solution, I also moved the light farther away Being that close it was getting really hot I think actually that’s what those bubbles were so I think all the acid is used up But there is still some dissolved gas in their and as the solution heated up It’s forcing it all out So it’s been 2 days since I started this Looks like we got quite a bit of silver powder down at the bottom of the vessel The solution is darkened looks like the silvers been sticking to the side, so it’s really kind of hard to see in there Some condensation at the top tip that in Pull this out to see how it looks Yeah, it’s a little bit smaller not a whole lot though. It’s certainly lighter But for the most part it’s still there. It’s like it’s coated in a silver Powdered mixture, so let’s test the solution to see if there’s any silver still dissolved Let’s drop in a little bit of hydrochloric acid If there’s silver there should be a white precipitate forming Like there is a little bit You see that That’d be better from the top Yeah, so there’s a little bit of silver chloride forming, so there’s still silver in the solution That tells me it is not quite done It is definitely slowed down you see this is the amount of silver that was dropped off the bar today so I’ve stirred up the solution again to Release any trapped silver nitrate that was trapped down here in these silver crystals I’ve also decided to give the copper bar a good scrub to remove any of that Contaminants that are blocking the silver from reacting with the metal directly One, this is actually silver, but that might be a copper oxide Anything else that was in there Preventing the silver from reacting so let’s scrub that off See, now the copper bar is clean again, you can actually see there’s some crystals showing up in the copper See that? Very nicely etched, let’s see if anything else comes out of the solution tonight It didn’t immediately tarnish so Tells me the silver is definitely pretty low So we’re coming up on three days since starting this copper bar into the solution. last night I actually took it out and Scrubbed it to remove any a silver that has stuck to it or any other impurities It looks like it’s tarnished yet again But there’s certainly not any large amounts of silver falling off, so I’m pretty sure this is pretty much done Let’s let that drip for a second there Lay it down on the table Now just check to make sure we’ve got all the silver out of solution, I’m gonna add just a little bit of hydrochloric acid Oh yeah That is not producing any silver chloride so I’d say our solution has been depleted of all the silver or at least enough that it’s not worth recovering it anymore alright So got this siphon pump with the lead going down into a bucket I’m gonna siphon out the copper nitrate solution I just give this a little bit of a push And down it goes Alright, so I’ll just kind of slowly siphoned this so I don’t disturb the silver powder. That’s down in there, So this copper bar It does weigh a little bit less now because of course the copper was used up and is now into the solution but since copper has about half the molecular weight of silver and also silver nitrate is a one electron transferred whereas copper is two The amount of copper that actually was used up in order to replace all that silver is very little I figured that for the 800 grams of silver it should take maybe 230 grams of copper, so This bar is almost the same shape and size as when we started but Yeah, I can tell that it is lighter. It’s about half a pound lighter Incidentally, that’s also why we don’t use copper to inquart takes way more acid Alright, so that’s as much as like it’s syphon out and I’m gonna have to add water in order to get this remaining amount of Copper in case you’re wondering what I’m doing with the copper I will be Recovering the copper eventually, but for now I’m converting it into copper carbonate by adding it to this bucket with some baking soda baking soda reacts to form copper carbonate and sodium nitrate You can see that I already had a bunch of copper from some previous Processes down in there You know, it’s not really gonna be worth my time to recover the copper until I’ve got a large amount of it saved up so, there you go There should be enough excess baking soda in there to react that and form copper carbonate And I’ve been letting the water just evaporate But I might end up having to siphon the water off this time because there’s just so much of it Actually, I decided running it through a filter would Be faster and save water Alright, let’s pull this all out of the filter here I was just using a shirt by the way looks like a lot of silver got stuck in it, so I might have to Wash it out Yeah Maybe not such a good idea then so this is the silver that was stuck to the shirt I just washed it off with some water, and I just got through filtering it out so now I’m just going to add this to the rest of it So here’s the silver powder completely dry see there’s the filter paper I’m just gonna put that into the crucible along with the silver it’ll help Protect from oxygen Let’s just transfer this over And then we can melt it down All right I think we’re ready How brilliant, see that? Let’s pour in the silver my preheated mold Perfect This is cooled off Next bunch of silver Okay, that was a little bit fuller In case you’re wondering that blue flame you see is actually the carbon burning It looks like I didn’t oxidize too much It didn’t have that much copper in there anyway lets cool these off And See how much we got Ok so here they are All cooled off Let’s get their weight so 392 and a half just add that to 444.69 and This bit of silver that splattered out on the table which I re-melted down another thirty four point seven five grams yeah that comes to 871 94 Now I added 800 grams of silver or more specifically 800 grams of sterling silver which is .2925 so 800 Times .925 so that’s only 740 grams of silver that I added This isn’t pure silver But it’s probably a lot more pure than the original sterling so Where did the other silver come from? well it came from the jewelry itself So I gained another, let’s see what was that, so I managed to gain about 130 grams of silver from the jewelry itself It was probably around $75 worth so yeah, it’s not insignificant. Of course I don’t know how much palladium’s in here yet All right Probably not that much And there we have it. There’s the silver we used to inquart the gold now recovered It’s about five hundred dollars in silver right there Now it isn’t super pure. So I probably couldn’t sell it like this I’m planning on reusing this to add to gold again, so I wasn’t really too worried about it Look they’re growing So a lot of people were very upset about me releasing the numbers of how much I paid for the jewelry on Patreon and not releasing it publicly The main reason I did that is actually I don’t quite yet know how much I made or if it’ll be Profitable to buy jewelry on eBay and refine it so I’m mostly keeping it behind a paywall until I know for sure I don’t want a whole crowd of people you know storming through eBay and then finding out that I Wasn’t able to make money right? So anyway, hope you enjoyed see you next time

100 Comments

  1. I washed the resultant silver with water thoroughly, then used HCl and heated to about 50c for a couple hours (it turned blue), rinsed with thoroughly with water again. Density was within 0.1% of silver.

  2. I am purifying some silver, but a brown powder is forming at the bottom of my silver solution, is this copper from the solution being too saturated or??

  3. Keeping things behind a pay wall I don't think pond scum sinks that low. Though it might be a cool experiment to see how buoyant pond slim actually is and its density and its force of attraction IE how sticky it is.

  4. I like your honesty and the love of sharing the informations with others……you the real man CODY’S
    🙏☝️❤️🌍🌎🌏

  5. What to do if you put cell phone boards and gold pieces in some vinegar and salt and peroxide and the leave it in there for a month.?
    Then it looks like a yeast has grown in the jar. ?
    The liquid has changed to more of a dark brownish black color as well.

  6. I absolutely hated chemistry in school but as I grow older I've become more and more interested and this channel makes it fun to learn thank you

  7. youtube does not want your videos so their loss. Take a shot on twitch tv. Maybe you wil have better luck there. Youtube just can loose viewers.

  8. Would be a great method to smuggle money over borders,you just turn silver into this powder,put it in concrete Bags,load it on a Truck,and no one would ever notice its not concrete lol

  9. Hey Cody got a question for you if your solution has silver copper in it will it still drop out the silver if you use the copper rod in that way?

  10. So you didn't lock the spreadsheet behind a pay wall because it was early access, the information was coming in a youtube video. However if you don't release that video with the information from the spreadsheet, that makes that information locked behind a paywall.

  11. Cody what kind of furnace are you using? At my work we want te measure tin content in steel, so first we have to make an alloy of steel and tin by smelting it down.

  12. One of my favorites and I learned so much I am sorry I never commented about dropping the silver out solution. Don't forget how much we love you! I will share every video and just reshare these old ones and I will share them too, they are GOOD QUALITY AND THE NOOBS DONT HAVE EM, JUST REPLAY THEM DUDE!

  13. did that slow down once the silver reached the level of the copper bar perchance? im wondering if there is some kind of galvanic action that could be shorted out?
    i know nothing about chemistry, just curious

  14. Did the silver sludge not start floating because the solution is less dense after dropping out most of the silver? No thats other way round I think. Else the last half of the precipitation is less dense due to the slower forming after dropping most of the silver out.

  15. When I was a kid, my father showed me how to do that using bright red pennies and spent photographic fixer. When I grew up (and had a camera store/studio/camera repair shop), I bought a used Rotex electrolytic silver recovery machine (rotating stainless steel cathode, carbon plate anodes, and several amps of DC), and used Kodak silver test strips (booklets of "something like" litmus paper, but for testing silver content rather than pH).

    When we'd run out of the strips, we'd use pennies to determine the silver content of the fixer we bought (my partner would hit up all the local dentists and chiropractors, and I'd run the machine).

    Them were the days…

  16. U got a new subscriber in me that is really cool I’ve learned more science watching u then I did back in the day in school

  17. I'm not saying that I like the gigantic dick in there but it is what it is doing collecting a lot of silver.. hahu

  18. I love how Cody explores every little facet of science in his videos, right down to observing the convection of the silver crystals. You sir are a welcome influence and inspiration for our future Tom Edisons and Nikola Teslas of this world. Thank you for thoroughly stimulating my metaphorical chemistry and science boner for years.

  19. Whoever is responsible for taking down these videos is gonna go straight to hell where they have to go through every step of the refining process, ripped apart, shredded, liquefied, precipitated, blended, precipitated, filtered, superheated, and cast into bars.

  20. looks like a copper turd. but it's kinda cool to see how it reacts to the chemical, have been a viewer of your content for as long as I've been born.

  21. Cody, I posted on the GRF the following 
    @t
    If you could check out the questions I posted I would very much appreciate your feedback if time permits for you.

  22. your videos are become anouying agrevating. one minut its sivler then its copper again then back to silver. what the fuck are u doing silver or firkin copper. u did the same shit when u did your mercury video.

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