There are a lot of silver recyclers out there, because it is a profitable business as silver continues to increase in value. A lot of silver recyclers recover silver from x-ray and film developer. They’re able to extract silver from a concentrated solution of fixer solution. The operators of these businesses typically extract silver using either a chemical process or method of electrolysis. Here’s exactly what you need to know about silver recycling.
Silver is a precious and rare metal that continues to increase in value. Silver recyclers typically recover silver from chemical waste such as a fixer solution. This fixer solution is used in x-rays and photography development studios. Typically, fixer solutions have a high concentration of silver and its removal can mean a lot of money for the person extracting the silver.
The concentration of silver in a fixer solution is often variable. The silver is dissolved into the solution from the x-ray or photography films. It’s typical for to see a silver concentration in a fixer solution to be about 10 g/L of solution. You can typically determine how much silver is in solution by dipping what is known as estimation paper into the solution. The paper will turn color and indicate the concentration of silver in approximately 5 seconds. This is a good way to estimate how much silver is in a fixer solution before trying to extract the silver.
There are a couple ways to extract silver from a fixer solution. The two most common methods are chemical processing or electrolysis. In the chemical processing, the fixer solution is taken and added to sodium sulfate and caustic soda. The result will be a black residue at the bottom of the container due to reaction and a yellow solution at the top. The next step is to filter the yellow solution at the top and retain all black residue within the container. You need to dry the residue with filter paper. You should also heat, melt, and mold the residue so you can start to recover the silver.
In the method of electrolysis extraction, you will use a carbon or graphite anode and a stainless steel plate as the cathode. You will put the solution into a container with the electrolysis setup. You will need to connect electricity and watch as the silver is deposited onto the cathode. You will want to continue operation until all the silver is attached to the cathode and starts to appear as black flakes.
Now that you know more about silver extraction, you can attempt to recover silver and fixer solutions for profit. Silver is a very valuable and rare metal that continues to increase in value. You can easily start a silver recovering business by collecting fixer solutions from x-ray machines and photography studios. You need to recover the silver through chemical processing or electrolysis. Typically, you can get an average of 10 grams of silver per liter of fixer solution, which is typically valued at around nine dollars.