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Silver extraction from waste hypo/fixer solution
Synopsis: The concept of silver in x-ray hypo/fixer inspired gold fever! Few readers are sharing info, perhaps believing that they hold a precious secret. Meanwhile, people seem to be selling "salted" fixer, with just enough silver to hook buyers while leaving them thinking they'll be rich if only they had a better recovery method :-)
Q. I am planning to start silver extraction plant. But I have some doubts regarding the same. I have read some letters on the same topic and I believe that my problem will be solved by this letter. During the photographic film processing, Silver leaches into the fixer solution (Sodium Thio-Sulphate) from the photographic film and forms Silver Thio-Sulphate complex ions. The fixer is considered exhausted after becoming silver-rich (~ 7 gm/l), as it can no more serve the purpose of fixing the film in effective manner. Such exhausted fixer can then be processed to recover the Silver from it. There are various methods for this. I read about this business in newspaper and searched through the literature, internet, etc. and came to know the various techniques of Silver recovery from fixer. But my doubt is that what will be purity of silver after extracted it by electrolysis method. if it is not 99.9% pure, I will not be able to sell it. Further what are the various methods of refining the extracted silver?Ankur Sutaria
- Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
Q. I know how to extract silver from waste fixer chemically but the process is somewhat difficult. I use the following chemicals sodium sulphide, caustic soda sodium nitrate borax soda ash this process finally I get the black powder which is to be melted at high temperature.
Is there any other method to extract pure silver chemically without melting the powder. I want the method to extract silver without melting chemically.
- Yellamanchilli, A.P., India
Q. Wish to know about the silver extraction method from waste hypo solution and the details about the machine and tools using the extraction. I am engaged in the business of silver extraction from the waste hypo/fixer and waste photo films. At present even though I am extracting silver successfully my procedure is very lengthy, risky and slow process. I am adopting chemical treatment method. Is there any other easy and quick process for the purpose.Kumaragurubaran
- Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India
A. Hi, folks. A good starting point (if you can find it) would probably be Kodak's booklet "Recovering Silver from Photographic Materials". Then you could compare what you are doing against the accepted methods, and perhaps be able to frame specific questions covering the differences. Good luck!
But share and share alike please: you claim to know part of it, and many readers are waiting to hear that much. Thanks.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Silver Recovery Techniques
Q. Respected sir,
I request how to prepare machine (what are all the equipments it needs). And also I tried to built up the machine but we did not do fully .
Followings are my queries...
1.we don't know what type of metal cathode and anode .
2. how much of DC voltage we have to give.
3. the full idea of prepare machine (silver extraction from waste hypo/fixer, x ray films)
Please send the answer of these questions as much as possible.
Thanking you yours faithfully,ACHUTHAN.V
- Tirupattur.vlr.dt , Tamilnadu, India
Q. I am looking for information on how to extract the silver from used fixer from a photographic process. Just something simple I play with at home. What type of electrodes should I use? What voltage and current should I apply? thank you in advanceMED TAHAR BEN SOUDA
- Menzel bourguiba TUNISIA
Q. I am planning to start silver extraction business part time from waste photographic hypo solution. I am M.Sc.(Hons) in chemistry and working as a chemist in a firm. I shall be very thankful if you please answer some of my questions.
1. Various chemical methods employed to extract silver on small scale. Its exact procedures?
2. Electro-Chemical method (Through Electrolysis) Its feasibility?
3. Procurement of plant and machinery
In nutshell I want to know the details of easy and profitable practical method for the extraction of Silver from waste Hypo fixer solution. Please guide accordingly.
I shall be very thankful to you.Amrit Pal Singh
- Gurgaon, India
[...5 almost identical inquiries deleted...]
Q. Dear Sir,
I want to split the Film Fixer and someone told me that by adding sodium sulphide to it, we can split it. Please tell me that is it the correct chemical to be added and also if there is any thing else required.Sukhbir Singh Sekhri
- Panchkula, Haryana, India
[...7 almost identical inquiries deleted...]
I am also looking for silver recovery method from photofilms, if any have economically feasible methods please send me a details regarding this.
[...4 almost identical inquiries deleted...]
Q. Electrolysis method for extraction of silver from waste fixer solutions. Expecting positive response.Samir Shah
- Junagadh, Gujrat, India
Hi, folks. 25 people in a row requested that someone provide them full information on this subject, while offering no help at all to the people waiting in line in front of them :-)
So "expecting positive response" is probably optimistic
But PLEASE HAVE THE SILVER CONTENT ANALYSED before worrying about how efficient your recovery method is! It appears that this technology is being marketed in a somewhat exaggerated fashion, with people finding far less silver in the hypo than they were led to believe, so no matter what they try, they are disappointed with the results, and think their process isn't working well enough.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Q. Dear sir,
I have managed to separate the coating of x-ray film using nitric acid this loosens the bind of the coating then I just scrape it off. now I don't know how to extract silver from the residue I have not tried anything hoping to get advice about it instead of groping around in the dark. Please let me know if my using nitric acid in the first place is correct or not, and what I am supposed to do next? Thanking you.Aman
- chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Q. Dear sir,
I would like to know the process of extraction of pure silver metal from X-ray fixer solution.
Could anybody kindly tell me about the procedure and equipments.Dr. R.J. Yadav
sarvodaya medical centre - Azamgarh, uttar pradesh, India
Q. Dear Sir,
I want to know the following Questions ?
1.How much quantity of silver recovered from 1 k.g of scrap x-ray film?
2.What are resources of sellers list of Scrap?
3.What are the chemicals to be used in the process of silver recovery from scrap x-ray film ?
4.Is there any machines for silver recovery from scrap film?
5.Who are the purchasers of washed film scrap?
6.How much price that I can pay for each 1 k.g of scrap x-ray film? Meantime, your prompt reply is soliciting.
Thanking you in anticipation of early reply and I remain sirs, Yours faithfully,Sushim Kabra
- Bhilwara, Rajasthan, India
The Reducers Manual
Q. I am very seriously thinking about setting up a silver extraction unit with capacity of approx. 300 gms./day. I wish to have a clear picture about the following points.
1) How much silver can really be extracted in terms of gms./lit. from an used fixer in saturated state ? And what can be the % of purity of this extracted silver ? At what price can it be sold at the current market price?
2) Can the fixer solution after extraction of silver be again reused for photographic development purpose? If so, at what price it can be sold to the consumer? Is there any qualitative difference with a "fresh"solution ?
3) What is really the difference between Fixer and Hypo? Would you please give me clear idea on that? I do not have any.
4)Can there be any quantitative difference in silver content in different used fixer/hypo solutions procured from different sources viz., one from photography unit, the other from X-ray clinic, still other from offset printing unit or CT scan clinic etc.?
5) Can the film scraps also be utilized for silver extraction purpose?
6) How much hazards are involved in this trade, from health point of view? What precautions are to be taken ?
I have come across a plant manufacturer who claims they can provide an automatic plant with a capacity of 300 gms/day or higher capacity, which requires no other input except used fixer and can produce 10 gms. of pure silver from one lit.of saturated fixer solution. What should be my checkpoints before deciding on it?
I am completely new in this field and practically I do not have any idea on it , though I am seriously interested to start it without much delay. So I would be highly grateful to get your valuable suggestions on this trade. With regards- Bhilwara, Rajasthan, India
The cleanest, least complicated method of extracting silver from spent photographic fixer solution is by electrolytic stripping. A rotating, small carbon or graphite anode is often used with a large, stationary, stainless steel cathode. Ready made units are available in many price ranges. The purity of the silver obtained from this process will run about 97% to 98% pure.
Small amounts of silver left in the solution after electro-stripping are recovered by metallic replacement or Ion exchange resins. This is an extractive process not a refining process. Close attention to the power settings during the stripping process will prevent sulfiding on the cathode which slows the process. Silver from the stripping process is melted with fluxes and further refined to 999.+ in Balbach Thum Cells or Mobius Cells. Be aware that soluble silver salts are a biocide and various waste treatment processes are required before discharging your liquid wastes.
If you plan to get into this as a business, I would suggest that you do your homework well before embarking on it. A few answers on a web-site may not be much help. There is a good deal of information on the internet from Kodak and other photographic suppliers on these processes. Be sure to check the web-sites of the Electrolytic recovery unit manufacturers as much more information can be found there. Use your search engine!
The second major question here was extracting silver from old X ray film. Doesn't anyone have a search engine? There is a great deal of information available on the internet. There are 3 methods of recovering silver from old X ray and litho film. Burning, Cyanide washing or Washing in a heated enzyme solution. The first two are not environmentally friendly or safe, the last is the most advisable and environmentally friendly. I checked the internet for information this morning and in 30 seconds came up with the information; try www.sunvalleyfilmwash.com. A very nice website with pictures, yield information etc. There was also a lot more information available in the initial search. If you are serious about getting into this process as a business you must look a bit harder for the information you need. A short question posted on a web-site won't be much help.
Good Luck & Best regards, Jim SivertsenJim Sivertsen
- Alden, New York, U.S.A.
Ed. note: Thanks, Jim!
Q. Hello sir,
I want to start business of making the silver. I want information about how to get silver from wastewater. A to Z information of process of making silver I want.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
- Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Q. DEAR READER,
1-How much is the quantity of silver contained in 1000 gm of X-ray film scrap? Can we extract silver profitably from X-ray film scrap? If possible how? What is the market rate of X-ray film scrap per kilogram?
2-please inform us that how we can make GOLD from others materials and chemicals.
3-inform us that how we can make SILVER from others materials and chemicals.
4-inform us that how we can make COPPER from others materials and chemicals.
Please inform us as soon as possible.
Thanks & best regards,MUHAMMED NASIM
- LAHORE, PAKISTAN
Q. Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a radiological technologist in one of Kuwait hospitals, my question is how can I extract silver from scrap (exposed) x-ray films? is "Acid Bromide" useful for this operation?- Kuwait
I am a chemistry student and studying electrolysis of silver as part of recovering the silver. I would like to know the electrolyte used in the electrolysis of silver and also the current, electrodes and voltage used. I would also want to know how to store silver after electrolysis.
Thank you,chemistry Student - Gweru, Midlands, Zimbabwe
Q. DEAR SIR,
I AM THE STUDENT OF MBA. I AM THINKING TO BE AN SELF EMPLOYED ENTREPRENEUR.IN THIS PURPOSE KINDLY HELP ME TO KNOW THE FOLLOWING POINTS: 1.HOW CAN I PROCURE MACHINE TO EXTRACT SILVER FROM X-RAY WATER FILM. 2.WHO ARE THE DISTRIBUTOR OF THE SAID MACHINE. 3.WHAT IS THE COST OF THE MACHINE. 4.IF POSSIBLE,DETAILED REPORT OF THE PROJECT.
THANK YOU.NIRAJ SARAF
STIDENT - SILIGURI, WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Q. Dear sir,
I am a student doing btech chemical engineering. Recently I have heard some thing about silver extraction from waste hypo or photographic fixer solution. Sir, I need complete details of the process.i.e
4.chemicals used in the process and its cost
5.equipment and its cost and where can I get them
6.the entire process
I will be very thankful to you for this favor.
Thanking you sir, yours truly,Chembeti Ramesh
Q. Am planning to start silver extraction plant. But I have some doubts regarding the same. I have read some letters on the same topic and I believe that my problem will be solved by this letter. During the photographic film processing, Silver leaches into the fixer solution (Sodium Thio-Sulphate) from the photographic film and forms Silver Thio-Sulphate complex ions. The fixer is considered exhausted after becoming silver-rich (~ 7 gm/l), as it can no more serve the purpose of fixing the film in effective manner. Such exhausted fixer can then be processed to recover the Silver from it. There are various methods for this. I read about this business in news paper and searched through the literature, internet, etc. and came to know the various techniques of Silver recovery from fixer. But my doubt is that what will be purity of silver after extracted it by electrolysis method. if it is not 99.9% pure, I will not be able to sell it. Further what are the various methods of refining the extracted silver?
- Saad, Egypt
Q. I have four years experience of silver recovery from photographic fixer by simple chemical reaction and now I am interested to start my business in Canada, so please give me a some information like (1) Which kind of Machine generally used for silver recovery (2) Is there any doing extraction by electrolysis method? (3) if they are using different machinery then please give me a idea for buy it and what is the cost of it (4) Give me complete detail for the starting my business.
Mfgr - ETOBICOKE, ONTERIO, CANADA
Q. I have gone through web sites and got the information about silver extraction but I still have some doubts in my mind 1 as there are various method of silver extraction which method is actually feasible? chemical recovery or electrolysis method or ion exchange method? 2 in which method we can extract highest amt. of silver & at 99.9% purity level if not what is next refining process? 3 if we undertake the latest technology machines then what will be there speed to extract silver from hypo i.e.extraction of silver from 1 ltr. hypo solution within how much time if talking very bluntly to earn min. 10,000/- p.m. what resources should be employed? What amt. of hypo should we refined daily to earn that much of amt.Dnyanesh jadhav
student - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Q. I HAVE ACCESS TO LARGE AMOUNTS OF SILVER BEARING GRAPHIC ARTS FILM...AT THIS TIME I AM EXPERIMENTING WITH STRIPPING THE SILVER.....AT THIS POINT I HAVE USED CAUSTIC SODA IT WORKS WELL BUT A REAL PAIN THE SLUDGE IS HARD AND CAUSTIC SODA CAN CAUSE SERIOUS BURNS TO UNPROTECTED SKIN. I'M THINKING I'LL USE SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE ( BLEACH ) IT IS NOT EXPENSIVE AND CAN BE BOUGHT AT DOUBLE STRENGTH IN 50 GALLON BARRELS....I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ANYONE THAT HAS THIS KIND OF BACKYARD BUSINESS...HINTS SUGGESTIONS ETC WILL ALL BE MUCH APPRECIATEDDENNIS ARTERBURN
HOBBYIST - WAKE VILLAGE , Texas
Q. I would like to set up a factory of recovering silver from hospital X ray films in iran (with two partners). We have heard about silver recovery from X ray films and would like to know more about it. I don't know the first things about it. There is a lot of x ray films waste in this part of the world. Can you help me please. Is there a handbook of step by step how to do it? can I buy ready made kits? I understand the technology is big in India? can anyone help? anyone interested in selling his expertise? How much is the quantity of silver contained in 1000 gm of X-ray film scrap? Can we extract silver profitably from X-ray film scrap? If possible how? What is the market rate of X-ray film scrap per kilogram?
Sir, I want you to make me clear whether hypo sol. from X-ray labs is dangerous to health if we come in touch with it while extracting silver from it? Please let me know.Rajesh Krishnan G
Researcher - Kollam, Kerala, India
Please let me know more details regarding the process and profitability of silver extraction from waste x rays films scans etc,,. LET me the details regarding the availability of machinery and raw materials.PETER LOBO
- MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
Q. I am interested to know about silver extracting from waste of x-ray etc. Please help me in knowing the source of supplier of machine, its cost and the process (whether it is economical or not) and address of indian representative.
- Varanasi, UP, India
Q. I would like to set up a factory of recovering silver from hospital X ray films in K.S.A. We have heard about silver recovery from X ray films and would like to know more about it. I don't know the first things about it. There is a lot of x ray films waste in this part of the world. Can you help me please. Is there a handbook of step by step how to do it? can I buy ready made kits? I understand the technology is big in India? can anyone help? anyone interested in selling his expertise?
Thanking you,IMDADULLAH KHATRI
Q. I need to know more about techniques of silver recovery from photography waste solutions. Easy practical methods, process and so on for home applications.BENS MED TAHA
Chemical engineer - BIZERT, TUNISIA
Q. I want to know the answer on how to get SILVER from old Graphics art film. I have a printing company and we have stored piles of film for many years. I was just wanting to know if there was a chemical method or some way I could do this in my workshop at my company myself.Drew Simpson
hobbyist - North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Q. How do I extract silver form waste fixture and waste bleach form chemical methodnasir hasan
- bhilwara, rajasthan, India
Q. Please can anyone tell me the different chemicals methods to extract silver from waste hypo/fixer solution.
researcher - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
A. Hello dear friends,
There are 2 ways of recovering silver from hypo solutions.
1) electrolysis :- current required is about 40 mA, voltage can vary from 72 V to 2 V depending on the concentration. The cathode is a steel plate preferably having a large surface area. (Note : the voltage is to be decreased as concentration of silver decreases or this will lead to deposition of silver sulfide which is black in color, hard to remove from the electrode and slows down the process as well)
The silver deposited can be scraped off and refined again by electrolysis in silver nitrate solution (pure silver rod as cathode and the silver from above process as anode apply voltage of 12 V and current of 200 mA). The silver obtained is 99% pure.
2)metal displacement:- In this the solution is treated with iron wool or zinc dust (recommended). These metals displace silver and silver is obtained as a sludge. This has to be melted, made into a bar and refined by electrolysis in silver nitrate as told above. This process is faster but a bit complicated(u know melting the stuff and all is a pain in the neck!)
If you want to recover silver from films the silver can be leached into some solution and extracted by any of the above two processes.(suggestion :- some film fixer can be used to remove the silver from the film).Amol
- Mumbai, Maharshtra, India
Ed. note: Thanks Amol!
Q. Dear Sir,
I am a student of B.Tech in Chemical Engineering under University of Calcutta and am in my final year. I got my project "Recovery of Silver from X-ray plate and photographic waste solution". That's why I am asking for the process of recovery of silver which must be cost-economic and can be carried out in a chemical laboratory. I will be heartily grateful to you if you please send me all the details about the process,chemical reactions involved, eco-friendliness of the process, possibility of further modification etc..in a words all the data required from A to Z. Awaiting an early favorable reply.
Yours sincerely,Kaushik Bose
A student of B.Tech in Chemical Engineering - Kolkata, West Bengal, India
I want to know the method for making silver extraction from fixer machine and tell me that how much maximum silver can be extracted from 1 liter waste fixer.Vikas Singhal
student - Delhi, India
Q. Presently I am installing systems to recover silver from photographic fix and buying scrap litho and x-ray film. I am looking for the best way for stripping the exposed silver from the film then turning the sludge back into ion for for electro plating back into silver. Any information along these lines would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,Dennis C Arterburn
hobbyist for now - Wake Village, Texas
Q. I would like to set up a factory of recovering silver from hospital X ray films in K.S.A. We have heard about silver recovery from X ray films and would like to know more about it. I don't know the first things about it. There is a lot of x ray films waste in this part of the world. Can you help me please. Is there a handbook of step by step how to do it? can I buy ready made kits? I understand the technology is big in India? can anyone help?
Please reply soon
Manager - Jalandhar, Punjab, INDIA
I have some question:
1. does any one knows how much silver can I recover in x-ray films, assuming that all the silver halides are converted in silver?
2. how can I coagulate silver in a solution? is there any chemicals that I can add to the solution so that silver will coagulate?
Please help me. I really need any information. I badly need your help. If you can assist me, I would really appreciate your help.Emeliano |Aron Jr.
ChE student - Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Q. I would like to recover silver from X ray films that is used on pipes for the control of welding quality. Is there a simple method for it, or does it need an investment. Is it possible to recover AG by electrolytic method, (simply by a cell) I will really appreciate if you can help me on this issue.Pinar Hasanoglu
corrosion engineer - Bursa, Turkey
[...10 repetitive postings deleted...]
Q. I have gone through web sites and got the information about silver extraction but I still have some doubts in my mind 1 as there are various method of silver extraction which method is actually feasible? chemical recovery or electrolysis method or ion exchange method? 2 in which method we can extract highest amt. of silver & at 99.9%purity level if not what is next refining process? 3 if we undertake the latest technology machines then what will be there speed to extract silver from hypo i.e.extraction of silver from 1 ltr. hypo solution within how much time if talking very bluntly to earn min. 10,000/- p.m. what resources should be employed? what amt. of hypo should we refined daily to earn that much of amt.Riyaz Deshmukh
Q. Can you please send me the details of Silver extraction from Hypo waste.
1.Now the in Studio Hypo is not used. Only digital photo.Source of raw material?
2.Technical know how? i.e how silver extracted from hypo. Chemical reaction and other information.
3.Apart from electrolysis is there any other method to extract silver.
4.Hypo waste is available in long distance. 40 Kms from my work place. Is there any method to separate excess hypo solution or is there any method in increase concentration of hypo so that I can bring small quantity of hypo to my work place. so that I will reduce my transport cost.
Student - Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India
Q. I am a printer primarily but work with film a great deal from litho to poly plates.
I'm looking for a chemical process that will strip exposed litho and x-ray film and turn the exposed silver into and Ag+ ion that can be electro plated back to silver flake. I have been electro plating spent fixer solutions for many years and consider my self very good at this 95% purity. But I know I'm missing lots of silver left in the film and I want that too. Any info or direction to info would be greatly appreciated
hobbyist - Wake Village, Texas
Q. I am searching for how to extract silver from photographic waste solution using cheaper chemicals as I am a chemistry student.
I used some chemicals for this particular purpose these are as;
1.sodium hydroxide (0.1N),
2.sodium thiosulphate (0.1N),
6.hydrogen sulphide gas.
Would I use other chemicals in place of above for particular reaction to extract silver.
Thank you,student - INDORE, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA
Q. I know how to extract silver from waste fixer chemically but the process is somewhat difficult. I use the following chemicals sodium sulphide, caustic soda sodium nitrate borax soda ash this process finally I get the black powder which is to be melted at high temperature. Is there any other method to extract pure silver chemically without melting the powder. I want the method to extract silver without melting chemically. and we need easy and cheap chemical formula for recovering the silver.
Thanking you,Nasir Hasan
student - Bhilwara , Rajasthan, India
Hi readers. Only two readers offered help so far (thanks Jim and Amol!)
68 people requested help, and most of them claimed to know at least something, but they didn't take any time to try to help the dozens of people waiting in line in front of them -- they just immediately posted their own questions. It can't work this way, and others are anxious to hear the parts that you know.
So before continuing on to page 2, let's pause for a music break and a lesson from Dessert Pete :-)
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey