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Student extracting silver from silver nitrate and sulfur


Q. I am a Junior in High school in search of a way to successfully /cost efficiently extract silver from, 2.3 grams of silver nitrate, 2.3 grams of sulfur, and 2.3 grams of iron. I will be performing this experiment for real, so I appreciate any ideas anyone might have. Thanks!

Sarah H. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Newbury, Vermont

Q. I am working on a chemistry project, and I need to know what the most efficient method of extraction of silver from a 10 gram Silver ore composed of sulfur, iron, and silver nitrate (each in equal measure). I need to know the best way to make the most profit overall. I would appreciate all serious inputs, please.

Ashley [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- South Ryegate, Vermont

Q. I'm a high school chemistry student and my teacher gave me a problem where I have to extract silver from a compound containing silver nitrate, sulfur, and iron(II), I have to find the cheapest method. I already know I can remove the iron with a magnet but can I use the iron to combine with the nitrate and can I do this before removing the sulfur?


Caitlin N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- West Newbury, Vermont


A. Is there a "silver rush" taking place in Vermont? Seriously, as I understand it you all have a mixture of silver nitrate, sulphur and iron and you want to get the silver out. I assume the silver nitrate, sulphur and iron are not chemically combined as in a compound, but are just a mixture of powders. If so, just dissolve out the silver nitrate in water as the others are insoluble and then add sugar (glucose). This will reduce the silver ions to metallic silver that will both precipitate out and and form a mirror on the container wall, especially if it is glass.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

from free ms images site

thumbs up signActually, Trevor, all three inquiries came from the same IP address, so I think it's not so much a silver rush as maybe doing their homework together before a pajama party. The young ladies probably got into a pillow fight shortly thereafter, and never saw your answer :-)

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 25, 2009

Q. How do you extract Iron from the Silver Nitrate and Sulfur mixture?

Mercedes E
- Bradford, Vermont

March 27, 2009

A. Vermont students seem to be magnetically attracted to this page, Mercedes. But if you truly mean 'mixture' as opposed to compound, I think that your question is supposed to be easy once you spend a few minutes thinking about the properties of iron. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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