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Separating silver nitrate from iron and sulfur

Hello. I'm a junior in high school. My chemistry teacher gave us a problem that we have to solve on our own. Here's the problem.

"Pickaxe" Bradford, the famous wildcat prospector is in town creating a ruckus. He was off exploring a remote section of town, that, like many small towns has a legend of lost or hidden riches, when he announced that he found piles and piles of some ore he couldn't identify, but he thought might be valuable.
You, of course became extremely excited! Your trained eye, honed in high school chemistry, recognized this rock as some sort of ore of silver that is a MIXTURE of sulfur, iron, and silver nitrate [on eBay or Amazon affil links] . Pickaxe will split the profits 50/50, from this treasure trove, if you can prove to him that there really is silver in the ore.
Pickaxe has been generous enough to give you 10 grams of the ore for your chance at the fortune, but he has also given many other people the same chance. In order to stake your claim you must make the most PROFIT from the ore. Good Luck! (How many dollars per TON of ore?)

What I need to do is figure out how to get the silver nitrate out of the sulfur [affil links] and iron, and then the silver from the silver nitrate. They are all powders that have been mixed together in a glass container. Is there anyway that you can help me?

Robert V.
Student - Bradford, VT, USA
March 20, 2008

March 26, 2008

What your teacher is attempting here is for you to find out for yourself the various properties of the three compounds which might enable separation.
No need to get too technical, so just think about it.
Properties (might)include, in no particular order:-

Magnetic response
Melting Points


Martin Rich
Ship Repair - Plymouth UK

I'm trying to extract Silver from a silver nitrate, sulfur [affil links] and iron mixture. I already know to remove the iron first, using a magnet. I'm then going to dissolve the silver nitrate and sulfur mixture in water to get rid of the sulfur. I don't know how much water to use though. Then I'm going to add sugar to to bring out the silver in the silver nitrate. Will you please tell me how much sugar and water I need to use. I've googled everything I can think of and nothing is giving me the answer. So please help me!

Mercedes E
student - Bradford, Vt, USA
March 27, 2009

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