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Recovery of rhodium from waste rhodium plating equipment?

I work for a gold factory. And in there of course we use rhodium plating for white gold jewellery. In this department workers use cigarette filters for plating and I want to recover rhodium from those filters. I collect them in distilled water and now I have rhodium solution. And then what can I do for recovery from them? And which polishing solution must I use for reusing them to plate again?

Fenay AKÇA
chemical engineer in gold factory - Istanbul, Türkiye
May 24, 2008

I would like to know how cigarette filters are used in Rhodium plating. Are things that bad that workers have to squeeze a milliliter or two of rhodium solution out of a cigarette filter to make ends meet? I think there may be a lot more smoking of another substance going on here. I think I've heard it all now.

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York
May 29, 2008

May 30, 2008

Hi, Mark. Thanks for asking, because I was curious too. I assumed they were using the filters in place of plating filters, not to smuggle solution out of the shop (even though rhodium went off the charts that "only" went to 10 thousand dollars an ounce).


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Hi, Ted.., I think you are confused if you feel that cigarete filters do with plating work...smulging? not relevant, and I have idea that the filter may use to absorp few mL solution and then plated to work item connect with lead cable as anode conductor, it's called pen plating.

just few ml, only evaporation can possibly doing,

Makk Safna
- Gresik, Indonesia
June 1, 2008

June 1, 2008

Hi, Makk, and thank you. Your explanation of the use for cigarette filters makes sense. Hopefully, Fenay will clarify his situation.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Now we have some clarification of how cigarette filters can be used in plating. I would think the sulfuric acid in the Rh pen plate solution would eat up a cotton based cigarette filter. I also question how detailed work can be accomplished with the shape of a filter. Pen plating tips are not expensive at all, and would last longer. Hey, if this is working for someone, more power to them. There is so little Rh left on tips or "filters" after pen plating, you would have to save a lot of them to get anything out of them. Try soaking 100 or so in distilled water, squeeze them out, do a Rh metal analysis concentration in grams per liter. I apologize for the smoking comment, but the inquiry was out of left field.

Mark Baker
Process Enginer - Syracuse, New York
June 2, 2008

I sugest to you, don't try to smoke for filter wetted by rhodium solution... exceptly if you have more money..hehehe

Makk Safna
- Gresik - Indonesia
January 30, 2009

I am working in a jewlery factory using a rhodium plating solution. After particular time the solution is changed, but some of the metal is in that solution. I need to know how to recover the rhodium in that waste solution.

Anoop Mohan
- Cochin, India
March 3, 2012

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