Saturday, February 12, 2011

Silver refining

Silver refining

A micro-scale experiment explaining some principles related to the refining process of silver.

Some Questions and answers:

-Why use such a small container? =Because the larger the container the more solution of silver nitrate is required, which means that more of your silver is trapped in there.

-What are those small spots on your skin? =As you can imagine, it is due to silver nitrate splashes that landed on it. It is not so tragic, I tell everyone that I refilled a printer ink cartridge.

-Dude, how can you know that the silver content is 70% ? =Well, I know what went into that jar, that's why.

-Could you build a much better power supply? Theoretically I could, out of two transformers. But I have not found the right types yet. Actually anything that can supply (DC current) a voltage between 1,5 and 3,5 V and lots of Amps (goes anywhere from 10A to 800A) is suited for the job. Plating rectifiers do the job, but they cost a lot.

-Didn't your @1,5V time lapse take too long for producing almost nothing? =The batteries were already a bit consumed, I didn't measure it but I guess the current was much smaller than 0,28A. Theoretically each battery can supply at least 2000mAh which means that each battery can plate out 8,048g of pure silver.

-70% of 25g makes 17,5g, you only got 16,9g of fine silver, where is the rest of it? =The rest of the silver is in the first solution where I left the copper tube in, a small part is in the electrolyte solution because it had a bit of free nitric acid.

-Where do I get nitric acid from? =Good question, depends where on this planet you live at. In some countries you cannot buy nitric acid but you might get it through friends who work at a synthesis plant. In others, like Germany, you go to the pharmacy and buy some. Either way, you still have the option to make your own, I recommend watching Nurdrage's videos on how to make some.

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