Do you know that you can effectively extract silver from used X-Ray films? You can also extract silver from medical and other e waste like photographic films and pictures, graphic films, paper and plates etc.
However in this article we shall only discuss about extracting silver from the used x ray films.
But before you know how to extract silver from used X-Ray films, you got to know types of films and materials that contain silver in it.
- Medical X Ray Films
- MRI Film
- CT Scans
- Mammography Film
- Graphic Art Film
- Non Destructive Testing Film
- Silver Traps like Silver canisters, Silver recovery Cans
- Fixer Solution, used and unfiltered with silver recover unit
Now let us talk about some of the methods used to recover silver from various products. There are two methods of extracting silver, Electrolysis and passive recovery.
Electrolysis is the most common method used for extracting silver. In this method a stainless steel container with current pulls the silver towards itself. The silver is stripped off the container and the product that is left is sent for further refining. And the silver you get is 90% to 95% pure.
Another method is by adding various chemicals and it causes the silver to form a kind of sludge. Then it is dried and refined further. However the sludge is only 30% pure hence it requires further refining.
Silver taps could also be used to recover silver from certain products. Silver taps are containers with cartridge, fixer filters through the container and the remaining silver is collected in the cartridge.
So these were various methods to extract silver. You must keep one thing in your mind that all these methods cannot be implemented in home.
Now to put it simple I would tell you step by step method to extract or recover silver in an easy way.
Step 1: Building or Buying and Electrolysis Machine
Since electrolysis is the easiest and cheapest way to extract silver we will talk about this process only. So either you have to build an electrolysis machine or buy one from the market. The machine is going to extract silver from the waste materials.
If you want to buy then you can find electrolysis machines in science supply stores or if you want to make your own then make it using 12 volt charger and a rubber tub.
Now you have to go out and find waste products to extract silver from. Hospitals are the best place to find X Ray films. You can also look for imaging companies for collecting film rolls, X rays and waste photographic chemicals. You can put ads on newspaper to get raw material.
Now start your electrolysis station or the machine. Now fill the machine with a caustic solution and turn the machine on. Put hot water and caustic solution in the rubber tub. Place the charger plates in the solution and turn the charger on.
Start preparing waste material that will go inside the solution for electrolysis. If you are using films to extract silver then you have to burn them and put ashes in the tank. For other waste you can put right into the electrolysis machine.
Complete your electrolysis. After putting in all the waste material in the machine now allow the silver to be leached out by the chemical reactions. These reactions are created by electrical current and the caustic solution. As time passes you will see silver flakes forming on the charger plates.
This entire process can take up to 1 hour or even more. It depends upon the kind of chemical you use and the voltage supply. While the process is going on stand there and keep an eye on entire process.
Now you can collect silver accumulated around the charger plates. But first you have to turn off the charger and remove the plates from the electrolysis tank. You can save the silver into a jar. If you want further processing to make it more pure then you can use certain other chemicals.
So this was the step by step method of extracting silver from X Ray films and other waste.
If you cannot do in your home then don’t. Be careful when you use chemicals and other things.