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Help with chemical list

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  1. #1
    jpat started this thread.
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    Question Help with chemical list

    Hey everyone! This is my very first post. I have spent some time looking over the threads and finally decided to sign up and interact! Anyway, this question may irritate some of the more expirienced members, but... I seriously need some help right now compiling a list of chemicals that I'll need for PM recovery/refinery.

    I've spent months studying this stuff and have found youtube channels helpful such as Nurdrage and Indeeditdoes as well as goldnscrap.com. But some things happened and the lists I had are lost, and I didn't have the forsight to save a back-up copy or two.

    I'm looking for recovery, refinery, and chemical methods to deal with the watse. If anyone could point out an existing thread that would be very helpful and much appreciated. If anyone could add to the list that would be awesome too! I'm working with very limited finances and will have to make the chemicals myself such as nitric acid. But I can figure these things out for myself, so you can just give me the final chemical products, e.g., nitric acid instead of 'copper, H2O2, NaNO3, H2O'.



    The PMs I'll be working with are Gold (Au), Platinum (Pt), and Pallidium (Pd)

    Thanks so much! I look forward to learning as much as possible from all you experienced persons!

    PS - I wasn't sure where to post this, but since most electronic scrap deals with PMs I figured this might be an OK place to post it. Please correct me if I'm wrong!!!

    - John


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    BRASSCATCHER's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome. While there a few members here who do some refining its not a topic that is spoken too much about since home refining can be a dangerous undertaking. This forum is more for scrapping than refining. There are other forums specifically for refining pm's that you should look into. I dont think anyone here is going to recommend chemicals or a way to produce them in your home. You can check out The Gold Refining Forum and maybe your qustions will be answered there. Good luck.
    I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them. John Wayne-- The Shootist

    NEWBS READ THIS THREAD ABOUT REFINING!!!!
    http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/off-t...ning-read.html

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRASSCATCHER View Post
    Hi and welcome. While there a few members here who do some refining its not a topic that is spoken too much about since home refining can be a dangerous undertaking. This forum is more for scrapping than refining. There are other forums specifically for refining pm's that you should look into. I dont think anyone here is going to recommend chemicals or a way to produce them in your home. You can check out The Gold Refining Forum and maybe your qustions will be answered there. Good luck.
    GOLD REFINING FORUM - GOLD REFINERS HELPING ONE ANOTHER
    P & M Recycling - Specializing in E-Waste Recycling.
    If you enjoy your freedom, thank a vet.

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    If I were you, the very first thing I would do before doing anything else is to pick up a book by C.M. Hoke called Refining Precious Metal Wastes. It's an old book intended for people who knew little if nothing about chemistry, metallurgy, etc. Because the book is out of print, you can download it without any copyright concerns from here.

    Refining Precious Metal Wastes C M Hoke

    To tell you what you need to refine is more difficult than you might believe. There are so many different processes for recovering precious metals that it can be very confusing for someone first starting out. By reading the book I mentioned above you will at the very least be familiar with the processes to refine precious metals, the equipment and acids needed, the practices employed and the terminology so that you can talk with other refiners when you require help. If you don't for example understand the difference between cementation and precipitation, you will never be able to communicate with someone else about exactly what type of process you are using.

    I would also concentrate on one type of precious metal scrap, and start with the easiest at that. For example, gold plated pins are most efficiently recovered on a small scale by using a sulfuric stripping cell, but gold plated fingers are best processed, and inexpensively I might add, by using an etching solution that eats the copper under the gold plating, then foils off the gold plating so it can be filtered, recovered, and further refined. Not only that, but the etching solution you use keeps expanding as it becomes pregnant with copper, thus once started, it's an ever expanding solution that just requires you to either remove and add water, or add water and keep expanding. But even at this, you need to understand how to recover the copper from the solution and then process so that there are no more heavy metals in solution and your PH is neutral.

    Which brings me to other issues. If you are doing this, you have to do so in a well ventilated area, outside, under a fume hood, etc. The gases, NOx most noticeably, are extremely hazardous to your health and can cause serious health risks, including death. During the gold rush in California, miners used to call NOx the brown death because it kills. If you are trying to do this in your garage, and you have anything metal including a car, tools, light switches, it will eat the metal and make it look rusty. If you try to build a fume hood out of wood, you could be creating nitrocellulose from the wood coming into contact with NOx gas, which would make it so highly flammable that it could spontaneously ignite without any ignition source.

    Sulfuric acid is used in some of the different recover processes, and even to drop lead out of solution during the refining process. If you put one single drop of water in sulfuric acid, it evaporates the water so fast that it causes it to splatter and explode. Enough water and you could splatter the acid all over you, which when it comes into contact with organic material dehydrates it so fast that it turns it to carbon. If you get sulfuric, nitric or hydrochloric acids in your eye it can cause blindness in most cases, immediately.

    Read the book, but it's not going to tell you how to process using new recovery methods, so after you read the book you might want to think about what type of material you want to process, then learn the process, read about it until you understand it very well, then try it on a small scale. Where most new hobby refiners get themselves into trouble is that they try to recover and refine large amounts before they understand how to do it properly. Simply things like how to pour, or not pouring water into acid but acid into water instead, can be a total game changer.

    If you are serious about refining, you can check out the gold refining forum, which honestly I see as a sister site to this one since it deals with refining and this site deals with scrapping.

    Gold Refining Forum.com • Index page.

    Be aware if you do not read the C.M. Hoke book before you ask questions on that forum, the very first thing almost everyone is going to tell you to do is to read that book.

    I hope I don't discourage you, rather help you realize that the questions you are asking are not easily answered in a single post and maybe encourage you to learn and read before you attempt to recover or refine anything.

    Scott
    Last edited by NobleMetalWorks; 12-08-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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    I also thought about home refining after watching a youtube video or two. If you go to the refiner's forum and really start to read what you need to start refining, the chemicals involved, and huge amount of material needed, the idea left me quickly.

    It reminds me of the gold rush, the guys that really got rich were the ones that were selling the shovels, not the ones prospecting. You may be far better off selling the escrap to a buyer (selling the shovel) then trying to refine the material.

    You really need the knowledge and money to get started properly.

    Limited budget + making/mixing own acids/chemicals = a trip to the hospital.

    If you do want things refined it appears that some people will refine material for you at a 50/50 split. Check around on the gold forum.

    Just my 2 cents (which may be pre 1982, I haven't checked yet).

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  10. #6
    jpat started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleMetalWorks View Post

    If you are serious about refining, you can check out the gold refining forum, which honestly I see as a sister site to this one since it deals with refining and this site deals with scrapping.

    Gold Refining Forum.com • Index page.

    Be aware if you do not read the C.M. Hoke book before you ask questions on that forum, the very first thing almost everyone is going to tell you to do is to read that book.

    I hope I don't discourage you, rather help you realize that the questions you are asking are not easily answered in a single post and maybe encourage you to learn and read before you attempt to recover or refine anything.

    Scott

    Thank you very much for the infomoration! I will certainly check out that book. And don't worry you didn't discourage me in the slightest! I've been looking at this for months now and realize how much it'll entail. And that's why I'm starting to seek the advice from people who know what they're talking about; people like you! Anyway, thanks for the input Scott!

  11. #7
    jpat started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanic688 View Post
    GOLD REFINING FORUM - GOLD REFINERS HELPING ONE ANOTHER[/url]
    Thank you very much for the links!

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    Truly not a problem, everyone has to learn from some starting point, I did. And it wasn't so long ago that I don't remember clearly how difficult it was to find any information, or anyone willing to try and help. The forum everyone is suggesting you check out is probably the single largest depository of information pertaining to recovering and refining precious metals, anywhere on the internet, including colleges. It's really a unique place. And keep in mind there are not only people like you on that forum, but also professionals who consult, own major large refineries, chemists, and hobbyists. It's the only place I know where you can come into contact with, and communicate with professional refiners, chemists, etc.

    Scott

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    And while your on the "other" forum be sure to read all the different safety warnings cause when you start working with refining you will usually be dealing with some dangerous chemicals. Don't want to damage your health over a few dollars worth of gold/pm's.

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    IMO the risk outweigh the profits. Id rather spend my time finding more stuff to break down and send off to a buyer than to stand there knowing I'm risking my life for a couple extra bucks.

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  17. #11
    jpat started this thread.
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    That's awesome! I checked out the link and it's brilliant, and I already downloaded the book! I'm so glad other people have already experienced all the confusion and are willing to assist.

  18. #12
    jpat started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechanic688 View Post
    And while your on the "other" forum be sure to read all the different safety warnings cause when you start working with refining you will usually be dealing with some dangerous chemicals. Don't want to damage your health over a few dollars worth of gold/pm's.
    You are certainly right about that. I'd rather not go blind for a few bucks. I'll be sure to follow the safety precautions very closely.


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