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Copper at work

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    blackgold12 started this thread.
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    Copper at work

    Some silver contacts from electric hot water tank rheostats still attached to the brass which is an alloy of copper and tin the rest of the junk is silver plate over copper.

    All three metals want to go into the leach, but the electromotive power of copper soon cements the silver out. To extend the life of the leach the silver sludge must be removed or it's continually recycled wasting resources.



    Was it worth the effort, probably not. It's been slow day and needed something to experiment with and I need some silver for another project.

    Its the copper in solution makes it blue.

    Bottom image, silver cement.



    Last edited by blackgold12; 10-08-2019 at 12:22 AM.

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    So what is the process to separate the silver from the mixture?

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    blackgold12 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by t00nces2 View Post
    So what is the process to separate the silver from the mixture?
    it's all about which metals will go or not go into the leach.

    In this experiment I'm using a very weak nitric acid, both silver and copper will go willingly into solution but after the silver has been removed exposing the copper the electromotive force of copper will now exchange copper irons for silver this cementing out the silver as a grey sludge.

    It's not the most ideal way to remove silver plate as any cemented silver wants to reunite with the leach, once I'm done with the leach I'll add some table salt, of there's any silver present it will precipitate as silver chloride.

    The silver chloride is easily converted into the metal.

    As for the remainder of the spent leach the addition of scrap iron will cement out the copper from solution, perhaps I'll post a picture of the before and after results of adding iron.

    Had I used a weak battery acid leach, ten percent or less, any copper would have gone into the leach whereas the silver would simply settle out as a grey powder. Let the powder settle out, decant then filter the remaining leach, wash or rinse the powder with distilled water dry then melt.

    Same deal to get the copper out of solution add scrap iron, the copper sulfate will cement out as copper sponge.

    The copper sulfate we have made from the experiment could now be used as an electrolyte for a copper parting cell, your silver contacts put into an anode basket, an old pc power supply to give you a dc power supply and a sheet of stainless steel to use as a cathode.

    Remember now that silver will not go into a weak sulfuric acid solution nor will it go into this copper sulfate electrolyte your silver settles to the bottom of the cell as slime's.

    The electrolyte retains copper irons the dc current from the power supply deposits copper onto the cathode as the electrolyte is depleted of copper irons new ones from the copper in the anode basket replace those lost to the cathode.

    In my experiment the leach had reached an equilibrium a point of saturation has been reached - a no vacancy situation and this is where the electrolytic cell shines.

    That DC current keeps those ions on the march, but just as soon as one ion attaches itself to the cathode another leaves the anode to replace it as the electrolyte tries to maintain that equilibrium

    That is, Should the copper in the anode basket become totally deleted the dc current supplied to the cell will strip the copper from the electrolyte leaving it barren..

    Secrets exposed using a 5 percent solution of hydro chloric acid in this experiment.

    Last edited by blackgold12; 10-08-2019 at 05:12 PM.

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    Distilled water versus river, creek, well and surface water.

    Distilled water is void of any other substances while on the other hand if you were to evaporate 1000 gallons of water from another source you would end up with 12 pounds of solids that were previously held captive.

    Water is a great solvent.

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    This is what ""copper at work"" looks like to me. I pulled into an alley enroute to on of my service visits and, voila... this was in the driveway on the other side of the alley!!

    Out of clutter, find simplicity. --Albert Einstein

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    blackgold12 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by auminer View Post
    This is what ""copper at work"" looks like to me. I pulled into an alley enroute to on of my service visits and, voila... this was in the driveway on the other side of the alley!!

    That hot water tank appears to be on private property but I'm guessing you can spin a good yarn to appease most of us.

    This forum has a global audience.

    In my country you have overstepped the color of right.

    Colour of right is the legal concept in the UK and other Commonwealth countries of an accused's permission to the usage or conversion of an asset in the possession of another. In New Zealand's Crimes Act, colour of right "means an honest belief that an act is justifiable.
    Last edited by blackgold12; 10-08-2019 at 11:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold12 View Post
    That hot water tank appears to be on private property but I'm guessing you can spin a good yarn to appease most of us.

    This forum has a global audience.

    In my country you have overstepped the color of right.

    Colour of right is the legal concept in the UK and other Commonwealth countries of an accused's permission to the usage or conversion of an asset in the possession of another. In New Zealand's Crimes Act, colour of right "means an honest belief that an act is justifiable.
    No yarn needed.

    I've spoken with the property owner previously. He buys "ugly" houses and renovates them to sell for a profit. He might buy my mother-in-law's house from me when she passes. He already gave permission to grab whatever is in the driveway/alley/by the fence during the renovation.

    Yeah, if I hadn't talked to him, that would be sorely tempting but a no-go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by auminer View Post
    No yarn needed.

    I've spoken with the property owner previously. He buys "ugly" houses and renovates them to sell for a profit. He might buy my mother-in-law's house from me when she passes. He already gave permission to grab whatever is in the driveway/alley/by the fence during the renovation.

    Yeah, if I hadn't talked to him, that would be sorely tempting but a no-go.
    I've heard about pr-planned funerals, here's hoping you've not got a hand in your mother in laws.

    IMO you are morally bankrupt.
    Last edited by blackgold12; 10-09-2019 at 03:38 PM.

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    Interesting discovery, I have silver flake inside the jar and this could only mean one thing. One of the silver peaces was plated with rhodium which would not react with a single acid thus the plating would fall off in small flakes.

    I'm aware that sterling silver is often plated with rhodium but never seen it on plated silver.





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    Getting ready to remove the copper from the leach as promised pictures.

    The more positively charged copper ions are attracted to the more negatively charged iron for every copper atom ion that attaches to the iron one iron ion is released.

    At the moment the leach contains copper nitrate once the iron exchange has fully taken place the liquor becomes Iron(III) nitrate, or ferric nitrate with pure copper settled out as a fluffy sponge.


    Agitation via a stirring apparatus or air injection would hasten the process.

    The question of how to convert copper sulfate into copper metal has been asked many times on the forum, the same process explained above will work just as well for leaches of sulfates. The liquor being stripped must be made slightly acidic, like perhaps half an ounce of battery acid to five gallons of water.

    If your using rain water check the ph it may already be acidic enough to carry on the process.

    Any metal above copper listed in the electromotive series of metals will do the conversion, for economics iron is generally used.

    Had I choose to clean the surface on that piece of scrap metal the copper would have attached giving a better appearance, in fact some manufactures plate metals screws and other cheap objects in such a manor, it's a process called immersion plating.

    Immersion plating is generally used for decorative purposes, a sales gimmick that catches the eye.

    In the bottom image a small flake of rhodium.





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    A lot to take in at once. Is there a break point where the work goes from "not worth the trouble" to "I'm in the money!"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by t00nces2 View Post
    A lot to take in at once. Is there a break point where the work goes from "not worth the trouble" to "I'm in the money!"?
    Commercially scaled operations with access to stock holder funds will have the advantage of recovering values from low grade scrap.

    Battery acid ( sulfuric ) contains approximately 33 percent acid, a sulfuric acid based drain cleaner is around 96 percent, a copper parting cell would use an acid with no more than 10 percent.

    The Ammens book on Refining Precious Metals Wastes gives formulas for electrolytes.

    Say you have five pounds or more of silver contacts from electric ranges and hot water tanks, there is no need to melt these into an anode when a titanium anode basket with a stainless steel sheet used for the cathode.

    An old PC power supply, tupperware or pyrex container you have a parting cell, copper plates onto the stainless steel sheet when your done the copper peels off like an orange peel.

    Mentioned before gold plated fingers and pins, gold is a soft metal and this is why you'll never find a 24K ring and most of the nicest gold jewelry will be at 18K and the junk young people buy these days is no more than 10k. The stuff with the least karats wears longer, it's been alloyed with so many metals it no longer relaises its supposed to be gold.

    Back to our gold plated fingers and pins, stuff these into a rock tumbler overnight in the morning the gold will have been worn off and will look like coca powder. Rinse off all the parts with water that has a bit of soap to break surface tension after all that work we don't want out gold floating away.

    Let the powder settle out, decant the clean water dry and melt your gold powder into a nice shiny button.

    Foils cats, the parting cell once again to the rescue, a weak sulfuric acid immerse the foil and leave it for a day of so, the liquor will change color once enough nickle ions have entered the electrolyte - you now have nickle sulfate.

    Connect the positive lead from your PC power supply to the foil, negative to the stainless steel sheet over the next couple of hours nickle from the foil is going to plate over to the SS.

    As the nickle plates over the platinum wash coat is left with nothing to adhere to and falls away to the bottom of the cell, you do not have to totally plate the whole foil away just enough to undermine the wash coat.

    You could of course refine the wash coat and separate the three platinum sisters but my advice would be to sell the platinum powers to a refinery that is best equipped to deal with those as the salts are dangerous to us humans.

    The average OEM domestic cat contains approximately 3 grams of palladium or 1 gram per pound of comb. The amount of precious metals at end of life would depend on vehicle maintenance age and driving conditions,

    Ultrasonic's did a decent job of removing the wash coat from ceramic cat comb, my home made tank has four 25Mhz 100 watt transducers. If the comb is left to long you do end up with a small bit of displaced ceramic. Nothing that the refinery is going to ***** about.

    I'm not refining anything at all these days and have devoted my time and efforts to recovery.

    What little I have learned I gladly share its up to you to decide if anything I post has any merit.

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    Home made centrifuge, you can see the gold in the plastic container.

    Chips were first ball milled which was a mistake chips should have been broken up with a drop hammer which would have flattened the gold bonding wire rather then turning them into power.

    Gold being heavier than copper was the first to be captured in the centrifuge bowel, then after the gold was removed the copper was next anything lighter was discarded from the spinning bowel.







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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold12 View Post
    I've heard about pr-planned funerals, here's hoping you've not got a hand in your mother in laws.

    IMO you are morally bankrupt.
    Why are you talking $#!+ on the other end of a keyboard?

    KCUF you and the horse you rode in on.

    And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

    My MIL is in hospice and will die at any time. Nothing I can do will change that. Burying my head in the sand is not my MO. I make plans for inevitable occurrences.

    What do you do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by auminer View Post
    Why are you talking $#!+ on the other end of a keyboard?

    KCUF you and the horse you rode in on.

    And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

    My MIL is in hospice and will die at any time. Nothing I can do will change that. Burying my head in the sand is not my MO. I make plans for inevitable occurrences.

    What do you do?
    Behind a keyboard or to your face I would be spewing the same lines.

    If I'm to believe your mother in law resides in hospice I pray the dear woman has appointed someone with a bit of integrity with her power of attorney.

    Inheritances are not subject to equitable distribution because, by law, inheritances are not considered marital property. Instead, inheritances are treated as separate property belonging to the person who received the inheritance, and therefore may not be divided between the parties in a divorce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold12 View Post
    Getting ready to remove the copper from the leach as promised pictures.

    The more positively charged copper ions are attracted to the more negatively charged iron for every copper atom ion that attaches to the iron one iron ion is released.

    At the moment the leach contains copper nitrate once the iron exchange has fully taken place the liquor becomes Iron(III) nitrate, or ferric nitrate with pure copper settled out as a fluffy sponge.


    Agitation via a stirring apparatus or air injection would hasten the process.

    The question of how to convert copper sulfate into copper metal has been asked many times on the forum, the same process explained above will work just as well for leaches of sulfates. The liquor being stripped must be made slightly acidic, like perhaps half an ounce of battery acid to five gallons of water.

    If your using rain water check the ph it may already be acidic enough to carry on the process.

    Any metal above copper listed in the electromotive series of metals will do the conversion, for economics iron is generally used.

    Had I choose to clean the surface on that piece of scrap metal the copper would have attached giving a better appearance, in fact some manufactures plate metals screws and other cheap objects in such a manor, it's a process called immersion plating.

    Immersion plating is generally used for decorative purposes, a sales gimmick that catches the eye.

    In the bottom image a small flake of rhodium.




    First image the cemented copper has slewed right off the scrap iron bottom image showing the copper sponge that dropped out of the blue copper nitrate solution.

    The solution has now transformed into ferric nitrate, sometimes I'll evaporate a known liquor to see what type of crystals will form.




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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgold12 View Post
    Behind a keyboard or to your face I would be spewing the same lines.

    If I'm to believe your mother in law resides in hospice I pray the dear woman has appointed someone with a bit of integrity with her power of attorney.

    Inheritances are not subject to equitable distribution because, by law, inheritances are not considered marital property. Instead, inheritances are treated as separate property belonging to the person who received the inheritance, and therefore may not be divided between the parties in a divorce.
    Again spouting off about things you don't know, and the same tired line about "I would say it to your face" when you know damwell you wouldn't.

    You are a joke.

  28. #18
    blackgold12 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by auminer View Post
    Again spouting off about things you don't know, and the same tired line about "I would say it to your face" when you know damwell you wouldn't.

    You are a joke.

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    Talking $@!+ when you have ZERO CLUE will get you involuntary dental procedures.

    At least it will here in Texas. Apparently Canuckistan has different rules.

    Feel free to come down here & spout off, hoser. Let me know how it works out for you... when you get your jaw unwired.

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    Aaaaaaannd.
    I have a sack of IC chips, about 25 Kgs. The flatpacks & the normal legged chips have been seperated.
    The BGA chips, ball grid arrays, with the tiny Gold-plated corner on them are seperated but not involved in this.

    Im thinking to just incinerate them and pan the Gold wires out of the chip dies and the Copper legs & carbon dust mix.
    Is this a better idea?
    I did try the whole Gold refining with HCL Acids etc & still have several gallons of Green HCL & nothing to show for my time & effort. I couldn't get Nitric acid at the time.
    I have come to the conclusion ( like others told me i would. GRF ) that its just too dangerous & time consuming & $ wasting for even the above average person to attempt.
    And that only people with proper experience in the arts & fields should attempt After proper instruction.
    With the caveats that the first attempt is never going to pay its way, the 2nd might, the 3rd should.

    Ie, 99.9998 of the population should never even attempt refining.


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