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Copper Parting

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  1. #1
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Copper Parting

    Made a visit to Jack's yard today while I was there cut these silver soldered copper ends off of a few industrial condensers, with silver now at $27.70 a troy ounce its worth chasing.

    After burning off the oil residue the ends get melted into a cathode, the tube video below pretty much explains the rest of the process.

    From Ammen's book Refining Precious Metals Wastes.

    The crude copper is the anode, and a pure copper starting sheet is the cathode. The electrolyte is made by dissolving, in distilled water, copper sulphate (CuSOJ, a copper salt that is approximately 25% copper. Some sulphuric acid is added as free acid to increase the
    conductivity of the bath.

    A typical copper-refining acid bath, in miniature, would be: 250 grams per liter of copper sulphate, and 75 grams per liter of sulphuric acid; a bath operating temperature of 70 to 120F; a voltage of 6 to 8 volts; and a current density in amperes of from 20 to 100 amperes
    per square foot of cathode surface.

    Copper from the crude copper anode goes into solution and the positive ions of pure copper ( C u ) are carried over to the cathode by electromotive force through the electrolyte, where they are neutralized






    Last edited by alloy2; 08-30-2020 at 08:55 PM.
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  3. #2
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Hi ho - Silver.

    I'd wager a bet the silver is worth more than the copper.


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    DiamondN's Avatar
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    It might just be...

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    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Silver contacts from over cooked motor start relays, the pads are silver soldered onto iron. A bit of heat removes them, then they're added into the copper anode melt for parting.

    Last edited by alloy2; 09-07-2020 at 07:25 PM.

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    alloy2 started this thread.
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    What do you guys n gals think about me casting a few copper anodes from the AC ends, maybe even one or two with platinum group metals.

    Then offering these up for auction on fleabay and let others enjoy the experience of parting copper to get their silver or pgm's.

    Similar in idea to those bags of pay dirt being sold that the buyer is able to pan out the gold during those long cold winter months their not able to get to the rivers and gold bearing streams.

    Last edited by alloy2; 09-11-2020 at 07:05 PM.

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    I always look forward to your threads.

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  13. #7
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    You do not need to run out to the nearest hardware to purchase copper sulphate, minus the copper sulphate mix up the electrolyte per Ammen's instructions.

    Insert your copper anode into the barren electrolyte with a copper cathode, copper plated virgin circuit boards work if you do not have a source of a copper sheet.

    Once you have applied the necessary power, copper from the anode automatically goes into the electrolyte, once an equilibrium has been met you'll see fresh copper being deposited onto the cathode.

    Any old PC power supply will work for the purpose of parting your copper..

    From Ammen's book.

    A typical copper-refining acid bath, in miniature, would be: 250 grams per liter of copper sulphate, and 75 grams per liter of sulphuric acid; a bath operating temperature of 70 to 120F; a voltage of 6 to 8 volts; and a current density in amperes of from 20 to 100 amperes
    per square foot of cathode surface.

    Ammen is referring to 98% sulphuric ( oil of vitriol ) almost like syrup, battery acid runs at 33% you can purchase this from NAPA.
    Last edited by alloy2; 09-11-2020 at 06:47 PM.

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    wildliferacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post
    Hi ho - Silver.

    I'd wager a bet the silver is worth more than the copper.

    Yeah, Silver worth big than copper.

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    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Working with a larger parting cell.


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    alloy2 started this thread.
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    First harvest.


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  20. #11
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    I have not melted to copper pieces into a solid anode instead have them placed in a pile near the lead anode, also throttled the voltage back to 1.9 volts 7;5 amps hoping to get a better tighter copper dieposit at the cathode.

    Last edited by alloy2; 09-07-2021 at 01:16 AM.

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    I am interested in your continuing process. Thanks for sharing. 73, Mike
    "Profit begins when you buy NOT when you sell." {quote passed down to me from a wise man}

    Now go beat the copper out of something, Miked

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  24. #13
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    Top image shows the distribution of the silver solder which is common on most joints.

    One issue is the copper sulfate in solution's is not being replaced fast enough, when this happens the plated copper is fluffy and the voltage on the power supply drops as simple remedy would be to insert an aquarium heater.

    Also the copper should have been melted into a solid or at least have the tubing flattened to avoid an accumulation of concentrated copper sulfate inside the tubing.

    This mornings copper harvest, I now have 2.5 pounds recovered, plenty of silver rearing its head, bottom image silver contacts from main circuit breaker with the smaller ones removed from magnetic motor start switch.

    The smaller contacts are brazed onto a magnetic backing, plenty of iron, these are soaking in a dilute sulfuric solution, the end result will be ferric sulfate in solution with the contacts left behind to harvest.





    Last edited by alloy2; 09-10-2021 at 09:29 AM.

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    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Another example, plenty of silver solder on this joint.


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  28. #15
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post
    Top image shows the distribution of the silver solder which is common on most joints.

    One issue is the copper sulfate in solution's is not being replaced fast enough, when this happens the plated copper is fluffy and the voltage on the power supply drops as simple remedy would be to insert an aquarium heater.

    Also the copper should have been melted into a solid or at least have the tubing flattened to avoid an accumulation of concentrated copper sulfate inside the tubing.

    This mornings copper harvest, I now have 2.5 pounds recovered, plenty of silver rearing its head, bottom image silver contacts from main circuit breaker with the smaller ones removed from magnetic motor start switch.

    The smaller contacts are brazed onto a magnetic backing, plenty of iron, these are soaking in a dilute sulfuric solution, the end result will be ferric sulfate in solution with the contacts left behind to harvest.

    The silver contacts brazed onto an iron base are soaking in a dilute sulfuric acid, once the solution has become saturated with iron ferrous sulfate crystals drop out as the solution cools down.

    A hot/warm liquor will hold more salts then on cooling the salts will form crystals this is ferris sulfate which I have filtered out so that they do not redissolve, thus making room for more metal ions to enter the acid bath.

    Ferris sulfate plants love it and it's also used to precipitate gold from solution.


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  30. #16
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Interesting discovery, the magnetic motor start switch contacts are sandwiched with iron and a copper backing which made them magnetic. You can see where the acid etched between the iron and the copper layer.


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  32. #17
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    Have not used my Induction furnace for a couple of years went to use it yesterday afternoon to find its not working. For the most part the furnace is well constructed but the placement of this small circuit board is badly placed.

    Tabs located at the ends attach to the two brass terminal screws and the tabs have broken off, looks like an easy repair.








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  34. #18
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    On the morning of September 10th I had 2.5 pounds of copper harvested, September 14th morning harvest I now have 4 pounds.

    Several issues noted, as the silver becomes available it deposits onto the copper being parted which blocks access to the electrolyte had i melted the copper bits into a solid anode this parting of copper would have been much quicker.

    By melting the copper bits into a solid this would have homogenized the silver making it much easier to part from the copper.

    Also had I inserted an aquarium heater this would also speed up the process, but as we all know the induction furnace is not working and other projects have delayed the repair.


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  36. #19
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    Old dog new trick, modified my home made slide hammer by adding a bump for the hammer to hit on the down stroke, the bolt on the end pushed the copper out and should the bolt doing the push get stuck the upper bump pulls it free.






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  38. #20
    alloy2 started this thread.
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    Silver solder alloys contain phosphorus, the copper parting cell converts this to a sulfide.



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