OK, for anybody still paying attention. I think the lye/corn syrup method is easiest for me to get silver cement. However, I have some confusing issues. Any comments on my saga below are appreciated:
I’ve had these bottles of silver chloride in my basement for about 30 years, and finally got around to doing something with them. A year or so ago, I dissolved some in ammonia and electrolyzed it. I didn’t get very far, though. After revisiting the subject recently on the internet, I have found out much more information than seemed available even a year or two ago. So I’ve been playing around with techniques such as copper replacement.
So now I am serious about converting this stuff to silver ingots and being done with the issue. The problem is that I’m having a little trouble finding a good way to take what I have now, and turn it into pure, clean silver. Here’s what I mean: I have about 750 grams total of dry material. Some is pretty clean AgCl, some is dirty AgCl (meaning unknown amounts of copper contamination, and/or other metals, as well as some small bits of foreign debris caught up in the AgCl). I have another jar of lumpy AgCl that seems to have partially converted itself over to silver over the years. There are also some chunks of green solid in the bottle. In addition, I have several jars of ammonia with copper in solution, with some amounts of silver and likely silver chloride in solution as well as precipitated. I have a couple of other flasks with a small amount of clear ammonia covering a mix of AgCl and silver precipitate. Basically, I’ve got all these different “cats and dogs” in these bottles and I want to get all the silver out of them.
My goal was to get everything into clean AgCl, and then use the lye/corn syrup method to get silver cement. One concern is how do I get everything (silver, AgCl, copper compounds?) into solution so that I can filter out any bits of debris? I guess any further questions would depend on that answer.
I washed one of the bottles of AgCl with some ammonia to remove any copper, and then I found that if I left copper pipe in the solution for a few days, I get a surprising amount of silver precipitate. Is this precipitation free of copper after washing. Should I use just distilled water to wash?
The other concern is that I was originally electrolyzing the AgCl ammonia solution in the presence of copper. I’m thinking that if I left the electrolysis going too long, I could start plating out copper and contaminate the silver. If so, then would I have to dissolve the silver in nitric acid, and then add HCl (or salt I suppose) to get clean AgCl and copper in solution?
That’s mostly it. It seems a bit scatter brained but I hope my general question is understood.