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Topic: extracting precious metals and how to make mercury harmless  (Read 18877 times)

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Offline Fe$phi

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extracting precious metals and how to make mercury harmless
« on: October 08, 2013, 11:59:15 AM »
Hi guys I would like to start extracting precious metals from old electronics or really anything i could find for free how would i go about extracting the metals with what acids and then getting the metals to precipitate, also does anyone have any good ideas where i could find this stuff i was just thinking id go to the dump or something.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 08:53:57 PM by billnotgatez »

Offline curiouscat

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 12:02:33 PM »
Do you have solid medical insurance?

Offline Fe$phi

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 10:53:14 PM »
yes i do, and i understand I could be working with dangerous acids i have chemistry equipment, and if theres something i need and don't have i have a lab i can go to and use their equipment after hours.
(including a fume hood)

Offline 408

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 12:05:30 AM »
Look into extracting PMs from dental filling waste.  Can get decent amounts this way.  Modern electronics do not really contain enough metals to make this worthwhile except in perhaps the industrial slums of asia. 

Offline Fe$phi

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 09:49:34 PM »
okay my friend is a dentist I just ask him for the waste and he'll give it to me? and then what method should I use to purify it?

Offline 408

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 12:57:42 AM »
Getting the waste is up to your social engineering skills.

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=5328&page=2
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=5700&page=2
https://sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=5700

"I have successfully recovered 34g of pure gold from dental alloys and also the platinum and palladium.
After dissolution in aqua regia, the solution is diluted to make all the AgCl precipitate. The AgCl is boiled with dilute HCl to extract some palladium which has coprecipitated.
The combined solutions are boiled down in a still and evaporated two times with concentrated HCl to ensure that no nitrate ions are left (important).

The gold is then quantitatively precipitated by heating the solution to 80°C and bubbling in sulfur dioxide until no more gold (yellow to brown, crystalline, very dense precipitate) settles out. Don't mess with other reducing agents like dithionite, disulfite, FeSO4 or similar, they intruduce sodium or Fe(III) ions into the solution which will be a nuisance later.

The gold is washed and redissolved in aqua regia, boiled down, evaporated two times with HCl and precipitated by adding oxalic acid in excess, boiling and then slowly neutralizing the solution with ammonia until the solution is colorless.
This purification produces almost 999 fine gold. If gold of certainly 999 fineness is desired, it is redissolved, evaporated with HCl as before and precipitated this time with FeSO4.

The solution from the precipitation of the gold is bubbled with chlorine at room temperature to reoxidise the platinum to IV.
The solution is then boiled for an hour to reduce the oxidised palladium.
Ammonium chloride solution is added, yellow ammonium hexachloroplatinate precipitates which is filtered.

To the solution from before is addedmore ammonium chloride, it is cooled to 10°C and chlorine is bubbled in. Brick-red ammonium hexachloropalladate precipitates. It is rapidly filtered and washed with chlorine- containing NH4Cl solution (not with water!).
If the filtrate is still brown, the treatment with NH4Cl and chlorine and filtering of red precipitate is repeated. "

Offline Fe$phi

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 12:08:16 PM »
okay so i got 3 pellets of amalgam from my dentist, mixed, it sounds like its just a mixture of mercury and silver, so your saying i mix this with aqua regia which is 3 parts hydrochloric acid 1 part nitric acid, then i add water to dilute it? and then i somehow take out the agcl that appears at the bottom(with a wooden spoon??) and put that with water and HCL and palladium appears along with AgCl and i boil that with HCL twice to get rid of all moisture and i get silver and palladium?? it doesnt sound like what i have has any palladium in it, he said its just mercury and silver so could someone please give me a procedure strictly for silver and mercury amalgam to extract the silver and from there ill move on to other extractions?

Offline Fe$phi

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how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 12:11:07 PM »
I will be working with mercury soon, in small amounts at most a handful at a time, how can i work with it safely and after i have finished with it how can i nullify its effect by making it a harmless compound or storing it in something and also i will be boiling a solution at one point that mercury is in how could i do that safely?

Offline Archer

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Re: how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 03:04:14 PM »
A handful of Mercury is a lot! 10ml could fit in the palm of your hand, that's 76g.

There are not many "safe" ways to handle mercury, accidental release is a major hazard if you don't have a clean up kit.

What experiment are you planning and what are you hoping to achieve?
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Offline vmelkon

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 03:57:34 PM »
If you want to separate mercury from silver, one method is to directly heat it. I have heard of someone doing this to extract mercury. Of course, the silver left behind won't be pure.

Don't use a wooden spoon. Use glass or polyethylene.

Be careful with Hg salts. They are much more dangerous than metallic Hg.
I think you ends up with mercury salt, dissolved in the water. Silver ions bind with chloride to form the non soluble AgCl. Then, dry the whole thing to get rid of any acids. Add water to redissolve the HgCl2/HgNO3 and then filter to remove the solid AgCl.

Offline Borek

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Re: how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 04:32:53 PM »
A handful of Mercury is a lot! 10ml could fit in the palm of your hand, that's 76g.

135 g
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Offline magician4

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Re: how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 05:26:37 PM »
usually, mercury is to be stored in airtight sealed glassware

you'd prefer to work with mercury in a ventilated hood.
If not available, I personally would go outside and work there, if possible: just to prevent contamination inside (which usually is much more difficult to handle)

try to avoid any spill whatsoever

take precautions that this might happen anyway: work in a drip pan, if possible, to catch up spill
try to collect spill and put it back into storage (large balls of mercury , for example)
if available, make use of a mercury collector device to pick up spill:

(from: link )
(available at some 10 bucks or so )

if you'd have "unclean " material contaminated with mercury remaining (or surfaces that are difficult to clean thereof: "black" strains...) , use powdered sulfur, apply it in a thin layer ...and wait.
It might take like a week or so, but after that, mercury sulfide should have formed.
this still is toxic, yes, but it isn't that voilatile anymore.

you now can collect it, and forward this sulfur / mercurysulfide to an accredited disposal


regards

Ingo
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Offline Archer

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Re: how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 09:43:33 PM »
A handful of Mercury is a lot! 10ml could fit in the palm of your hand, that's 76g.

135 g

Oh dear, yes it's density is 13.5 g/cm3, my apologies.
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Offline Fe$phi

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Re: extracting precious metals
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2013, 09:58:13 PM »
thats awesome thanks man that makes a lot of sense to me, the only thing im still confused about is where the NO3 comes from?

Offline Fe$phi

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Re: how to make mercury harmless
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 10:04:25 PM »
I plan to extract Ag from amalgam and will be producing HgCl and HgNO3 in side reactions and so like are gloves enough? if so what kind of gloves if not what else do i need for my personal protection i dont plan to spill any of this and if i do i will be working in a lab so i can set up a drip pan and other precautions.

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