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How To Extract Pure Silver From Waste Films

Updated on July 30, 2020
Chidimma Eunice Eneye profile image

Eunice's Family has been into the silver extraction business for over a decade.

Silver is one of the most familiar metals. From kitchen ware to ornaments, the use of silver cannot be overestimated. Because of this wide varied use of silver, there is always a market for it. Most of the silver in the market is mined and produced industrially on a large scale. However, it has been discovered that silver can be salvaged from certain waste chemicals which are not so difficult nor expensive to get.

The extraction or salvaging of silver has turned out to be a quick way to get money. It is perfect for anyone who wants to work from home because the entire process can be done in a yard. The process is inexpensive making it easy to maximize profit.

What is Silver Extraction?

Simply put, it's the salvaging of silver from Radiographic films(liquid). A lot of people try to salvage silver from coins and ornaments. This is basically salvaging silver from waste. So you don't have to lose something precious to you to make some quick money. Because it's waste, you don't have to buy it at a high price. You just have to tip whomever is supposed to dispose of it in whichever of the several places you can get it from, to collect the film in a can for you.

Before you wonder if this is a just a scam, I have to tell you that my family has been into the silver extraction business for over a decade. It's not a very complicated procedure and you definitely do not need large machines. The best thing is that there is always a market for silver. An ounce of silver sells for over 10 dollars and a kilogram of silver sells for several hundred dollars. This is what makes this business a very good way to make quick money.

What You Need

  1. Waste Radiographic films. Waste Radiographic films are gotten from scanning labs, hospitals and printing press. Radiographic film is not the same as radioactive waste.
  2. Sodium hydroxide. This can easily be gotten in Walmart.
  3. Jean bag. You can make one by cutting off the leg of an old pair of jeans and sewing one edge shut.
  4. Borax.
  5. Iron pots. Scrap metals like old disposed cylinders cut in half can serve.
  6. Copper wire.
  7. Furnace.


  1. Empty the gallon(s) of waste Radiographic films in a bath. (The copper wire is used to test the quality of the waste before you pay for it. Swirl the copper wire in the waste three or four times. If the wire darkens, it means the waste is of good quality. The higher the quality the better your chances of getting more silver.) 20litres of good quality film should yield several ounces of silver.
  2. Dissolve a cup of sodium hydroxide in water for 25 litres of waste film. Pour the solution into the film an stir continuously for about 30 minutes.
  3. Leave overnight for it to settle completely into a mud at the bottom .
  4. Drain the liquid slowly to avoid upsetting the settlement.
  5. Scoop the black mud into a jean bag and hang it up to drip dry.
  6. Empty the bag into the iron pot(s). Be careful not to over fill it.
  7. Put the pots into the furnace and allow it to heat.
  8. When the contents turn red, throw it the borax powder. You'll notice that the content of pot will turn molten and start to boil.
  9. Use tongs to bring down the pot.
  10. Allow it to cool .
  11. Use the tong to turn the pot and hammer the back to removed the now congealed substance.
  12. You'll find purified silver.
  13. Weigh it and sell.

A properly drained "mud" from the waste film..


  1. From the process and materials you can see that it is a very inexpensive and uncomplicated process. However it is still Radiographic waste(radiographic waste is very different from radioactive waste. Radioactive waste should not be played with except you are a professional) so precautions such as using a nose mask and wearing gloves should be taken.
  2. This chemical has an offensive odour, especially when mixed with sodium hydroxide, so this procedure should not be carried out inside an apartment. It should also not be carried out in shared spaces.
  3. This chemical is harmful to plants. So do not drain on your lawn!
  4. It's helpful to take a glass of milk after being exposed to these chemicals.
  5. Don't be defrauded! A 20 liters gallon of waste Radiographic films shouldn't cost more than a few dollars or even free!


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