posted by Lena on .
How would someone extract silver from silver nitrate?
*silver isn't soluable in water so I was thinking I wouldn't be able to do a single displacment reaction. I don't know how to go about this :S
What kind of single replacement do you want to do. You don't need silver METAL to a s.d. reaction. Here are two using a silver salt.
Mg + AgNO3 ==> Ag + Mg(NO3)2
Al + AgNO3 ==> Ag + Al(NO3)2
if it's the silver you want to do,
Ag + Au(NO3)3 ==> Au + AgNO3
None of the equations are balanced.
If you had something different in mind, please clarify.
I'm sure it's a typo but note how soluble is spelled.
I need pure silver so just Ag on it's own.
Excuse me but I just now reread the question and I had not seen the first line. To extract Ag from AgNO3 is a slightly different reaction. I guess it all depends upon how much silver you want and in what form. If you just want to plate out some silver, the easy way to do it to use the single replacement reaction I wrote above using aluminum. That will plate out a thin coating of silver on top of the aluminum. Of course, if you want pure silver, that isn't the way to go. To EXTRACT silver from AgNO3 is relatively large portions, I would precipitate the silver chloride, AgCl, with NaCl by the following reaction.
AgNO3 + NaCl ==> AgCl + NaNO3, then filter to collect the AgCl, wash thoroughly with water, then reduce the AgCl to pure silver using something like carbon. This would require a high enough temperature to remove any excess carbon. It's cheaper to buy silver than it is to try to make it this way. I hope this revision helps. There may be better ways of reducing the AgCl than C but that one just popped into my mind.
What if I did this.
- add copper wire
then wouldn't the silver crystals attach onto the copper
- then the copper would oxidize and you're left with silver
would that work?
Yes and no.
Yes, copper will displace Ag^+ from solution.
Cu + 2AgNO3 ==. Cu(NO3)2 + 2Ag
And the Ag will plate out onto the Cu wire. But, how will you oxidize the Cu wire? It will not oxidize by itself.
Another way is to use an electric current and plate out Ag metal onto an electrode.
If the silver was forming on the copper couldn't I just tap it off and it would fall to the bottom of a test tube and then I could just filter it out of the copper nitrate?
Probably. Silver doesn't always plate out nicely and cleanly when done as you're suggesting. What I'm saying is that it often, instead of plating out nicely and smoothly onto the surface of the copper wire, it starts to crystallize and grows on itself instead of sticking to the copper. If it does that,relatively large crystals of silver will form and you can do exactly what you've described and it will work quite well.
Thanks so much Dr Bob
You helped so much