I understand from my research that the leftover flask should
contain only silver oxide, but also the explosive silver azide.
However, the azide can be deactivated by dilution with water.
As I remember, left-over solution was mixed with dilute HNO3, but
water was sufficient to make the flask safe.
I'm still game to try it, but for reasons of safety I really only
want to use small quantities of reagent at a time. What was the
procedure in your class?
Probably pretty standard. The reagent is mixed (strong ammonia and
silver nitrate) just before use, and mixed in the flask with the
suspected reducing sugar, causing the inside of the flask to be
One student got to wash out the flask with water and leave it for
display. It turned black within a day or so - chem labs are not a
friendly environment for thin films of silver [g]. The rest of us
used HNO3 to dissolve the silver and clean the flask. There were
details - different sugars and other reducing organics, timing rate
of deposition, stuff like that. It was a long time ago.
Sun City, AZ