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How to extract copper from pickle solution


#1

Here’s a related question about copper,…

I have started to use citric acid instead of safety pickle or other
stronger acids, to reduce environmental impact; I felt pleased with
myself for a while, but have been informed now that the acid content
is less of an issue than the quantity of copper being flushed into
the drains when the neutralised pickle is discarded.

As Copper so beautifully plates silver when a student accidentally
puts steel tweezers in the mix, I wonder if there is a way to use
this method of extraction to make the spent pickle more friendly to
the waterways?? Obviously I don’t want to be using my silver for
this job!!

Any ideas or other suggestions?


#2

I am saving the super saturated pickle and plan to use it as a glaze
on pottery I make. It may not work but it will be fun experimenting.

Bobbie Horn


#3

You can use the same cementation process used to extract copper from
acid mine water: just throw in some scrap iron in the form of steel
cans, wire, steel wool, etc. The iron will go into solution while the
copper plates out. Or you can neutralize the solution with baking
soda and the copper will settle out as a solid sludge.

Good luck


#4
As Copper so beautifully plates silver when a student accidentally
puts steel tweezers in the mix, I wonder if there is a way to use
this method of extraction to make the spent pickle more friendly
to the waterways?? Obviously I don't want to be using my silver for
this job!! 

Get a large industrial roll of steel wool to keep the price down and
place a wad of steel wool into the spent pickle. It will turn pink,
remove/drain the steel wool and place in trash bag, repeat using
fresh steel wool until it no longer turns pink. You have now removed
the vast majority of the copper form the solution and the copper
plated steel wool can be sent to a scrap yard for recycling.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts