View Full Version : A few silver reclaiming questions

17-Aug-2015, 16:31
1) How come in general we only reclaim silver from the fixer? Whenever you look at all the b/w printing trays the developer tray always looks like it get the most silver in it or at least it always has the blackest bottom. Wouldn't it be a good idea to try and reclaim what is in the developer or is there something I am missing?

2) What if instead of throwing away bad prints and test strips you just threw them in a barrel of old fixer so the image bleaches off? Would that leave more silver to be reclaimed from the fixer?

18-Aug-2015, 01:28
1) I don't get black residue on my film development trays; I'd have to check the chemistry, but as far as I know, no significant amount of freely floating metallic silver is supposed to be created during development. But maybe I'm missing something.

2) that would work to some extent (the bleaching), but it's quite a slow process. Metallic silver is quite resistant to being attacked by hypo. Also, I'm not sure if it would be possible to reclaim it through electrolysis; is the metallic silver being transformed into an ionic state if slowly bleached in the fixer? Wouldn't you need a halating bleach for that first? I know that that approach does work; bleach first and then fix out.

18-Aug-2015, 11:54
I only ask of the developing trays because of this:


18-Aug-2015, 12:15
1) There is very little silver in the developer -- and I believe the silver compounds just happen to be darker than the silver compounds that come out of the fix.

2) Just water might be fine -- eventually the emulsion falls off. We use to get 10 cents a pound for our photo paper and film until the price of silver went down. Now I believe they haul the paper/film away for free.

18-Aug-2015, 13:30
My developer tray is blackened by Amidol and Dektol.

jnanian has posted a thread about a recovery system, in the new products forum.

Paul Metcalf
18-Aug-2015, 15:04
Amidol stains anything, doesn't need silver