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Silver recovery from x-ray film.

B.W. Recycling, Inc specializes in silver recovery from all kinds of x-ray film, we have been in the silver recovery business for over 30 years, we are licensed by the EPA and meet all HIPAA guidelines and regulations for x-ray film recycling and other medical document destruction.

Understanding the meaning of silver recovery.

Silver recovery from x-ray film is a process which at the end of it the silver on x-ray films is recovered in a purity of 99.9% of silver in order to reuse the silver on same or other applications, the silver is sold back to the market in forms of bars or bullions.

Silver recovery bar

Since silver is a rare earth mineral which exists in limited quantities, it is vital to recover the silver from the old x-rays (radiographs) and other radiology related materials such as fixer solution and silver traps which does contain decent amounts of silver which also makes the silver recovery cost effective as well as saving natural resources. the silver recovered from x-rays is usually reused in x-ray film and many other applications as silver is used in many important industries such as medical, automotive, military uses, aerospace and many other uses, the world just can not afford the to loose silver to landfill. here is another article we posted about why not disposing x-rays to the dumpster.

x-rays in trash

Silver recovery process from X-Rays:

There are a few ways of recovering the silver from x-rays, back in the days 30 years ago when we started, we used to burn the x-ray films to ash and than melt that ash in order to get the silver, of course we had to treat the gases and the pollution that this process creates, we had to actually run the smoke trough a few sets of water bins until we neutralize the smoke completely.

We than had to re-melt the silver bars we got over and over until we clean the silver and bring it to 99.9% purity, this process was very expensive and almost not cost effective especially with the low value of silver back than, just for an example, back in 1971 the silver market price was between $1.25-$2.00/oz, of course money had more value back than but the silver market prices was a lot less than today.

This kind of x-ray silver recovery process was good for the old days and it is now considered an obsolete method, now a days as the awareness of global warming is higher, the method is replaced by an earth friendly type of silver recuperation process.

The most common silver reclamation process from x-ray films is called "Wash", and it works pretty much as it sounds, in the first stage of the x-ray recycling process the films is removed out of the paper jackets (the paper jackets are also recycled) than all of the x-ray films is being shredded, than its placed in large "baths" than a fluid containing cyanide is being flown into the bath to total drowning, the cyanide actually removes the silver coating from the x-ray film, the silver stays in the cyanide and the x-ray films become clear PET plastic which is than used for many other applications.

The silver is than removed from the cyanide using special lab technique. than it is melted into bars, watch a video of how silver is melted and poured into a very large silver bar in our facility, the remainder from the cyanide is going trough a renewal process which allows it to be reused again for new x-ray film or any other silver based applications.

Types of film and materials containing silver

  • Medical X-ray film
  • MRI film
  • CT scans
  • Mammography film
  • Radiographs
  • Graphic art film (lithographic film)
  • Non destructive testing film (NDT, NDE)
  • Silver traps (silver canisters, silver recovery cans)
  • Fixer solution (used and unfiltered with silver recovery unit)

If you have any of the following materials, please contact us for more information about pick-up and proper disposal.

Licensed and Certified silver recycler.
EPA ID #: FLD984167080
BBB accredited x-ray film recycling company

If you have x-ray film for silver reclamation and you would like more information, please fill out this quick form and we will contact you shortly.

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