Silver recovery as Ag0 nanoparticles from ion-exchange regenerant solution using electrolysis

Tabish Nawaz , Sukalyan Sengupta , Chen-Lu Yang


Received December 07, 2017,Revised , Accepted September 12, 2018, Available online September 25, 2018

Volume 31,2019,Pages 161-173

Many silver (Ag) containing consumer-products (e.g. textiles) release Ag into the environment, posing ecotoxicological risks. Ag recovery mitigates environmental hazards, recycles Ag, and leads to sustainability. In the present work, Ag has been recovered as Ag0 nanoparticles from the spent solution (thiourea (TU) ~ 0.5 mol/L pH ~ 1.1–1.2, and Ag ~ 550 mg/L) obtained from the regeneration of an Ag-loaded resin using a simple undivided electrolytic cell. The reclaimed regenerant solution has been recycled and reused in a closed-loop scheme over multiple cycles. The process parameters, i.e., current (0.05 A) and stirring speed (600 r/min), have been optimized for Ag recovery of ~ 94% and TU loss of ~ 2%. The reclaimed regenerant solution has been shown to regenerate Ag-loaded resin samples with > 90% regeneration efficiency over 4 cycles of consecutive extraction and regeneration. The recovered Ag0 nanoparticles are monodisperse, consistently spherical in shape, and have a mean diameter of ~ 6 nm with standard deviation of the Gaussian fit as ~ 2.66 nm.

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