Let’s Get Wet - What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?

Certain liquids contain quantities of precious metals that can be recycled. But before we discuss what those liquids are, let’s state something important . . .

Only larger quantities of liquids that contain precious metals are generally worth recycling!

Photo of skids of drums filled used manufacturing fluids containing traces precious metals that can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

If you have a gallon or two of the liquids that are described below, you should not expect to receive a lot of money for recycling them. (In such cases, your responsibility is to dispose of them in accordance with local environmental laws.) But if you have larger quantities – skids of cans of metallic paint, drums of sludge – then it is worth calling us at 800-426-2344 to discuss recycling them.

Now that we’ve gotten that issue out in the open, let’s take a look at some liquids that could contain valuable quantities of precious metals.

Used Fluids from Electroplating Processes

If your company electroplates in tanks, the electrolytic fluid from them could contain quantities of the gold, silver, or other metals that you are plating onto other metals.

Unused Chemicals that Contain Silver or Other Metals

Some chemical liquids that are used in production processes contain trace elements of valuable metals. You might think that chemicals used in photo processing would contain quantities of silver, but silver halide is found in negatives and film, usually not in processing fluids. Still, it is worth reviewing the unused chemicals that you have to see whether they contain silver.

Sludge Left Over from Plating Operations

If your organization operates large-scale gold-plating or silver-plating operations in tanks, the sludge that accumulates in them (or “downstream” in other tanks that capture the sludge) could contain gold or silver that can be profitably recycled. Again, let’s point out that only large quantities of sludge are generally worth recycling – just a gallon or two won’t yield large enough quantities of precious metals.

Unused Metallic Coatings and Paints

If you have large quantities of decorative or industrial metallic coatings, they could be worth recycling. Remember, however, that the old saying “all that glitters is not gold” applies. A gold-hued or silver-hued metallic paint could contain more reflective mica powder and colorings than real gold. You’ll need to read the ingredients to see if any real precious metals are there or, in some cases, send a sample to a top precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to let us take a closer look.

Related Posts:

Attention Recycling Centers: These Often-Overlooked Items Can Generate Big Income for Your Town
Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Plating Primer: How Do Sputtering Targets Work?
Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies