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An Innovative Photocatalytic Process for Silver Recovery

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68D70020
Agency Tracking Number: 37900
Amount: $69,465.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1997
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
6804 Hobson Valley Drive, Unit 115
Woodridge, IL 60517
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Chi S. Wang
 () -
Business Contact
 Dr. Chi S. Wang
Phone: (630) 852-0104
Research Institution

The photographic industry consumes about 70 million troy ounces of silver annually. The technology used to recover the silver from concentrated solution is more than 40 years old. However, investigators project that, based on industry experience, as much as 20% of this silver is lost in the wash water and goes unrecovered. The toxicity of silver in the effluent is a growing concern in the United States and Europe. An innovative photocatalytic reactor using porous TiO2 as a catalyst for metal recovery is proposed. The unique porous structure allows UV-light to penetrate and treat the waste. The proposed system will be cost-effective because currently unrecovered silver will be recovered, heated wash water will be recycled, and TiO2 will be reused. The proposed work includes fabrication of the porous-TiO2 catalyst and a performance demonstration using the catalyst in a pilot reactor for silver recovery and water reuse. This feasibility study will be completed in 6 months. The proposed photocatalytic reactor has a great potential to become an inexpensive and efficient way to remove and recover silver and reuse wash water in photoprocessing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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