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i want to extract the tin from some tinned copper wire. how do i go about doing this? Answered


i would like to know, what the best way would be to separate tin from tinned copper wire. i recently attempted to build a MOT welder and now am left with quite alot of wire, and i require the tin for tin oxide.

im wondering, what would i need to do, after i dissolve all the wire in hydrochloric acid, to extract the tin? its my understanding that tin and copper chlorides decompose easily into their oxides, and i only need somewhat pure tin,  as the electrode connector for my MMO titanium mesh (the part which will stick out of the cell which i will connect the cables to), and i only need roughly 70-80% pure tin metal, which i will reduce using my furnace and some pure carbon, in order to get a metal.

or would it be ok for me to just melt the metals as is and let them separate in the crucible, and have all the fiberglass and resin just burn off?
otherwise, would heating their chlorides (i require a soluble form to filter away resin and fiberglass), yeild tin oxide and not copper oxide, or would weaker acids like carbonic acid be able to dissolve the tin?
sorry for all the questions but i really need some tin and i dont wanna blow this one shot i got here!

i already have a theory on how this will all work, i just require a second (somewhat) proffesional) opinion.
also i am already taking full precautions to ensure i dont get chlorine poisoning, so dont bother with the warnings.



7 years ago

There are 49 other ( including copper Cu and silver Ag ) more abundant on
this globe then tin Sn with Gold Au being the 79 most abundant element.

I suspect there is more tin lining the inside of non-aluminum metal food cans then you can harvest from copper wire.

And the reagents will cost you more then buying some tin metal from eBay or
a chemistry store or smelter.

Hope this helps................ A

i just assumed there was allot of tin in the wire since the wire is silvery , and not reddy-brown like copper.

i really do have alot of this wire, and i was also kinda trying to somewhat pure copper in the proccess, for making copper acetate, as a flame colourant.

but if you say that there is not much tin, then i beleive you and am now rather sad! :( because i had high hopes for that wire. this now brings on my next question which is what else is in the wire aside form copper and how do i remove it from the copper, or is it less that 5% ?

If all you were interested in was the tin, you can buy for cheaper and get more. But if you want the pure copper for something else, then the cost equation changes and maybe it might be worth it to you.


2 years ago

Most our experimenters are young enough, not able to conceive that there are metals that can rapidly suck oxygen from water with the attendant burns and house fire.

More tin on a tin can. minuscule amounts of tin are used to plat objects why not just buy some.

I'm not a professional in this area, but I think that buying tin in form of solid bars would be much cheaper than any kind of chemical/physical process on tinned wires.

You will have to deal with the apparatus for the process, the energy bill and of course handle any left-over materials (like dissolved copper in hydrochloric acid?!)

IMHO (any as I said, I'm not a specialist at all) the best option might be to give the wires to a recycling specialist and get some money (copper is expensive) and just buy the tin or even the tin oxide.

I was thinking the same thing when I read the question. And what he can buy will have a greater purity than anything he can recover in this instance.