Silver Anvil Engineering was formed in 1978 after an evening consulting project to recover silver from photographic and jewelry wastes expanded beyond the time available for Roger C. Neuscheler to moonlight from his regular job at a large engineering company. The future of the new Silver Anvil Engineering Corporation was cemented by a successful sale of silver slag that another company hired us to clean up after the original company failed to properly smelt a silver concentrate. That slag sale financed our first building.
ENGINEERING PROJECTS THAT FOLLOWED:
Closed down a cyanide leach operation for photographic film in Littleton Colorado and marketed the chemistry to a mining company
Designed a water pre-treatment system for a metal cleaning company, built the equipment, installed it and started up the system. The process has run successfully for 20 years.
Designed a dissolved air flotation system for a meat packing plant to recover fats from their waste water.
Cleaned up a cyanide spill for a metal cleaning company in Golden, Colorado. As a result of this work the president of the metal cleaning company was commended by the Colorado Department of Health as the first example of an industrial cyanide spill that was successfully remediated.
Cleaned up and obtained EPA closure for a small oil blending company that had spilled oil on the ground for 30+ years.
Designed and piloted a number of processes to recover silver from photographic and x-ray film:
a) Burned film in a multiple chamber incinerator and recovered silver by smelting the ashes.
b) Dissolved silver from the film using cyanide and recovered it electrolytically.
c) Chemically-oxidized the silver in the film to silver chloride followed by leaching with thiosulfate and final electrolytic reduction and melting the electro-flake.
d) Oxidation of the gelatin that holds the silver image on the film with sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide with collection of the silver by precipitation and centrifuging.
e) Peptizing the gelatin with an enzyme and recovering the silver by precipitation and a centrifuge.
f) Shut down our own film cyanide-leach facility, sold the chemistry and equipment to a mining company; then designed and installed our own enzyme leach facility using a 6 ¾ yard cement mixer as the reactor.
g) Designed and installed an incinerator to burn low grade film and photographic papers. The unit was set up with a heat recovery boiler between the afterburner and the stack that captured enough waste heat to warm the plant and run the enzyme system.
In 2000, Silver Anvil purchased the residue of another refinery. The previous owner had a significant environmental liability of zinc chloride that was contaminated with lead. The cost to environmentally dispose of this material was $35,000.00 more than the refinery residue was worth. Silver Anvil designed and installed a process to separate the lead from the zinc. A galvanizing flux was made from the zinc chloride that was sold to a local galvanizer. The recovered lead was sold to a metal sales company.
Established a relationship with a company that made silver batteries for the U.S. military and put the refinery cited above to work processing battery production scrap. The refinery operated until about 2005 when the battery company went out of business. At this point Silver Anvil conducted the environmental clean- up of the battery factory and shut down the other refinery.
In 2002, Silver Anvil was contacted by a compact disc (CD) manufacturer to solve the problem of CDs contaminating a land fill with silver. We studied the manufacturing process and designed a system to chemically wash the silver from the CDs. After weeks of washing the polycarbonate CDs we were saturated with plastic. We found a market for the plastic, ground it to meet the customers specifications, shipped and sold it.
Once a market was found for plastics, we visited other companies that generated scrap plastic and became a plastics-recycler. Before the recycled plastic market collapsed in 2008, we were shipping 30,000 pounds of prepared plastic per month.
Another client asked us to grind chunks of foam used to pack a canister that was designed to recover silver from photographic fixer. We ground the foam with our plastics grinder and found that the inventor of the foam was looking for someone to produce the foam. We set up a special mixer needed to make the foam and shipped it to clients.
Developed a proprietary cyanide solution to extract gold and silver from plated items and a reactor that would destroy the cyanide and precipitate the precious metal in the same step. This eliminated the problem of disposing of used cyanide as a hazardous waste.
Worked with a water processing company to recover precious metals that are dissolved in the salt water (process water) that comes up with oil. The process involved electro coalescing the precious metal into an iron matrix, separating the matrix from the water and then extracting the precious metal from the iron matrix.
Cleaned up and shut down another refinery that was processing x-ray film by burning it in an incinerator. We removed an old incinerator, metal melting and pouring furnaces and cleaned all traces of silver from the building.
Current projects include the collection of precious metal by breaking a micro-cluster that contained monomolecular gold bonded with iron and other metals.
Silver Anvil enjoys finding a problem that needs a solution, identifying the options, and designing a process to solve the problem.