Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 407–411 | Cite as

Production of Nanostructured Silver from Waste Radiographic Films Using a Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Method

  • Bruna S. Sá
  • Cecilia A. Zito
  • Tarcísio M. Perfecto
  • Diogo P. Volanti
Short Communication


Radiographic films, widely used in medical and dental diagnosis, are an excellent source of silver (Ag), due to their content of light-sensitive Ag compounds. After their use, the films are commonly incorrectly thrown away in the regular trash, causing potential environmental damage. Thus, sustainable methods for recovering Ag from discarded radiographic films are desirable for economic reasons and environmental preservation. In this study, we performed the Ag recovery from waste radiographic films and carried out its structural, chemical, and morphological characterization. First, a solution of commercial bleach, based on sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), was used to separate Ag from radiographic films. Then, a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method was applied to produce nanometric metallic Ag using sucrose as a green reductant and sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The obtained product was composed of relatively high purity (~ 97%) nanostructured Ag (NS-Ag). Thus, the proposed procedure was efficient, and a promising approach for Ag recovery from radiographic films since the obtained NS-Ag might be used in a wide range of technological applications.


Silver recovery Nanohydrometallurgy Sustainability Radiographic plate Green reductant 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support through grants from the São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP (Grants 2017/01267-1 and 2017/13230-5), and CNPq/PIBIC/Unesp (ID: 42591). The XPS and FESEM facilities were provided by the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory – LNNano/CNPEM (Proposal No. 21594) and LMA/IQ/Unesp, respectively.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40831_2018_187_MOESM1_ESM.docx (219 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 218 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Materials for Sustainability (LabMatSus)Ibilce, São Paulo State University (Unesp)S. J. Rio PretoBrazil

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