# Can silver metal be used to electrochemically reduce copper?

I have a solution of copper(II) ions and several cations. I am trying to reduce the copper ions to copper metal with electricity. My Ideas was to use silver as the anode and a copper wire as the cathode. I have seen people say to do this using platinum as the anode, however this is expensive. I was wondering if silver could be used as an alternative anode because it has a higher reduction potential than copper. If not, could any metals besides gold and platinum work. I have attached a picture of my proposed cell. I have tried the cell, but the silver began to corrode and form a silvery deposit, probably a silver salt.

• No as it is less reactive than copper, moreover if you look at these reactions you will see that Ag2SO4+Cu=CuSO4+Ag – user31031 Jun 13 '16 at 13:20

However, depending on what you want to do with the copper, you may run into problems. Do you want copper-plated silver? That should be fine. Do you want to redissolve the copper to get a pure solution by acidifying? In that case, you cannot use the typical $\ce{HNO3}$ method because that would oxidise the silver, too, and you would end up with a mixture of copper(II) and silver(I) nitrates in solution.
• Or maybe $\ce{Ag}$ would dissolve to some extent, and that would be a problem. Normally people use copper anode for this purpose, so as not to bother about impurities. Copper in, copper out. – Ivan Neretin Jun 6 '16 at 4:47