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Arthur Dent

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Everything posted by Arthur Dent

  1. The scariest mofo is indeed ClF3... out of control reactive with almost everything! Even the most basic handling of this stuff requires dramatic precautions and if there's a leak of this stuff in a lab... kiss the lab goodbye and run away like you're doing the 100 meter sprint! The scariest stuff I own is HNO3. I greatly respect the 2.5 L glass bottle I have. Robert
  2. Mmmh, okay... http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/loopy.htm or http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/garble.htm LOL Robert
  3. Oops, Didn't notice that. Sorry! My knowledge of removing impurities in Manganese salts is limited to the removal of solubles from insolubles. Ferric and Manganese chlorides would look to me as pretty hard to separate from one another... Robert
  4. My recommendation would be to wash the MnO2 with some diluted acetic acid, which will clean off some of the other metal impurities, wash it again with plenty of distilled water, then one last wash with dilute HCl (iron impurities will react with the Cl along with very little Manganese, leaving the unreacted MnO2 nearly free of iron). Then you'll be ready for the big mean MnO2/conc. HCl reaction. Do this outside or in a fume hood, mucho Cl comes out of that reaction. Robert
  5. As stated above, in plain words, the occasional chemistry hobbyist simply can't. Producing metallic sodium, potassium, cesium or lithium from their respective salts is nearly impossible because these metals are utterly reactive and involves intense heat to actually melt the salt, then under an inert gas, electrolyse the molten salt, resulting in ultra hot, highly reactive acidic gas and a ultra hot, highly reactive alkaline metal that just beg to recombine as fast as they've been separated... Your best bet is finding a source in your area that sells the metal directly. Robert
  6. And with the resulting metal you can build a BMW mini-cooper! - Robert
  7. Huh? $350? The current value of an ounce troy of pure .999 silver is $19.17 as of this morning! Where do you get your silver? I don't think you're buying if from the right place that's for sure! Even United Nuclear (which is known for their expensive prices) sells 2.6 g of pure silver for $2.50... that's less than $30 an ounce! Robert
  8. Indeed, the acids have to be concentrated. But I believe that "technical grade" Nitric Acid 42 BÉ (67%) is enough. The HCl can be 20 BÉ (32%) The ratio is approximately 1 part HNO3 for 3 parts HCl. I tried it and it works. The yellowish fumes are not that intense, but are still extremely toxic and pungent. One whiff and it'll have you choking and tearing up. Do this mixture outside and up wind (ideally in a ventilated laboratory fume hood, but not everyone has one of those ). It is a monstrous acid... it will eat up any metal, so your precious metals will be dissolved with whatever metal (copper, iron) is also included. Be very careful and work with goggles and gloves, even a tiny drop on your skin or in an eye will result in a world of hurt! - Robert
  9. I have prepared a solution of Nickel Chloride by dropping some Nickel metal shavings in concentrated HCl, and after a few days, the result is a bright, dark emerald green liquid, that still contains a lot of hydrochloric acid. What would be the best way to neutralize the HCl without contaminating the solution with another salt? What i mean to say is the logical choice would be to add some NaOH until I get a 7.0 PH, but it would create unwanted NaCl in my relatively pure solution (I used reagent grade HCl and 99.9% pure Ni). I thought of boiling off the solution but I don't know if I would succesfully drive off all the remaining HCl from my NiCl2. And I don't think that fractional crystallization would work since NiCl2 and NaCl are both highly soluble. Anyway, I have never tried that process. Thanks for any and all advice. Robert
  10. I have read that Potassium perchlorate has very little solubility in water, but is there a solvent that will efficiently dissolve KClO4 ? More importantly, are there incompatibilities with solvents such as acetone, ethanol, methanol or isopropanol? Will any of these dissolve KCLO4 more efficiently than water? Robert
  11. A very interesting thread! Given your doomsday scenario, I believe that the ingenosity of some people would ensure their survival. All the building blocks of a "new society" could be salvaged from the remains of the old society. Anything from chemicals, metals, equipment, building materials, could be recycled in some way: Calcium Sulfate could be salvaged from the gypsum panels from old buildings to make plaster of paris, beach sand, with lime and a few additives, can be turned ito cement. Literally millions of tons of plastics could be collected, melted, distilled into various polymers and hydrocarbons. Sea water, when distilled, could provide sea salt, composed of salts of Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium... food supplements, vitamins and medication could be harvested from even the simplest vegetation. Old electronic equipment could provide the components for tools and devices, old gas cylinders could be used to make vacuum chambers. The list is endless. A person with a good sense of "McGuiver-ism" could certainly survive even in the harshest of climates. Bear Grylls could certainly give us a few lessons how to keep cool with his pee and build a condo out of dirt and twine, LOL! - Robert
  12. Wait... how can this be the biggest? Isn't Canis Majoris supposed to be around 2000 times the size of the sun? - Robert
  13. My first idea would be to find out what material is the stopper made of, and find a solvent that would "attack" the stopper, if it's neoprene, maybe some methyl ethyl ketone, or toluene would soften it enough to cut away its edges with an xacto blade attached to a dowel and it would just fall out when turned upside down. If it's cork, maybe just a bit of conc. HCl. If it's teflon... well, you got me there! LOL - Robert
  14. Of course, I know that H202 can be bought at the drug store or even at the dollar store, 500 ml for a buck. But that's 3% solution in water... what i'm looking for is the higher concentration Hydrogen Peroxide, the 27% to 32% stuff that is really hard to find (I checked several hair products shops/pool supplies shops in my region and no one carries that stuff). And I know that H2O2 is NOTORIOUSLY hard (and dangerous) to attempt to distill, since concentrated H2O2 has this nasty habit of exploding when submitted to high heat! I just need some of the more concentrated stuff because some precious metal salvaging processes call for concentrated H2O2. As for the dyes, you haven't lived before you have seen a nitrogen laser excite a fluorescent dye tank that starts "lasing" the most magnificent colors you can imagine! One of my cold autumn days projects! Check this cool video: Robert
  15. Sorry to bring this topic again, but I recently came into a batch of those small "bracelet-type" glowsticks. it was the unused remains of a party, about 100 of them. So I thought to myself "cool, i'll be able to retrieve the individual chemicals from these and put them to good use". The H2O2 is always very useful in high concentrations to precipitate the iodine in a solution, i'll have a bunch of different dyes I can use for my future plans for a nitrogen laser, and I know that TCPO is hard to make and expensive (I have basically no use for it, but heck, if I ever need it...) So I decided to start "disassembling" these little glowsticks, always being careful and wearing goggles and gloves, because I know that I don't want H2O2 spilling on my fingers or in my eyes! EEk! I was very careful with the x-acto knife because the extremely thin glass tube containing the dye look so fragile. I opened 10 of them and was disappointed by the results, the walls of the plastic tube are rather thick and fit the glass tube rather snugly, so the content of H2O2 for each plastic tube is rather minuscule, barely 0.5 ml per stick. So If I go through all of them, i'll probably end up with 45/50 ml at the most! Mmhhh. not a good start. So I have 10 sealed glass capillary tubes filled with the fluorescent dyes, and my intention is to keep the various colors together and try to find some way to harvest their content. I'll also save a few of the glass capillary tubing, it's always a useful in a lab. But first off, I just want to make sure what chemicals I'm dealing with, because i've seen various threads and several different "chemical" mixtures for glowsticks. Please correct me if I'm wrong but here goes: 1) The outer plastic tube contains 27% H2O2 2) The inner glass capillary tube contains Diphenyl Oxalate and the dye (for example 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene for the yellow ones) That's it I believe, are there other chemicals I should be aware of? Is there a way to separate the Diphenyl Oxalate from the dye? I have see the larger "rave type" glow sticks that have a diameter of 10mm, do these have larger quantities of H2O2? Sorry if this has been addressed previously, but I just want to make sure the reward is worth the effort because so far, the yield is rather minimal... Robert
  16. Although I haven't tried this method, I read that Magnesium Nitrate (trihydrate) is a good method to dehydrate HNO3. Check out this link: http://www.backyardchem.com/nitric-acid.php Robert
  17. Arthur Dent


    I'm 46, I'm a graphics designer, IT and translator by trade. My hobbies are electronics, chemistry, science in general, music and musical instruments in general, and I have a sideline as concert promoter and events organizer in the field of progressive rock music. My website: http://www.progmontreal.com -Robert in Montreal
  18. A much easier technique is simply to use steel wool. Put two or three steel wool sponges in a transparent tupperware plastic container and pour a bit of bleach in it (about 1 inch). Put the lid on and place the container outdoors in the sun (some chlorine gas may evolve from this process). The steel wool will immediately start to oxidize. Shake the contents a bit from time to time to loosen the rust particles and expose fresh metal to the mix. At the end, you'll have a good quantity of iron oxide with a bit of carbon mixed in (steel contains carbon to make it harder). Rinse off the bleach by filtering the rust in a funnel with a paper coffee filter. If you want the iron oxide to be separated from the carbon, put it in a widemouth jar full of water and shake it vigorously, that'll make the Fe203 separate and when you let the stuff settle, the brown Fe2O3 will sink to the bottom and the black C will settle in a black layer on top. if you're agile and careful, you can scoop off most of the C from the top and that'll leave you some relatively clean rust! Robert
  19. Thanks jdurg, that's what I figured. I'll let the solution slowly decant in my dessication bag. Now I read in the LiNO3 MSDS that this substance in its crystal form may explode if submitted to a shock! Is there any precautions I should take when the material is completely dry? or should I leave it a bit hydrated/deliquescent? - Robert
  20. That and also the fact that the grammar is wrong! If someone trying to peddle a chemical gets the word "CAUSTIC" wrong, I have a good hint that it's total bull... I bet the chemical formula of "cuastic sulphate" is BS... LOL! Robert
  21. Finally took the time to "complete" my experiment of producing Lithium Nitrate. I had left my batch of Lithium Hydroxide in a dessicating bag and it did the job as flakes of solid LiOH were already forming on the surface of the liquid. So I put the becher containing the LiOH in a bath of ice water... better be safe than sorry, the production of LiOH was extremely exothermic so I want to make sure my solutions don't explode im my face! So here's the becher in ice water. It contains 50 ml of very saturated LiOH solution. So I prepared a solution of 50% concentrated Nitric Acid (42 BE) with distilled water. always being careful and wearing goggles and rubber gloves. I very gently poured the solution with a pipette and it effervesced pretty intensely and the becher became warm. After it stopped effervescing, I let things sit for 10 min. and poured the contents of the becher in an erlenmeyer. Now for the bad stuff... The solution as you see is a clear, very light peach color, so I guess there were impurities in my Lithium. It's a shame because my LiOH looked perfectly clear and colorless. And the other thing, I may have been a bit too enthusiastic in my addition of the acid (I added 100 ml of the 50% solution) so a litmus paper test indicated a ph of 2.5... aargh! Is there a way to neutralize the Nitric acid without adding further impurities to the solution? I know I should prepare another batch of LiOH and just add until I get a more neutral PH, but then again, I'm afraid I don't know if a pure solution of LiNO3 is more towards the neutral or towards the acidic side of the PH scale. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Robert Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedUPDATE!!! An odd thing happened. I decided to put the erlenmayer filled with the LiNO3 solution in a bain marie on my hotplate (the erlenmayer in a pan full of water on the hotplate at low). I let it boil for 1/2 hour, right up until there was no water left in the pan. To my surprise, the contents has barely evaporated 3 or 4 ml (from 150 to 147 maybe) but the stranger thing is now my LiNO3 solution is absolutely perfectly clear and completely transparent! The "peach" color has completely disappeared! I can only figure that I boiled-off some of the impurities in the solution. So the next step will be to figure the PH of a perfectly pure solution of LiNO3 with all of the nitric acid neutralized, then i'll just dessicate the solution until I get clear LiNO3 crystals. Robert
  22. The corrosion is produced by the normal process of sulfation and electrolysis where minute amounts of electrolyte migrate between the seal of the battery posts and the plastic, causing any metal it's in contact with to turn into sulfates (Pb, Al, Cu)... Baking soda indeed neutralizes that process somehow, so those felt pads might be either saturated with it, or Ammonium Sulfate (NH4)2SO4. Personally, a plain old brass wire brush and some ammonia-based window cleaner is all I use on the corroded posts of old batteries and battery clips, and they look like brand new! - Robert
  23. Removing iron gunk and rust might be best done with Phosphoric acid, which is much, much safer than HF. You can buy it at hardware stores in the form of a product caled "Naval Jelly" which can be applied to a rusty surface and after a while, Fe2O3 turns into FePO4 that can be easily wiped off leaving a shiny metallic surface! Robert
  24. Try this: http://www.elementsales.com/pl_element.htm#hh They have most gases sealed in ampoules, except for fluorine, that really can't be kept for long periods in any kind of transparent container because it's simply too corrosive. But for noble gases, a small quantity in a sealed tube with electrodes could be used as a small "neon" showing what color the gas glows when it's ionized. Robert
  25. I guess the easiest and most inexpensive way to acquire oxygen is at any good hardware store: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/WeldingSoldering/Torches/PRD~0587575P/Worthington%252BOxygen%252BGas%25252C%252B14.1%252BOz.jsp?locale=en You can get a bottle of O2 for 10 bucks, and with a slightly modified torch head, use it as an oxygen dispenser for your experiments. I use a setup like this with a propane bottle and my bunsen burner: So this certainly could be applied to an O2 bottle. Always make sure to apply a bit of soapy water on the junctions to make sure there are no leaks! - Robert
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