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Everything posted by MDJH

  1. What if I don't have access to sand? (I might... but I don't know quite where I could go for sand in the city I'm in now.) Would it work with a soil surface, or would rainwater cause it to fall? Would leaning it against a tree be a good or bad idea? Also, what about an aluminum pipe, I've heard it's almost as conductive and glows blue when it's about to get struck?
  2. Well, technically this was intended to shift to being about making magnesium metal by ANY means, since "electrolysis" only applies to molten electrolysis. Thanks for changing the thread title anyway, though.
  3. Ah ok. So the less stable the salt, the more likely the aqueous electrolyte will be electrolyzed, and the more stable the salt, the less likely the aqueous electrolyte will be electrolyzed... so for purer hydrogen/oxygen yields, go for the more stable salts. The irony is, I've changed my mind about electroplating magnesium (EDIT: more like "changed my mind about trying to electropate it") and have decided to go for using epsom salt as an electrolyte for water electrolysis instead; see my electrolysis thread. Hey that rhymes. XD But yeah, this thread is now about making magnesium. How do I change the subjectline of the initial post?
  4. Thanks again, I thought it worked for aqueous electrolysis too, I guess I got the wrong impression. As for the bit about hydrogen and oxygen, I saw your post in my water electrolysis thread, and I'm guessing I could expect the hydrogen and oxygen yielded by water electrolysis, when epsom salt is the electrolyte, to be pure?
  5. I have access to those too! Ironically, I happen to have a piece of wood soaking in epsom salt solution outside, I mentioned the same thing in my salt fire thread... it seems it takes a while to dissolve though. On Wikipedia's page about epsom salt it says the solubility of the heptahydrate is "71 g/100 mL (20 °C)"; I assume that ratio applies regardless of the volume? (ie. 710g potentially dissolving in a litre at 20 °C, etc...) In any case, to get it to dissolve to that ratio, would it spontaneously dissolve to that much if you left it for long enough, or would it be more effective to boil a lot of water, pour the boiling water into a bucket (obviously one that wouldn't melt or break by filling it with boiling water) add a little more than the solubility ratio for it, then leave it to cool and if it precipitates, assume saturation? Also would concentrated epsom salt at room temperature be safe for immersing your hands in? (I'm presuming it would as it's used for bath therapy but I'm not sure if concentration would affect that) And what voltage would be good for electrolysis with concentrated (or close to concentrated) epsom salt as the electrolyte?
  6. Hmm? This page says magnesium reacts with acids, not water. And this page says magnesium chloride electrolysis yields magnesium... or is it different for magnesium sulfate? If not, what else would be different about it? And in any case, how else could I make magnesium metal?
  7. That's PARTLY true. I'm not a chemistry major, but I've learned a bit about water electrolysis both in high school and university chemistry, and typically electrolysis uses more electrical energy in producing hydrogen than you'd get in terms of chemical energy by using the hydrogen. But still, to have a way of converting electrical energy to chemical energy, even if you lose a little in the process, still means that you could fuel cars with a chemical that in turn gets its energy from the electrical grid. So this wouldn't depend ONLY on fossil fuels, but on nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, etc... and the variety of power sources could still ease dependence on fossil fuels.
  8. MDJH

    Salt fire

    I didn't know that before. That's interesting... I was actually considering burning wood soaked in table salt to see the "yellow sodium flame" but was thinking that would be pointless as I'd mistake it for wood's yellow flame. Of all the irony that it's BECAUSE of sodium that the wood flame is yellow. XD But yeah, I'm trying to get it to soak in more concentrated epsom salt than I would get at room temperature... if I were to add warm water, to get it to dissolve more epsom salt, would the wood absorb the more concentrated epsom salt before the water cooled down or after? And is it likely that the wood could absorb the concentrated epsom salt, but lose it from the wood after the solution cools down?
  9. How low, exactly? What concentrations would be considered safe, what would be dangerous? And what kind of gloves should I use? And if I used dilute table salt, how far away would I need to be from the electrolysis?
  10. I have a bunch of pseudo-designs drawn up (ie. not very specific, definitely not professional) for ideas of what to do with lightning. Most of them revolve around the idea that I can attract lightning with a tall enough stack of aluminum cans. This stack would ideally be set up away from buildings and trees, and would be set up when there isn't a cloud in the sky. (Or at least not directly overhead) In order to make the stack stand up without breaking, I'd probably need some strong adhesive, one that either doesn't set fire or does conduct electricity (or at least, conducts electricity without setting fire) and I'm not sure if superglues I'd find at hardware stores would be adequate for the task. Also, if I were to glue it to the ground, what kind of surface would I need? Would I be better off using a paved surface and using some sort of waterproof superglue so that the water that runs on the pavement would run around it, or would that eventually eat away at the glue? In any case, would I be better off using a sandy surface and burying the bottom of the stack (ie. the first few cans) in the sand instead, so as to give a certain amount of height within the ground?
  11. I'm a little scared to use sodium hydroxide though, as I've heard that can react with the amino acids in my skin. I suppose I could use gloves, but I don't know what kind of gloves would protect my hands from sodium hydroxide. Similar concern with salt. The chlorine should be mostly contained, but if it ends up in the same container as the oxygen that means it would be dangerous to breathe it. (Granted, pure oxygen isn't something you should be breathing anyway, but supposedly doing so for only a few seconds isn't particularily dangerous and instead gives you an energetic feeling or something? Not that I'd necessarily just breathe it, I could also use it to light glowing splints or burn metals instead)
  12. Just then I dipped a piece of wood into a magnesium sulfate solution within a glass. First off is there any chance of the combination of the solution and the wood causing damage to the glass? Anyway, I'm doing this to get the wood to soak in some of the magnesium sulfate solution like how it does with water. I'm guessing that it would soak in some of it, though not much of it. My reason for THAT, in turn, is to have a magnesium sulfate soaked piece of wood to burn on the fire, because I tried burning magnesium sulfate in the fire before by placing some magnesium sulfate onto a piece of wood and putting the wood in the fire; I didn't see the white flame it's supposedly supposed to give off. So therefore, I'd also like to ask; would it be more likely to burn the magnesium sulfate if I were to leave the wood soaking in the solution and put it in the fire wet, (ie. while the wood is still soaked with the solution) or to let it soak for a little while but then dry the wood out (ie. with a blow-dryer or something) so that it has dried magnesium sulfate on it? Also, if this worked, would the white magnesium sulfate fire be too bright to look at with your own eyes (like a flame of magnesium itself would) or would it be mild enough to look at? Or would it be somewhere in between? (ie. mild enough to look at with sunglasses, but not without?)
  13. I know I already started another electrochemistry-related thread, but this one is about a slightly separate subject. I was looking to use water electrolysis to yield hydrogen and oxygen in separate containers. For the most part, I think I'd know what I'm doing, but there's some things I'd like to check on. First off, what would be a good (ie. safe and/or efficient) electrolyte to use for at-home electrolysis? I'm guessing that the electrolyte itself would undergo electrolysis as well... which is why I'm hesitant to use table salt, as that would supposedly yield chlorine gas. (Inside the same container as oxygen, I presume?) So far I'm considering baking soda, or vinegar, except obviously not at the same time... though I guess I could use sodium acetate, the product of the reaction between the two, as an electrolyte istead... in any case, what kind of side-products would baking soda or vinegar or sodium acetate yield?
  14. Hi, I was thinking of trying electroplating at home. From what I recall from chemistry back in high school, electroplating is like the voltaic cell, except that voltage is applied to reverse the direction of the reaction, plating the more reactive metal onto an electrode, while corroding the less reactive one. More specifically, I was considering electroplating magnesium from epsom salt, and using one close to it on the activity series (like aluminum) so as to save on electricity use while doing it. The problem is, I only have access to magnesium sulfate, not magnesium, so I can't use a magnesium electrode. And I don't know how to get access to sulfates of ANY metals I see on Wikipedia's table of the activity series, let alone aluminum sulfate itself, though I do have access to aluminum metal. So this raises a few questions: 1. Do the two metal cation solutions need to have the same anion for an electrochemical cell to work? (ie. if I had the electron-donor electrode dipped in a solution with the same metal as its electrode but with an anion other than sulfate in this case, would it still function?) 2. For a salt bridge, would any electrolytic solution do, or are there specific rules for what solution can be used? (ie. different cation and/or same anion, etc...) 3. For the electron-recipient/cation-recipient electrode (ie. the one I'm looking to electroplate onto) would it need to have the same metal as the cation in solution (such as a magnesium electrode in this case) or would an inert electrode (like graphite) work too? (ie. could magnesium be electroplated onto a graphite surface from magnesium sulfate?) EDIT: And if not, where could I find access to enough magnesium to function as an electrode to be electroplated onto?
  15. cx - 3 = (c^2)(x^3) - 3 Solve for c as x approaches 2. Where do I start?
  16. Well what I meant was that if this would do a sudden quick pull it could pull a heavy object made of some ferromagnetic material up a steep slope to convert the electric energy to gravitational potential energy so that it could be converted again and stored so that it could be used gradually...
  17. Test tube? What about a tall glass or empty plastic bottle, could either of them work similarly? Either way, how would you set them (or a test tube) up to collect the gases?
  18. So the idea of a lightning electromagnet is like "converting the energy of the core of a solenoid into electricity"? Care to explain what you mean by this?
  19. What's a coil gun projectile?
  20. I think I remember mentioning this as one of my ideas (among others) in the "lightning as an energy source" thread; what if we were to have some kind of grid-like (except 3-D) network of wires of some conductor positioned in the sky in a way that the angle can be changed so that said network can be passed through a charged cloud, and then have the wires converge so as to combine all the electricity from the network of wires into one wire, giving it a path to the ground, but except in order to get to the ground, it'd have to pass through an area where it was coiled around a ferromagnetic material to create a solenoid? Imagine how strong the magnetic field would be, even if only for a second, but just how suddenly strong it would be... or how it could be used maybe, with the sheer strength pulling something rapidly? Now IIRC from physics class, the strength of an electromagnet depends on the current flowing, the number of turns of wire, the size of the coil, and how ferromagnetic the material in the core is; though this brings up another quesiton with regards to electromagnetism in general, does that mean that infinitely increasing the number of turns of wire infinitely increases the strength of the electromagnet? But in this particular case, if it depends on the current and not the voltage, then what about use of some kind of iron ring like Faraday's Iron Ring (which had coils of wire on each side and the magnetic field created by one side induced current in the other side) with more coils on one side than the other to increase the current by decreasing the voltage? But in that case, then couldn't the current by increase infinitely by having more coils? Same kinda thing again... Anyway, yeah, what about that idea?
  21. Yeah I mentioned already how I got it not to use a power outlet. Anyway, as for the washing soda, does it work almost as well as sulfuric acid? I know the latter is corrosive but I'd be careful with it; though then again it is better to lean on the safe side anyway. So where could I get it? Also, what about vinegar? How well would that work, and what gases would that give off? Also, how do you capture the hydrogen and oxygen separately? In my chemistry textbook on a page about electrolysis of aqueous potassium iodide there was some weird U-shaped water container and I'm guessing that's for capturing different gases at the top, but I was thinking if I wanted to fill one balloon with hydrogen and another with oxygen what kind of method would be practical to use?
  22. Ok got it, don't use a power outlet; so with regards to electrolytes, could someone name an efficient electrolyte that doesn't give off harmful gases AND where to get that electrolyte, and what voltage I'd be best using with that electrolyte? I remember I read before that sulfuric acid would make a good electrolyte but what happens to the sulfur? Does it give off sulfur oxides? If not, where could I get it? Or better yet, what I asked earlier about efficient electrolytes and where to get them...
  23. Actually I think that's what I was talking about, maybe you mixed up JC's reply with mine.
  24. Well, yeah, I know about that, Ohm's Law, I remember that from grade 12 Physics class. I think the voltage drop is fixed as also being the voltage increase and therefore doesn't vary but the current drawn depends on the voltage and the resistance... As for the overvoltage, ok I'm getting mixed messages about what voltage to use; so would using too high-voltage a source (since the voltage will drop as much as it raised no matter what the load) cause the voltage supply to overheat? If I did that with a battery would that cause the battery to leak?So if I used a power outlet, and put wires in an extension cord that connected to the graphite rods in the water? Is there a danger of something in the wall overheating or am I safe with a power outlet? Also, how do you capture the hydrogen and oxygen separately? In my chemistry textbook on a page about electrolysis of aqueous potassium iodide there was some weird U-shaped water container and I'm guessing that's for capturing different gases at the top, but I was thinking if I wanted to fill one balloon with hydrogen and another with oxygen what kind of method would be practical to use? And with regards to the electrolyte I don't know if I have sodium carbonate, what are some other good electrolytes? What about vinegar, is that a safe and efficient electroylte? (I know that vinegar is an acid and acids and bases are conductive) Graphite from a pencil lead won't react with vinegar right? On the other hand sodium hydroxide would be efficient and wouldn't give off any gases other than hydrogen and oxygen, right? So where could I get sodium hydroxide? Does anyone here know a few different safe electrolytes (by safe I mean won't give off harmful gases) and where to get them?
  25. Actually I'm basing this on a combination of what I remember from the electricity and magnetism unit from physics class and the electrochemistry unit from chemistry class. I thought that the voltage drop from the load (water) had to be as much as the voltage increase from the power supply? Also I don't know where to get sodium hydroxide but would sodium hydrogen carbonate do the trick? I thought I remember reading that an electrolyte was necessary. Also, what effect would the distance between the electrodes in the water have? If the electrodes were placed further apart would that simply mean there would be more resistance and therefore less current would flow despite the same voltage drop? Oh and graphite is a conductor, right? So if I used graphite rods (I know how to isolate the graphite from a pencil; burn the pencil and the wood peels off leaving the graphite intact) as electrodes would that work?
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