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  • Location
    Minnesota, USA
  • Interests
    Competition Shooting, Metal Refinishing, Designing, Machining, Metalworking
  • College Major/Degree
    University of Minnesota - Bachelor of Environmental Design in Landscape Architecture
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Physics (Kinematics/Mechanics), and Inorganic Chemistry


  • Quark

inuhbad's Achievements


Quark (2/13)



  1. Aaaaaaaaah! You should've posted that YESTERDAY so I don't look like such an april fool! Sorry, I'm just SERIOUSLY not thinking right. I've got a hardcore case of brainfry from doing calculus all day for some site engineering junk on a couple projects. I'm leaving for a vacation soon, so naturally I've got to finish all my work before I leave. It's 8:15 PM, I'm still @ work, and I've got about 2 days more work to finish by 5 PM tomorrow. I need to go home & drink some distilled potato juice with an olive in it or something! My WIFE would really love me if I could figure out a way to make Crystalline Carbon via Electrolysis!
  2. It's just a lot easier to simply BUY your nitric acid. Then you've got much more pure HNO3, and at a more consistent concentration. You can usually find a decent deal if you buy it in larger quantities like a 4 gallon HDPE container. Split it up into four 1 gallon dark glass bottles (appropriately marked for hazmat contents), and then you can even separate it out further into 100ml bottles if you need something more convenient to work with in the lab. Then you'll also have more than enough on hand to use for a lifetime of experimentation (for a home chemist). I'm almost prepared to place an order for 4 gallons, I've got to finish making a specialized storage cabinet/container, and then I'll have my local fire marshall service worker come out to inspect it to see if it's compliant with my county's local codes (which are rather strict & specific)! I know I won't have a full need for FOUR full gallons of it, so I might give some to my uncle to use at his company's medical laboratories - I'm sure he'll appreciate it considering the cost of HNO3.
  3. Thanks for posting this, Hermanntrude! I've got plenty of lead on hand and I'm always trying to find more possible reasonable uses for it! This could be a fun experiment! I might also take a peak into the Calcium Carbide experiment as well! Can you post some stuff on that if you try it??? Sounds like fun!
  4. ...The kinematics in solid-fuel rockets does vary depending upon the different fuels. We're talking about the ideally controlled release of energy that's stored chemically. This has been experimented with quite a bit many years ago. Also, I am just now getting re-associated with a high-powered rocketry group, and may soon be forking over the dough for my federal permits to start making my own rockets again (there once was a time when federal, state, and local laws didn't give a crap about model rocketry - and amateur experimentation was A-Okay). KClO3 isn't really all that great of a fuel and as mentioned, if you're not careful when making them you WILL be creating an explosive - a big federal no-no. In fact, making your own KNO3 rocket engines (with a different compound) is also illegal if your mass exceeds a certain amount. I'd suggest sticking with commercially produced rocket motors - it will help you avoid a great many SERIOUS problems! If you attempt to persue making your own solid fuel engines I'm sure eventually you'll encounter some (if not all) of these problems: - Trial & Error headaches. - Expenses to replace destroyed motor bodies, remachining or replacing custom machined nozzles. - Rebuilding your motor testing stand (because you blew it up 6 times already). - Serious injury to yourself or an innocent bystander - possible severe burns, or death. - A wonderful 5-10 years in prison for making illegal explosives without a federal license. - In the event you DO get some motors working you have to deal with inconsistent performance from a variety of contributing factors... This is seriously something I suggest avoiding if you wish to avoid any of these problems. There are waaaaaaaaay too many factors involved that are often out of the limits of control for amateur home-built solid fuel rocket engine. Mixing your Fuel & Oxidizer properly, evenly, and SAFELY. Properly bonding with a synthetic or polymer agent. Properly & Consistently compacting it into the motor body. Precise formation of the prill/grain and its center channel. Replacing your test nozzles periodically with a new custom-machined one - because even your 'successful' tests will result in heat erosion of your nozzles - increasing their diameter, and reducing their performance - creating inconsistency. Proper design & construction of an efficient motor body to withstand the pressures generated while remaining lightweight. Proper design & machining of a nozzle to produce the thrust necessary to not only make your rocket perform, but to regulate the pressures generated throughout the full course of the burn. You also have to test & launch everything with a long-distance secured frequency remote control launching devise from a VERY long distance or you'll be in a world of hurt. Seriously, avoid making your own. It takes YEARS of research, experimentation, data collection & review, TONS of time & expense fabricating new parts or repairing things you've blown up - before you even get a GOOD, SUCCESSFUL, HIGH-PERFORMANCE rocket motor! If you think commercially produced 'Estes' motors aren't powerful enough, and KNO3 based solids aren't enough - get the federal permits to buy commercially produced reloadable rocket motors. It's the only SAFE way to avoid any headaches and untold sums of money wasted on trial & error experimentation. That's likely what I'll be doing soon enough. Most consistent & safe high-power solid fuel motors these days operate with a phase stabilized ammonium nitrate based fuel/oxidizer recipe - and it has to be PROPERLY phase stabilized or you're just wasting your time with regular ammonium nitrate. There are other solid fuels that have proven to work with limited success using all sorts of chemicals, binders, and compaction techniques. Each different recipe provides dramatically varying performance based upon the varying amounts of energy stored in their chemical composition. It will even vary depending upon the different sources chosen to acquire the chemicals... It's just far too inconsistent to be worth anybody's time or effort - my own as well.
  5. Wearing a sweater while standing near the fuel tank opening (while filling) is not very smart. Saw somewhere else online a video of a woman standing beside her car while filling it, wearing a sweater. The fumes of gasoline can be retained in the sweater fibers. The moment she touched somethign metal/grounded, she had a static electricity discharge, and almost immediately her upper body ignited in flames! Also, don't wear fleece, or the older 'windbreaker' style athletic fabric when you're near an oxygen source as they, too, can spontaneously ignite with just a spark.
  6. WOW! That's a hilarious idea! As for my best moment... Well, today is just beginning. For yesterday, the best moment would have to be walking in through the door, being greeted by my incredible wife with a kiss, and by my puppy whose tail is wagging so excitedly that his whole butt shakes with it, and he jumps up to 'kiss' (lick) me, running in circles around me, and makes a kind of squeaking noise that's so cute. We'll see what happens today.
  7. That pretty much sums it up. Unless it's a self-sustaining reaction in which the energy generated is enough to power the radio wave generator, and also produce a surplus of additional energy that is sufficient to power other things... Then they might have something worthwhile... Al Gore shouldn't talk to us about becoming energy efficient & energy independent when his several inefficient mansions burn more fossil fuels in any given day than my house could consume. Talk is cheap. Show us that you're making a strong effort to do the same. In the meantime, those same democrats working in our local Planning & Zoning departments that are telling us to likewise become energy independent are the same ones telling us we can't add solar panels or small residential windmills to our homes & properties because they are not 'Aesthetically Pleasing' or because the windmills could fall on children. It's all fine & dandy in Theory, but in Practice, it's less than practical, and certainly not all that 'renewable'.
  8. Yup, if you've ever had to change out & put in a new car battery in the cold Minnesota Winters, you'd find they're pretty darn heavy. They feel like about as heavy as a 40 pound bag of water softener salt (but they're so darn SMALL it wouldn't seem so heavy at a glance). In the cold winters the electrolyte solution tends to freeze and it reduces the battery's ability to power & start the cars... I was thinking of draining the electrolyte, funneling it into a waste bottle, running a titration to perfectly neutralize the solution, and filter it to remove any metal/lead from the solution, and then dispose of it. Once I clean & neutralize any acid that might still be on the plastic & lead, then I can recycle the plastic, and smelt the lead into something useful (for my purposes). That link you included is great... Plenty of good information & statistics. One would have to be very careful doing this as Sulfuric acid is nothing to be careless with... I'm not even sure if I'm going to attempt this yet. I should also research any legalities concerned with it. Any EPA regulations or something of the sort, etc... The electrolyte, once neutralized, will probably be brought to a local waste disposal place just incase. I don't know if I can ensure I'll get all the lead particles out of the liquid waste, and don't want that going down the sewer or something.
  9. How much lead is there in a battery. I was under the impression that about 18 to 19 pounds of it was lead & lead dioxide 'wafers' or layers. Even if you could only get maybe 10 to 15 pounds of lead out of one, that'd be about ~70,000 to ~105,000 'Grains' of lead. That'd come to about ~300 to ~450 of my 230 grain lead round nose bullets for my Colt 45. It doesn't seem like too much work - especially if the sulfur will mostly cook off in the 1500 degree crucible. If my math is right, there should be closer to 18 or 19 pounds, which works out to a bit over 500 bullets. So, I could potentially have over 1000 free bullets sitting in my shed right now.
  10. Yup, I was afraid of that... I'll have to find a better source for free lead that's more usable... Anybody else have any suggestions for a decent source of lead?
  11. I WANT TO GET THE LEAD OUT! I've been thinking about this for quite a long time now... I think I'm going to do it this summer, but I wanted to run it by the brainy chemists here before I try it... Lead Acid Car Batteries, the older style, non-sealed electrolytic batteries. They basically consist of a polymer body/shell with a number of internal 'chambers' or cells within. Typically 6 cells in series which produce ~2.1 volts each. These cells contain stacks of lead (Pb for the Anode) and lead dioxide (PbO2 for the Cathode) in an alternating form. These 'wafers' of lead and lead dioxide do not touch directly, but have a 'Separator' between them, which usually consists of an extremely thin layer of Rubber or PVC / Polyethylene in modern lead-acid batteries. The battery cells are then filled with the electrolyte solution which is Sulfuric Acid & Distilled Water. As the battery discharges, the electrolyte solution becomes less & less concentrated as the sulfur is taken up with the Lead & Lead Dioxide. According to Wiki, the reactions are thus: Anode Reaction: Cathode Reaction: So, basically, once the battery is old & dead, you're left with a plastic container filled with Lead Sulfate, H3O, and H2O. I want the Pb. I'm a competition shooter, and due to the 'War On Terror' (might as well call it a 'War On The American Taxpayer!'), the supplies of surplus ammunition has dried up. Ammunition costs 3x to 4x what it did in 2002 (and over 5x what it cost in 2000)!!! I can no longer afford to shoot the quantities of ammunition I once could! Copper costs have skyrocketed, and ammunition companies that tried keeping up with demand actually LOST a lot of money because the materials prices went up faster than they could adjust their prices! SO, now that copper & metals prices have dropped back down, the AMMUNITION manufacturers are REFUSING to drop their prices back to where they used to be --> SO THEY CAN MAKE UP FOR THEIR LOSSES when the metal prices were soaring too fast to keep up! I was told by a friend who works for a major ammo manufacturer that all manufacturers WILL NOT drop their prices for another year or so (at the earliest), and if they ever DO get around to dropping their prices, they're only going to drop them about 15% Total!!! Even though the metals prices have DROPPED BACK DOWN approximately 200% within the past year or so! In other words, they're DELIBERATELY trying to rape their customers to make up for their losses during the past 7 years of increased production demand! SO, since about 2003, I've been making my own ammunition to save on costs! I'd buy my ammunition components in bulk (before the prices got TOO crazy), and used that to load & reload my own ammunition. I saved approximately 70% off the cost of factory loaded ammunition for my handgun rounds, and about 45% off my rifle ammunition costs! However, due to the manufacturers having raised their prices, and NOT lowering them now that metal prices are lower again, I'm finding it tough to find even the components to load my own ammunition! Before you could buy either CAST LEAD bullets for about $0.03 to $0.04 each, and copper jacketed bullets were closer to $0.10 to $0.12 each. NOW, bullet casting companies are charging around $0.12 to $0.14 each for LEAD bullets, and over $0.20+ each for jacketed bullets --> Even though their materials costs have gone down! SO, I've taken to smelting/casting my own lead bullets. A small 'portable' smelting furnace/foundary kept in the shed has served well for smelting scavenged/salvaged lead down, adding the necessary amount of Antimony & Tin for hardness, and then pouring Ingots that I can later melt & cast into bullets! This is done with a full 40mm NBC gas mask, apron, gloves, and I have lead decontamination soaps to wash off any residual lead, and many people cast their own bullets as a hobby. One of the problems with making your own bullets is finding the source material! Before you could go to a gas station, repair shop, or especially a tire shop, and ask them if they have any old lead wheel weights you could take off their hands! Usually they have to pay to get rid of the lead, so they're plenty happy to give them to you! They can be smelted, add some antimony & tin, and then cast into bullets just fine! However, due to EPA regulations (or some such nonsense), wheel weights are no longer being made out of lead! So you need to find another source of metal. SO, one logical method is to bring a shovel, a couple buckets, and a sifting screen. Dig shovels of dirt outof the backstop, sift out the old fired bullets, and then put the dirt back on the backstop & pack it down! The problem is you have to get the lead cores out of the copper jackets, and you have to separate the lead & copper. This can be done with a foundry furnace, or a casting heater/burner machine, but there's a problem. The lead cores of some bullets are alloys and vary in their hardness. This means you won't know how much antimony/tin to add for the proper hardness of your new bullets. You need a better, more consistent source of lead than this! Since I happen to have two old dead lead-acid batteries from the 1980's in my shed, I've been thinking... These old lead-acid batteries contain approximately 19 POUNDS OF LEAD EACH!!! How can I get the lead out of those batteries? Could I open & drain the electrolyte solution out of the car batteries into a glass chemical jug (a waste-storage jug - it can be brought to a local hazardous waste disposal place), then rinse out the inside of the battery with a neutralizing solution. Then cut open the plastic battery casing to get the PbSO4 out of there? I could then clean up the plastic so it can be recycled or thrown away safely once I cut out the lead PBSO4 wafer stacks & separators. Here's my MAIN QUESTION... If I then throw these PbSO4 & Separator stacks into a crucible, melt them down at ~1500 degrees F, and scrape off the 'slag' on top, would that give me ingots of Pb, or would there be a significant amount of Sulfur still in the metal? I know for sure the super-thin separators will cook off quickly, but will the sulfur get cooked off as well, leaving me with mostly just lead & slag? What do your expert minds think? Bad Idea? Not worth it to get 38 pounds of lead for making bullets? What are your thoughts?
  12. I'd have to say the most dangerous stuff I've used personally is high concentration nitric acid, and a variety of Chlorine-based chemicals at a factory where I used to work in high school.
  13. UC, this subject interests me quite a bit. Do you know of any links or information sources I could read on the composition of these additites which will help the metal adhere and get the potential below hydrogen? Thanks for the info/help!
  14. Certainly interesting... I heard something along the lines of what Visceral stated... These ingredients also react with the HCl in the stomach to further aid in the production of dopamine, etc.
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