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Accidental Ammonia!


spudpeel
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I was mucking around with chemicals at the weekend, and we mixed anything vaguely flammable together (stupid i know).. As far as i know, our cocktail included:

Rust, Aluminium, gin, KNO3, Sulphur and Magnesium. Oh, and burnt matches. Can anyone shed any light on why it loads of ammonia was evolved?!

I know that the test for nitrates uses aluminium and generates ammonia, but this requires NaOH, which i didn't add. My only other thought is that KOH from the burnt matches did it instead, but i dont know if this is possible..

Any ideas?

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Nope dint drink it! Basically the hope was that the thermite would drip onto the KNO3 and gin in the can beneath and make a nice fire, it didnt though, it just boiled so we added more stuff. In the end the fire had gone out, though it was really hot and was bubbling quite strongly by itself. Holding a daisy to it made the petals go green. I think I should stop getting distracted from revision..

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It sounds a lot like your nitrogen was reduced and your metals (magnesium especially?) were oxidized. Hopefully we'll get a chem expert here who can shed some bright light on this.

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