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your top 10 favorite chemicals


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just out of curiosity, what would you consider to be your top 10 favorite chemicals (single element's fine too)? here's my list


1. potassium nitrate :)

2. hydrogen peroxide

3. sulfuric acid

4. ammonium nitrate

5. iron oxide

6. hydrochloric acid

7. potassium sulfate

8. copper

9. aluminium

10. water :)

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that`s difficult one really...


1. Nitric acid

2. Sulphuric acid

3. Potassium hydroxide

4. Ethanol (for several reasons) *hic*

5. Red Phos

6. Bromides

7. Strontium

8. Barium

9. Chromium salts

10. Ammonium Chloride

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Sodium nitrite

Copper (II) salts

Chromium (III) salts

Cobalt (II) salts




Red phosphorus

Hydrogen peroxide

Sulphuric acid


With these chemicals you can do an amazing number of really interesting experiments. Transition metal chemistry is a very wide and interesting area of chemistry, also for the home chemist.


Halogen chemistry also is a very interesting subject, with many interesting experiments, and many interesting compounds, which can be made.

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heh, easy for you my friends... if you lived in australia you'd know how hard is it to obtain some of the stuff from your lists... can't even buy water without getting harassed :P.. hope they dont install geiger counters on the doors or something.


at least i 'feel' safe :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Could all of you also explain why these compounds are your favorites? I would like to learn from those explanations (e.g. new experiments, funny properties, etc.).


hmm good idea!


I use my KNO3 to make small rocket propellants experimenting with ratios and additions of different grade catalyst and other similar things. Also use it to make smoke-making compounds. In both cases sucrose is another main component aside from KNO3. Basically KNO3 is my favorite because it's about the safest amongst the necessary propellant ingredients and rockets are always fun... even when they fail to take off! But I'm sure you're familiar with all that anyway :D


Hydrogen peroxide is cool for many things but I use it for my experiments with chemoluminescence as it's a good oxidiser. I can't make the dye but I use commercial ones :) Looking into the dye synthesis but can't find much.


And as for copper, it's a great element, I use it to make copper solutions for fun, which sometimes doesn't end up as easy as it sounds...

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fair question, here`s some of my reasons.



1. Nitric acid was the 1`st acid I ever encountered, and to me represents everything an acid should be.


2. Sulphuric acid With this acid you can make most all of the other acids


3. Potassium hydroxide a Very strong Base without the nasty Sodium Ion contamination problems


4. Ethanol (for several reasons) *hic* what needs to be said here?


5. Red Phos the stuff fascinates me, it burns in such a strange way that I could watch it for hours


6. Bromides Very easy to extract Bromine from, and bromine is very nice halogen and quite easy to handle.


7. Strontium Pyro Reds


8. Barium Pyro Greens


9. Chromium salts just for the range of different colors it can assume when complexed with other metals


10. Ammonium Chloride Depending on what you add to it can get you either Chloride Or Ammonia and very easily


there, that`s a rough outline of why I like mine.

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1. Potassium Nitrate - Very fun oxidizer with which you can do many experiments

2. Mercury Metal - Probably the most beautiful metal around.

3. Cesium Metal - Probably the most beautiful metal not around... and it makes a nice boom in water.

4. Hydrogen - Very fun gas... make balloons float, make balloons explode... fun :D

5. NaCl - adds taste to untasteful stuff

6. Ethanol (non-denatured) - Non-Toxic liquid fire... and good fun ;)

7. Carbon and DiHydrogen Monoxide - Enables Life as we know it

8. Neodymium - Powerful magnets, helps us create powerful electric motors, getting us away from crude oil.

9. 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine (Melatonin) - helps me fall asleep

10. Magnesium - Just reactive enough to be fun, just unreactive enough to be manageable.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Are elements OK?


Uranium 234

Uranium 235

Neptunium about to become Plutonium


Any fast nitrated detonable, perhaps diazodinitrophenol, to squeeze the above

Nitric Acid

Sulfuric acid






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c'mon... all you guys skipped cesium? what other metal can you melt in your hand?


um, well, that's assuming there's a bit of a glass wall between it and your skin ;-)



ps. and white phosphorus eternally glowing in the dark? how cool is that?!?

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imp, are those only your favorite or do you use each often? when i first asked the question i intended it to be a bit more practical, you don't have a nuclear reactor in your backyard do you :) though if you do let me know i'd like to pull a power cord to my house, electricity bills are ripping it these days...


as a general observation so far, everyone has an acid on their list :)


hey YT2095, got any ideas as to where I can find some chromium? :)

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1/caffeine - helps with the late night cram sessions before an exam

2/ethanol - helps with the late night party sessions after an exam

3/rubidium - warms your hands up nicely if you don't sweat too much

4/benzene - nothing you can't to with benzene

5/ nitric acid - extremely useful

6/hydrogen - i like things simple

7/Fucitol - amusingly named alcohol

8/ethane - again, nice simple reactions

9/water - good old dihydrogen monoxide

10/ sulphuric acid

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1): Nitric Acid. (Even though it's listed as one of my nastiest chemicals, it's also one of the most useful. In conjunction with HCl you can dissolve nearly any metal there is).

2): Hydrochloric Acid. (A basic, simple acid that can be incredibly useful for the generation of other chemicals).

3): Sulfuric Acid. (An incredibly strong acid, yet one that doesn't interfere with other reactions all too much).

4): Cesium. (I've loved it ever since I heard about it after the alkali metal demonstrations in high-school chemistry. Granted, the metal isn't nearly as "KABOOM" as one would think once you've actually seen it react with water, but the incredible color and liquidity of it is amazing. Thank god for ampoules).

5): Sodium. (The best representative of the alkalis. Much stronger than lithium, yet much safer than potassium. In addition, it's dirt cheap so you can get a good lot of it for almost nothing. A nice sized chunk will give you the best "boom" with a nice long delay to it, yet the metal won't become a severe fire/explosion hazard on its own like potassium will).

6): Hypochlorites. (Great for the generation of chlorine gas).

7): Chlorine Gas. (Great for the generation of elemental halogens as well as interesting inter-halogen compounds).

8): Iodine. (Only because nitrogen triiodide is what got me started with my element collection).

9): Nitrates. (So many great reactions involve nitrates and their versatility is great).

10): Ethanol. (A great solvent, a good reactant when needed, and a great way to relax after a long day at work. :D )

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