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Sulfur Hexafluoride


frosch45
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I saw something new today, and it was pretty cool.

 

 

I'm sure lots of everyone here has heard or seen a demonstration of Sulfur Hexafluoride.

 

I looked at wikipedia and the origional discoverers made it by exposing fluorine to sulfur.

 

You couldn't pay me to do that.

 

But what I'm wondering is if there are any other very dense gasses that are more safe in terms of their production? Maybe something with chlorine or bromine or oxygen or selenium?

 

These are probably not practical for the home chemist, but

 

does anyone know of a very dense, heavy gas similar to sulfur hexafluoride?

Edited by frosch45
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I don't think any gas rivals sulfur hexafluoride's combination of density and non-toxicity. Xenon comes close in terms of density but it's a powerful anaesthetic (and somewhat expensive). Tungsten hexafluoride has a much higher density but is toxic as hell. If you're just interested in doing the voice changing demo I'm pretty sure you can buy SF6 just as easily as nitrogen and other gases used for electronics and welding etc.

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I'd sooner work with SF6 than with just about any compound made from chlorine, bromine oxygen and selenium.

Incidentally, it's not that potent an anaesthetic

from

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S152168960190179X

 

"Although nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used routinely since the beginning of the modern era of anaesthesia, some of its adverse effects have only been discovered during the last decades. Thus there are some who advocate abandoning the use of N2O for anaesthesia. However, if the use of N2O is stopped, the anaesthetic regimen will have to be changed in order to substitute for a loss in potency. Thus, xenon has been suggested as a replacement for N2O. N2O and xenon share some clinical and physicochemical properties. For example, both of them are only weak anaesthetics but are potent analgesics. "

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you can buy SF6 in cylinders like oxygen or helium. and the gas itself is quite safe and inert.

 

Normally I would say, "Whats the fun in that", but in this case, there's tons of it.

 

If anyone has any good gas suppliers that they know of that would sell a very small amount for a reasonable price, I would like to know....

 

BUT

 

I have read that it is pretty expensive.

 

I don't think that they sell it in local welding shops or home depot either.

 

What I was hoping for is smoething that doesn't have fluorine so that I could make it at home.

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N2O and xenon share some clinical and physicochemical properties. For example, both of them are only weak anaesthetics but are potent analgesics. "

 

 

But Xenon is inert. How does it react? I was under the (quite possibly mistaken) impression that the euphoria was simply due to the displacement of oxygen, much like asphyxiation/hypoxic euphoria.

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But Xenon is inert. How does it react? I was under the (quite possibly mistaken) impression that the euphoria was simply due to the displacement of oxygen, much like asphyxiation/hypoxic euphoria.

 

Good question. It's not just oxygen displacement or poeple wouldn't use N2O which is expensive when they could use N2 which is cheap.

Last theory I heard was that it interacts with one of the gaba receptors. Since the receptors don't form covalent bonds it doesn't matter that the stuff is inert. Also that receptor must be about the most promiscuous receptor know. It accepts xenon, N2O, alcohol, chloroform - just about anything.

SF6 is as potent greenhouse gas so there may be rules about what you can do with it and who you can sell it to.

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  • 8 months later...

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