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june022
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i want to know how to extract Magnesium from plants... We have known that a high amount of Magnesium is present in such a plant called _______________. I am waiting for good replies immediately...

 

Hello,

 

Why do you need to extract magnesium from plants? Having magnesium is more than dangerous, it's quite irresponsible to do if you are not properly trained. If you're working at a university/industrial lab and properly trained you can easily get access to magnesium for any reactions you may need to do.

 

I'm sorry but I will not answer this question for you. If you interested in extractions, I will be more than happy to discuss the basic theories behind how extractions work both organic and inorganic, but due to the dangers to you and other innocent bystanders, I won't discuss how to obtain or extract magnesium from anything.

 

If you wander by an irresponsible scientist willing to tell you how to extract magnesium from something please do read the MSDS - http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924535..

 

Cheers

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I wouldn't think june022 is looking to extract elemental magnesium, since I seriously doubt there are plants that would contain it.

 

June022, specifically what are you trying to extract? Magnesium salts?

 

Hello,

 

I doubt he'd/she'd be able to extract enough from plants as well, but plants do contain magnesium. It's extremely important for photosynthesis since it is the coordinating ion in chlorophyll. Extraction of chlorophyll is possible, and I assume the calculation of magnesium content per plant is therefore easily possible.

 

edit: yes, I just checked this, as I suspected magnesium does accumulate in chlorophyll and can be extracted from this.

 

Still, I rather assumed he'd/she'd try to get it from seawater or something else once told how to extract it since many of the basic principles would be the same. This would be a very odd homework question in my opinion, and a bench/research chemist at an established university or industrial lab would not bother to extract magnesium from anything since it would be readily available at the chem stores...

 

Thus, since the use of magnesium in incendiary bombs during WWII was quite common, and it's extraction was from sea water was common as well, I avoid telling people how to extract it.

 

 

It's just my personal preference, you're of course free to provide whatever information you want.

 

Just my two cents..

Cheers :)

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
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Hello, I doubt he'd/she'd be able to extract enough from plants as well, but plants do contain magnesium. It's extremely important for photosynthesis since it is the coordinating ion in chlorophyll. Extraction of chlorophyll is possible, and I assume the calculation of magnesium content per plant is therefore easily possible. edit: yes, I just checked this, as I suspected magnesium does accumulate in chlorophyll and can be extracted from this. Still, I rather assumed he'd/she'd try to get it from seawater or something else once told how to extract it since many of the basic principles would be the same. This would be a very odd homework question in my opinion, and a bench/research chemist at an established university or industrial lab would not bother to extract magnesium from anything since it would be readily available at the chem stores... Thus, since the use of magnesium in incendiary bombs during WWII was quite common, and it's extraction was from sea water was common as well, I avoid telling people how to extract it. It's just my personal preference, you're of course free to provide whatever information you want. Just my two cents..Cheers :)

 

I agree that magnesium is in plants, but it isn't in the form of elemental magnesium. If this person were to extract it, all they'd be doing is extracting magnesium salts or some other type of coordination complex. I think it's a little farfetched to assume that this person is then going on to turn this into metal to create explosives. I mean really, why go to the effort when there are other far more commonly used, very easily obtained and much better working substances out there? And as you yourself pointed out, it would be much easier to extract from sea water.

 

It seems more likely that this would be a homework question given that an answer was required 'immediately'. Obscure or not, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be.

Edited by hypervalent_iodine
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I agree that magnesium is in plants, but it isn't in the form of elemental magnesium. If this person were to extract it, all they'd be doing is extracting magnesium salts or some other type of coordination complex. I think it's a little farfetched to assume that this person is then going on to turn this into metal to create explosives. I mean really, why go to the effort when there are other far more commonly used, very easily obtained and much better working substances out there? And as you yourself pointed out, it would be much easier to extract from sea water.

 

It seems more likely that this would be a homework question given that an answer was required 'immediately'. Obscure or not, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be.

 

Agreed. The OPer probably doesn't have the equipment or knowledge to do the necessary reduction step and obtain elemental Mg.

 

spin1/2nuclei: I agree with hypervalent_iodine though your concern for safety is not misplaced and is appreciated by SFN. Thankyou. We've had problems with chemical safety here in the past and probably will in the future so keep alert.

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Hello,

 

I doubt he'd/she'd be able to extract enough from plants as well, but plants do contain magnesium. It's extremely important for photosynthesis since it is the coordinating ion in chlorophyll. Extraction of chlorophyll is possible, and I assume the calculation of magnesium content per plant is therefore easily possible.

 

edit: yes, I just checked this, as I suspected magnesium does accumulate in chlorophyll and can be extracted from this.

 

Still, I rather assumed he'd/she'd try to get it from seawater or something else once told how to extract it since many of the basic principles would be the same. This would be a very odd homework question in my opinion, and a bench/research chemist at an established university or industrial lab would not bother to extract magnesium from anything since it would be readily available at the chem stores...

 

Thus, since the use of magnesium in incendiary bombs during WWII was quite common, and it's extraction was from sea water was common as well, I avoid telling people how to extract it.

 

 

It's just my personal preference, you're of course free to provide whatever information you want.

 

Just my two cents..

Cheers :)

 

Absolutely correct. Magnesium is still used in incendiary devices. It is extremely dangerous in the hands of amateurs, and even professionals have been badly injured with relatively small quantities. Injuries are comparable to war wounds -- third degree burns over large areas, inner ears burned out, digits on the hands burned off, lungs badly damaged, ... If you are lucky in an accident you are killed .

 

Safe handling of ground or powdered magnesium, particularly if oxidizers are in proximity, takes expensive equipment and expertise not available to amateurs.

 

Been there. Done that.

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Absolutely correct. Magnesium is still used in incendiary devices. It is extremely dangerous in the hands of amateurs, and even professionals have been badly injured with relatively small quantities. Injuries are comparable to war wounds -- third degree burns over large areas, inner ears burned out, digits on the hands burned off, lungs badly damaged, ... If you are lucky in an accident you are killed .

 

Safe handling of ground or powdered magnesium, particularly if oxidizers are in proximity, takes expensive equipment and expertise not available to amateurs.

 

Been there. Done that.

 

Another thing that makes a magnesium fire bad is that using a CO2 fire extinguisher or water will actually make the situation worse. Mg reacts with water to give H2 and will burn in carbon dioxide. I wouldn't want to play with magnesium powder but bulk magnesium relatively safe. It has a large thermal conductivity...wikipedia says 156 Wm-1K-1 (about half that of silver's which is huge) so is tuff to ignite in bulk. The situation gets more dangerous as surface area increases.

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Another thing that makes a magnesium fire bad is that using a CO2 fire extinguisher or water will actually make the situation worse. Mg reacts with water to give H2 and will burn in carbon dioxide. I wouldn't want to play with magnesium powder but bulk magnesium relatively safe. It has a large thermal conductivity...wikipedia says 156 Wm-1K-1 (about half that of silver's which is huge) so is tuff to ignite in bulk. The situation gets more dangerous as surface area increases.

 

Yep. Mg will burn under water once ignited. Aluminum is nearly as reactive. In powdered form it is the primary fuel in large solid rocket motors. The Mg/Al wheels on your car are not a hazard. But the Al superstructure on British ships in the Falklands war burned nicely when hit with an exocet missile.

 

Fires involving large quantities of powdered magnesium are pretty spectacular. Fighting such fires is not recommended. You not only don't want to put water on the fire, you don't want to put powdered magnesium (or aluminum) in water -- the evolved hydrogen is quite hazardous.

 

I have seen a magnesium fire with water sprayed on nearby oxidizers and don't recommend that either. I have also seen a small buildings loose its roof from hydrogen evolved from a water-filled scrap bucket.

 

Things that one can do with very small quantities of explosives and incendiaries in a laboratory can result in tragedy when larger quantities are involved -- and thos larger quantities need not be very large. A quarter pound of magnesium/teflon is quite enough to enable a fatal accident.

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I agree that magnesium is in plants, but it isn't in the form of elemental magnesium. If this person were to extract it, all they'd be doing is extracting magnesium salts or some other type of coordination complex. I think it's a little farfetched to assume that this person is then going on to turn this into metal to create explosives. I mean really, why go to the effort when there are other far more commonly used, very easily obtained and much better working substances out there? And as you yourself pointed out, it would be much easier to extract from sea water.

 

It seems more likely that this would be a homework question given that an answer was required 'immediately'. Obscure or not, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be.

 

You can get elemental magnesium from magnesium salts... not to mention the processes for extracting magnesium from things like sea water etc are very similar to other processes, but as I said before you are free to do whatever you wish. I simply do not agree with it.

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
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You can get elemental magnesium from magnesium salts... not to mention the processes for extracting magnesium from things like sea water etc are very similar to other processes, but as I said before you are free to do whatever you wish. I simply do not agree with it.

 

I do 100% agree with your safety concerns. As mississippi said, we have had some very dodgy characters come through here who have been refused help on the basis of their questions. In relation to this topic however, I think that the process of obtaining the Mg0 from the salts is arduous and expensive task and honestly not worth the effort in the long run for a backyard chemist. I'm not trying to pick an argument with you, I just think that sometimes it is okay to give the benefit of the doubt and ask more questions before you decide whether or not to help someone.

 

Additionally, you'll notice that I haven't yet given any helpful information to the OP as yet. I'm not completely reckless in the advise I give and I do request that adequate information be given before I even consider giving my opinion as a chemist in all the replies that I author.

 

To the OP: To save needless debate like this in the future, could you please refer to the following thread and heed its advise regarding point 2.) http://www.sciencefo...cit-substances/

 

Another thing that makes a magnesium fire bad is that using a CO2 fire extinguisher or water will actually make the situation worse. Mg reacts with water to give H2 and will burn in carbon dioxide. I wouldn't want to play with magnesium powder but bulk magnesium relatively safe. It has a large thermal conductivity...wikipedia says 156 Wm-1K-1 (about half that of silver's which is huge) so is tuff to ignite in bulk. The situation gets more dangerous as surface area increases.

 

Another thing to note with these types of fires is that the types of extinguishers you are meant to use for them (D class in Australia, I'm not sure what the classification system is elsewhere) only suffocate the fire. If you disturb the powder, the heat still present will cause it to reignite once exposed. Certainly not a type of fire I would ever want to deal with in a lab (that being said, I wouldn't want to deal with most any fires in a lab).

Edited by hypervalent_iodine
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I do 100% agree with your safety concerns. As mississippi said, we have had some very dodgy characters come through here who have been refused help on the basis of their questions. In relation to this topic however, I think that the process of obtaining the Mg0 from the salts is arduous and expensive task and honestly not worth the effort in the long run for a backyard chemist. I'm not trying to pick an argument with you, I just think that sometimes it is okay to give the benefit of the doubt and ask more questions before you decide whether or not to help someone.

 

Additionally, you'll notice that I haven't yet given any helpful information to the OP as yet. I'm not completely reckless in the advise I give and I do request that adequate information be given before I even consider giving my opinion as a chemist in all the replies that I author.

 

To the OP: To save needless debate like this in the future, could you please refer to the following thread and heed its advise regarding point 2.) http://www.sciencefo...cit-substances/

 

 

 

Another thing to note with these types of fires is that the types of extinguishers you are meant to use for them (D class in Australia, I'm not sure what the classification system is elsewhere) only suffocate the fire. If you disturb the powder, the heat still present will cause it to reignite once exposed. Certainly not a type of fire I would ever want to deal with in a lab (that being said, I wouldn't want to deal with most any fires in a lab).

 

Hello,

 

I respect your position, mine is just different, that's all. I'm sorry that my original post in this thread implies that you would be reckless or irresponsible, by default if, you answer this person's questions. I am not trying to personally attack anyone, and rather should have said, that I have my own personal standards on these issues and as they pertain to me, I feel I would be behaving irresponsibly and against my own conscience if I were to provide this person with an answer to their question.

 

I'm a research chemist now, but before I started my PhD I spent some time in the military as a pilot and worked as a volunteer medevac pilot during most of my final years in undergrad and graduate school. From that experience, I have seen a lot of people do some very dangerous things with very basic equipment.. You would be surprised what terrorists can get their hands on off of ebay in terms of lab equipment... and in many cases they get their information from online forums, cookbooks etc, where unsuspecting scientists are simply trying to provide useful general information. So I am more concerned with the poster planning to extract magnesium from something else - because the processes would be very similar - or some other truly dodgy person coming along and deciding that they can apply the information obtained here to their home-grown setup. Lot's of people don't like to obtain receipts for purchasing products/compounds necessary to make their dangerous [enter whatever device/compound here] so they try to find ways to do it themselves at home..

 

Obviously, this next example doesn't apply in this case, but to further explain the reason why I prefer to be overly cautious, well - it stems from experiences I've had with victims of drug lab accidents, and other such amateur chemistry accidents (amateur fireworks made at home, rockets, tiny bombs for personal amusement, etc). You'd be surprised what bored and mal-informed people do with their scientific "knowledge".

 

The worst part are the burns I've seen on the innocent victims of these homegrown science experiments.. I've transported some unfortunate people to the hospital with various types of burns and other injuries from all manner of accidents..

 

Thus,

I readily admit that I am overly cautious, which is a personal preference, as my personal experiences have changed me.. and what I meant by you are free to do whatever you wish - is simply that you are free to disagree with my interpretation of what is and is not responsible... I did not mean to suggest that you are irresponsible because you do not agree with my definitions.

 

I readily admit that my standards for myself do not have to be - and - nor should they be randomly adopted by everyone else in the world. I am not the evil queen dictator, I just have my own personal preferences, that I chose to adhere to..

 

To the original poster:

Please don't think that I am calling you a terrorist or a drug lab chemist, but you aren't the only person with access to these forums, and unfortunately you did not provide enough information about origin or purpose of your question to set my mind at ease.

 

Cheers.. :)

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
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Hello,

 

I respect your position, mine is just different, that's all. I'm sorry that my original post in this thread implies that you would be reckless or irresponsible, by default if, you answer this person's questions. I am not trying to personally attack anyone, and rather should have said, that I have my own personal standards on these issues and as they pertain to me, I feel I would be behaving irresponsibly and against my own conscience if I were to provide this person with an answer to their question.

 

I'm a research chemist now, but before I started my PhD I spent some time in the military as a pilot and worked as a volunteer medevac pilot during most of my final years in undergrad and graduate school. From that experience, I have seen a lot of people do some very dangerous things with very basic equipment.. You would be surprised what terrorists can get their hands on off of ebay in terms of lab equipment... and in many cases they get their information from online forums, cookbooks etc, where unsuspecting scientists are simply trying to provide useful general information. So I am more concerned with the poster planning to extract magnesium from something else - because the processes would be very similar - or some other truly dodgy person coming along and deciding that they can apply the information obtained here to their home-grown setup. Lot's of people don't like to obtain receipts for purchasing products/compounds necessary to make their dangerous [enter whatever device/compound here] so they try to find ways to do it themselves at home..

 

Obviously, this next example doesn't apply in this case, but to further explain the reason why I prefer to be overly cautious, well - it stems from experiences I've had with victims of drug lab accidents, and other such amateur chemistry accidents (amateur fireworks made at home, rockets, tiny bombs for personal amusement, etc). You'd be surprised what bored and mal-informed people do with their scientific "knowledge".

 

The worst part are the burns I've seen on the innocent victims of these homegrown science experiments.. I've transported some unfortunate people to the hospital with various types of burns and other injuries from all manner of accidents..

 

Thus,

I readily admit that I am overly cautious, which is a personal preference, as my personal experiences have changed me.. and what I meant by you are free to do whatever you wish - is simply that you are free to disagree with my interpretation of what is and is not responsible... I did not mean to suggest that you are irresponsible because you do not agree with my definitions.

 

I readily admit that my standards for myself do not have to be - and - nor should they be randomly adopted by everyone else in the world. I am not the evil queen dictator, I just have my own personal preferences, that I chose to adhere to..

 

To the original poster:

Please don't think that I am calling you a terrorist or a drug lab chemist, but you aren't the only person with access to these forums, and unfortunately you did not provide enough information about origin or purpose of your question to set my mind at ease.

 

Cheers.. :)

 

For someone who (claims to) has chem degrees, you certainly seem to have a case of chemophobia. Amateur experimentation has lead to many, MANY advancements, and discouraging curiosity isn't a good plan. Not everyone without a degree is making bombs or drugs, not every home lab is a ticking time bomb.

 

OP, if you're a serious amateur experimenter, check out sciencemadness.org

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For someone who (claims to) has chem degrees, you certainly seem to have a case of chemophobia. Amateur experimentation has lead to many, MANY advancements, and discouraging curiosity isn't a good plan. Not everyone without a degree is making bombs or drugs, not every home lab is a ticking time bomb.

 

OP, if you're a serious amateur experimenter, check out sciencemadness.org

 

Spoken like a true amateur.

 

Chemistry has advanced far beyond that at this point in time. If an amateur experimentalist were to discover something, he would most likely never know about it without a lab full of characterization equipment. Amateurs simply don't have access to the reagents, knowledge, equipment, or safety gear necessary to handle professional grade research projects. Ask the other trained chemists in this thread, you'll get similar results back from them. Without a little chemophobia, you're are likely to die or get fired quickly in a professional laboratory setting.

 

There is nothing wrong with a little amateur chemistry playing but it will likely be nothing more than a semi-dangerous hobby.

Edited by mississippichem
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Spoken like a true amateur.

 

Chemistry has advanced far beyond that at this point in time. If an amateur experimentalist were to discover something, he would most likely never know about it without a lab full of characterization equipment. Amateurs simply don't have access to the reagents, knowledge, equipment, or safety gear necessary to handle professional grade research projects. Ask the other trained chemists in this thread, you'll get similar results back from them. Without a little chemophobia, you're are likely to die or get fired quickly in a professional laboratory setting.

 

There is nothing wrong with a little amateur chemistry playing but it will likely be nothing more than a semi-dangerous hobby.

 

 

 

I am an analytical chemist. Amateur access to reagents is due to the "War on Terror" and "War on (Some) Drugs." Plenty of amateurs out there have access to LC, GC, GC/MS, to name a few.

 

Safety is, of course, paramount. But with care and research, chemistry can be done at home. You're doing no one any favors by discouraging chemical curiosity

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I am an analytical chemist. Amateur access to reagents is due to the "War on Terror" and "War on (Some) Drugs." Plenty of amateurs out there have access to LC, GC, GC/MS, to name a few.

 

Safety is, of course, paramount. But with care and research, chemistry can be done at home. You're doing no one any favors by discouraging chemical curiosity

 

Sorry for insulting your credentials. As a chemist though, you realize that an amateur could seriously injure himself. I'm sure there are some legitimate hobbyists out there who may even have some spec equipment. However we get a lot of people here on this site who don't have enough knowledge to be doing any chemistry safely at home, many appear to be children. We've also have had people come through who want to know how to chlorinate phenyl propenes...if you know what I mean. I always try to encourage some book knowledge before attempting any kind of wet chemistry.

 

The last thing I want to do is discourage chemical curiosity. However, at some stages I believe that curiosity is best put to use working problems or studying chemistry.

 

Yeah I think it's stupid that people don't have legal access many quite benign reagents. Much of that is the product of political fear mongering and public ignorance.

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I am an analytical chemist. Amateur access to reagents is due to the "War on Terror" and "War on (Some) Drugs." Plenty of amateurs out there have access to LC, GC, GC/MS, to name a few.

 

Safety is, of course, paramount. But with care and research, chemistry can be done at home. You're doing no one any favors by discouraging chemical curiosity

 

No one is trying to discourage amateur chemistry outright in this thread. What we discourage is ill-informed amateur chemistry. Honestly though, I think this thread has gone off topic enough. The OP doesn't appear to have any intention of returning, so let's leave it at that.

 

Gutter_ca, you may be interested in this thread, which more or less summarises how we tackle chemistry threads of this nature. It is sticky business trying to distinguish between backyard chemists who know what they're doing (believe it or not, we do have a few on this site who I would give advise to any day of the week) and those who simply do not (or are feigning intelligence for the purpose of getting certain information).

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For someone who (claims to) has chem degrees, you certainly seem to have a case of chemophobia. Amateur experimentation has lead to many, MANY advancements, and discouraging curiosity isn't a good plan. Not everyone without a degree is making bombs or drugs, not every home lab is a ticking time bomb.

 

OP, if you're a serious amateur experimenter, check out sciencemadness.org

 

"For someone who claims" to be an analytical chemist - you've surely never taught or taken an undergrad lab in your life.

 

There is a reason training is required in specific fields, and to suggest otherwise is downright ridiculous. You can sit at home and safely draw mechanisms for reactions or model transition states on your computer and satisfy all the curiosity in the world. There is no need for an amateur to be attempting extractions on anything.

 

Undergrads, graduate students, and some MS/PhD chemists have accidents in the lab...

 

Distillation labs come to mind, I've seen more than one undergrad set their apparatus ablaze due to lack of greasing joints despite directions about how not to set your distillation on fire being placed in the lab manual, their text book, and also told to them directly in pre lab (shrugs), graduate students lighting their oil baths on fire because not everything can be used at as an oil bath at every temp (who knew? a properly trained chemist would) - oops - graduate students prepping THF stills and blowing out the back wall of their lab, accidents with dropping argon cylinders and blowing out walls, incorrectly refilling the liquid nitrogen dewar for the laser, use of t-butyllithium in halogen metal exchange exposing it to air because the syringe/needle set up was done improperly and argon pressure blew the back off (that student caught themselves and the bench top (stacked full of reagents) on fire, another unfortunate girl at UCLA died from something similar while working over the christmas holiday (she was inexperienced and working without guidance) she had a B.S. in chemistry and was working towards a PhD, improper use of vacuum pumps resulting in exploded glassware, attempting to rotovap diazidomethane (boom) due to improper identification of all reaction products, inhalation of some or other form of very bad gas from doing chemistry (incorrectly) on the bench top instead of the hood, accidents related to inhalation of ether whilst running a column on the bench top instead of the hood, the list goes on.. and these were all "trained" chemists of varying degrees in university labs.

 

- http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2009/01/20/tert-butyllithium-claims-fellow-chemist-at-ucla/

- http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/88/i27/8827news3.html

 

Chemistry is not a hobby it is a profession, if people want to do hobby chemistry then they can ask me how to make rock candy or polymer and I will be happy to oblige. I'm not telling people how to make meth, extract magnesium, or synthesize precursors to controlled pharmaceuticals more powerful than morphine.

 

This kind of stuff reminds me of the ultralight and glider "pilots" and even some private "pilots" coming to me for their airport safety check before renting or FAA required biannual checkout in the case of the licensed pilots..

 

Most pilots (of all experience levels) are safe, but there are always a few moaning about all the "unfair" training regulations put forth by the FAA, because god forbid anyone actually be competent before being allowed to enjoy their hobby (now-a-days society is so restrictive, always violating ppls rights by not allowing 10 year olds to have drivers licenses, etc). Flying is NOT a hobby, inexperienced pilots crash often, they bust controlled airspace and endanger civillian and military aircraft often... They f'up instrument approaches in actual instrument conditions because they have no current training, often.

 

If someone is unwilling or unable to actually take the time to learn a particular skill correctly but they are curious about said field anyway - that does not excuse them from the rigors required to be competent in said field... If you like chemistry read a book about it - get one of those chemistry sets with detailed - safe - experiments already listed in them. If you like flying - go to the aviation museum or whatever.. but you don't do complex chemistry in your basement/garage with no training (note I didn't say formal training - I said no training) and you don't get in your C-150 and fly out into the eye of a thunderstorm with 1 mile of visibility and rusty instrument skills due to 3 hours of flying logged in the past 365 days.

 

If you've actually read any of my posts here, you'd know that I spend a lot of time helping curious people. Truly curious people are happy to have a general answer to their question, without needing details to attempt procedures that are potentially unsafe. Pretty much everyone else either wants a HW assignment completed (in which case I could object for multiple reasons), or they are planning to do something potentially dangerous in their parent's/their own garage/basement...

 

To each his own - I prefer safety first.. You are of course free to use your training however you see fit (in which case you'd be better served answering the question yourself instead of lecturing me about my chosen safety practices, as those will not be changing any time soon)..

 

Cheers

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
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For someone who (claims to) has chem degrees, you certainly seem to have a case of chemophobia.

 

!

Moderator Note

Please take a step back from this vector of discussion. Personal observations/attacks are not acceptable, especially in the context of exercising caution in potentially dangerous endeavors.

 

Do not derail this thread further by responding to this modnote

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