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Some fun with Gallium.


jdurg
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For the bismuth, I'm not even sure if the gastric acid reaction would result in a toxic compound, since the only thing the gastric acid would do would be to make a soluble form of the Bismuth cation. That ion is already present in the Bismuth subsalicylate. From its location on the periodic table, one would assume that Bi is pretty toxic since it's right near lead, thallium, antimony, tellurium and polonium which are all quite toxic indeed. Bismuth is the odd man out it seems. (I'm not certain about it, but I think that Bi ppts out of the Pepto-Bismol when it gets inside of you, hence why after ingesting it your poop turns black.)

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Just as a test, I purposely ingested a small piece of gallium that was remaining in the original container I had it in. Guess what, I'm still alive and not even close to being ill.

 

This one was fun! :) eating gallium! I haven´t tried that (although I once tasted 1M KCN-solution,; totally awful taste!) It´s correct, Ga is non-toxic by any administration route. Gallium has a very low vapour pressure, and this is in fact used for purifying Ga from more volatile metals like Zn. Zn has a much higher melting point than Ga, but a much lower boiling point. So, by heating Ga (suspended in a radio frequency coil) the Zn gasses of from the melt, but Ga does not. I once saw a listing of vapour pressures for different metals at room temp, and for molten Ga it was something like p(Ga) = 10^-36 atm. That is, no vapour pressure at all at room temp.

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Well you need to define some limits there. Do you mean least toxic in an elemental form? Because mercury could easily be considered the most toxic element if it's in the form of the right compound. In terms of the pure elements, Neon would work for me as the least toxic, and arsenic would be up there in terms of most toxic.

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Is it a good idea to store gallium in a glass container?

 

No and yes. Gallium expands as it solidifies, so if you have a bunch of gallium that quickly solidifies, it can shatter the glass container it's in. So if you do store gallium in a glass container, make sure that it's not a narrow glass container. If there's a wide opening, or a lot of surface area, as the gallium solidifies it can rise upwards instead of outwards. This will keep the glass container intact. Thankfully, gallium doesn't really solidify all that readily. It takes a while for liquid Ga to become solid again, so there really aren't very many situations where it would quickly form a solid and crack the glass.

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here`s something reasonably interesting, get some gallium in a watch glass and "Feed" it aluminium until the whole lot turns into a dark grey powder.

I did this in a watch glass with a glass stirring rod until all was consumed.

then add a few drops of water after, it`ll react quite noticably and evolve steam and hydrogen gas, leaving the Gallium metal as a blob at the bottom ready to use again and a soln of Aluminium hydroxide :)

 

also, for those with Indium metal there is and alloy that can be made using 24% In and 76% Ga that when combined has a MP of 16c, if you have Tin (Sn) there`s another alloy that has a MP of -20c :)

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sure there was particulate matter, but that washes away easily under a stream of water, and yes the soln proved Alkaline on a litmus test :)

 

btw, has anyone got any ideas of obtaining Tin metal, I have one, but that`ll be a new thread, this idea of non toxic liquid metal at -20c has alot of "fun" potential, and I`ll not have to worry about having the little one around as I`de have to with Mercury.

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Metallic osmium in solid form is nontoxic. But as the compound osmium tetroxide, OsO4, it is extremely toxic, highly corrosive, extremely irritant to mucous membranes. Often considered as one of the most toxic compounds of inorganic chemistry.

But then nickel, as tetracarbonyl nickel ( Ni(CO)4 ) could be considered even worse.

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probably when I asked about the toxicicity of Indium a while back, the metal being safe and the oxides maybe not.

 

Bud, can you answer My question in post #113, what do You suggest this liquid was if not Aluminium Hydroxide soln?

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Metallic osmium in solid form is nontoxic. But as the compound osmium tetroxide' date=' OsO4, it is extremely toxic, highly corrosive, extremely irritant to mucous membranes. Often considered as one of the most toxic compounds of inorganic chemistry.

But then nickel, as tetracarbonyl nickel ( Ni(CO)4 ) could be considered even worse.[/quote']

 

The real issue with the toxicity of those two compounds (Osmium Tetroxide and Nickel carbonyl) is that they readily break down into their base metals inside the body. So the nickel carbonyl will break down into nickel metal and carbon monoxide, and having nickel metal randomly depositing itself into your body isn't very good at all.

 

OsO4 VERY easily reduces back into the metal, hence why the stuff can make you go blind almost instantly. (As the OsO4 gets into your eyeballs, it reduces back into osmium metal which messes with the structure of your eyes and blinds you).

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OsO4 VERY easily reduces back into the metal, hence why the stuff can make you go blind almost instantly. (As the OsO4 gets into your eyeballs, it reduces back into osmium metal which messes with the structure of your eyes and blinds you).

Is this also the case with RuO4? I made some of this stuff in my home lab. It can be made remarkably easily, simply by adding a solution of a ruthenate (VI) salt to dilute hydrochloric acid, adding some persulfate and heating. A mix of Cl2-gas and yellow RuO4-vapor leave the liquid and the RuO4 can be collected higher up on the glass.

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I held some molten gallium in my hand and my friend was like: 'OMG DUDE ISN'T THAT MERCURY?! DON'T YOU KNOW HOW POISONOUS THAT IS AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!'

And elemental mercury won't kill you if you poke it... I hope.

Edited by teiu88
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