Sciencemadness Discussion Board

What's the most expensive substance you've bought?

TacosNitrate - 3-9-2016 at 03:05

I really hate spending too much money on lab stuff, i usually have a montly budget of maximum 50€...

Probably one of the most expensive things i've ever bought for my lab is a group of 5 elements samples, both for collection and chemistry purposes, which are :

5g of uranium (collection)
250g of red phosphorous (collection and chemistry)
15g of rhenium metal (collection)
50g of sodium metal (collection and chemistry)
25g of potassium metal (collection and chemistry)

All, excluded 90 euros of shipping, for a total of about 250 euros....

...well, it was part of my birthday gift xD

Probably some of you may afford to spend waay more, but what is the biggest order you've ever made in chemicals/ other lab stuff?

[Edited on 3-9-2016 by TacosNitrate]

Arg0nAddict - 3-9-2016 at 06:51

I buy a kilo of sodium at a time to either resell or trade (usa only)

I want potassium, more gallium and more sodium in bulk amounts but I will not pay the slap in the face prices of gallium source. Their markup is discusting. I pay $22 for 100g of gallium they want 70. The only thing they have that I would ever buy is the 454g of Hg for $97 and then but a $5 magnesium roll to get the free shipping.

I think I heard there's a place doing a pound of Hg for 65 though. Science is in the url but I forgot the rest.

And they have never accepted a price match like they claim.

I found a website that sells 2.2lbs of potassium metal in the US FOR $650 to businesses with an EIN which I have. I just don't have the cash to put up and if people will even buy from me. I don't sell much sodium but I'm getting low only 1lb left but it took years to unload 5lbs and all local nobody here



Ozone - 3-9-2016 at 07:06

Probably Pediocin A. $252 for 50 micrograms.

Purified peptides are expensive!

O3

NEMO-Chemistry - 3-9-2016 at 07:17

Erm, Some mineral acids @ ~£35 a ltr with shipping. Methanol for £25 for 1 ltr with shipping. Only then to discover you can buy ~2011ltr methanol of good purity for £125 from bio disel places.

they also sell certain restricted acids to anyone (SWIM not me), but i think its not a great idea to do this.

I try not to spend too much on chemicals if i can help it, i will be buying a load in one go soon but the problem then becomes what to buy and in what quantity.

Do you buy 1 ltr when for 20% more you can buy 3ltr?

There is 3 of us within reasonable distance of each other, so we are talking about sharing costs, the trouble with that is everyone has a different interest and a different idea what to buy.

One of us likes thing likely to get the others noticed, nothing that bad but here you cant fart loudly without getting into trouble.

diddi - 4-9-2016 at 00:41

kg scale distilled rare earths do the trick when it comes to budget blowing

metalresearcher - 4-9-2016 at 00:50

Metallic 24ct gold, but not for chemistry use, but for jewelry making. Once I got 80 grams of Au metal for a bracelet.
For chemistry use ? 50g of Ga metal.

j_sum1 - 4-9-2016 at 02:50

Quote: Originally posted by diddi  
kg scale distilled rare earths do the trick when it comes to budget blowing

An osmium bowling ball will hit the pocket hard too.

Without running through my inventory too systematically I would say that in dollars per gram my most expensive was probably my iridium sample. My most expensive single chemical was probably a can of sodium -- soon to be eclipsed by an ingot of one of the lanthanides.

unionised - 4-9-2016 at 03:21

I never bought anything spectacularly expensive, but I made some things that took a week or two of my time, costed at £100 per hour- so that's about £10000 and the yields were a few tens of mg so that's about ten million pounds a gram or so.
They were standards for calibration of measurements of derivatives single oligomers of commercial isocyanates.
The bulk starting materials cost a pound a kilo or something like that.

Was someone saying something about "markup" earlier?

Tsjerk - 4-9-2016 at 04:36

Custom synthesized peptides with an extra modification, 250 euro per mg.

Melgar - 5-9-2016 at 00:04

Where do you get gallium for $22 for 100 grams? Just got 100g of scrap indium for like $30, and really wouldn't mind making some galinstan for additional testing purposes. I made Field's metal from Bismuth, Indium, and Tin, which is liquid below water's boiling point and doesn't contain lead or cadmium. Trying to see if I can use it as a liquid electrode in place of mercury.

Schleimsäure - 5-9-2016 at 05:34

Actually I paid the most for a single reagent with 1l of Thionyl chloride (>99,7% reagent grade) for 72 EUR incl. shipping, 65 EUR excl. shipping.

SOCl2 is a rather cheap compound, but I had to buy it for that moon price since the seller announced he will not ship it anymore to private individuals at some point during the year.
Which is the case by now.

The "real" market price is probably arround 15 EUR/l for laboratories, universities etc. with moderate amounts.
A chemistry professor gave a kg price for S2Cl2 (2013) of 15 EUR.
Btw, good for those who speak German, complete Organic Chemistry I and II:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig3ok5KbfTo


[Edited on 5-9-2016 by Schleimsäure]

Sulaiman - 5-9-2016 at 07:25

In order, my largest expenses so far;

17 moles 99.99% Ag
vac pump
B10 distillation kit
Mineral acids
Distilled water
Solvents
Stands and clamps
1 kg Hg


[Edited on 5-9-2016 by Sulaiman]

wg48 - 5-9-2016 at 08:57

My most expensive purchase was probably an allotrope of carbon.
It seemed particularly expensive at the time as it was contaminated with impure gold and astronomically expensive in the end, considering how much the divorce cost. LOL

Hard to beat ozone's purchase on a per gram basis.

NEMO-Chemistry - 5-9-2016 at 09:10

Quote: Originally posted by wg48  
My most expensive purchase was probably an allotrope of carbon.
It seemed particularly expensive at the time as it was contaminated with impure gold and astronomically expensive in the end, considering how much the divorce cost. LOL

Hard to beat ozone's purchase on a per gram basis.



I dunno he might have paid more physically but you probably win all totted up :D.

Some allotrope's of Carbon should strictly be for grinding wheels etc. I think ones like you brought should be highly restricted considering the potential damage to health and wealth :D.

Probably cheaper in the long run to 'rent' company.

violet sin - 5-9-2016 at 11:40

$230/20g Ir ebay. Turned out to be W powder with no refund as it was too late.
$120 - 4x6x1" Zr aloy plate, bid high, first one was like $60-80 (ebay)
$100/1lb Ta strips
$120/2lb Te ingot

~$100 - 6 dead argon ion laser heads for the Au/In braze between all joints (untouched after reading about beryllia ceramic toxic issues)
$240 distillation set, customized from ebay
$300 fume hood

Time is always the most expensive reagent to be honest though. You cant just buy more (at least yet)

woelen - 5-9-2016 at 13:07

10 grams of Ba in ampoule under argon: EUR 125, for element collection

phlogiston - 6-9-2016 at 03:13

Eur 35,- for a few mg of InGaN (445 nm diode laser chip), if that counts.

For 'raw' materials Eur 100,- for a piece of platinum sheet
Profesionally, thousands of euro's for mg or even ug quantities of custom-made, stable-isotope labelled peptides, radiolabeled compounds and chiral reagents.
A collegue recently ordered 10 mg of a stable-isotope labelled compound to be used as an internal standard for analytical purposes for Eur 8000,- ...

[Edited on 6-9-2016 by phlogiston]

Ozone - 6-9-2016 at 09:27

WG48 -- I have to agree, that was (in terms of loss, both collateral and emotional) much more expensive than my Pediocin. Been there, done that...

O3

Mailinmypocket - 6-9-2016 at 20:26

500ml aniline. In itself wasn't so expensive but with required poison-pack packaging it drove the price up to something like $130 IIRC. Plus it then had to cross the border so Duty was paid on that with a happy smile on my face, $30 or so. So $160 for a half liter of aniline. Well, now we have aniline.

woelen - 7-9-2016 at 01:28

What I find most interesting in this thread is what people spend on their hobby. Purchases in a professional lab are a different thing. It is not your own money and of course, professional labs can do research on very special things which may cost thousands of euros/dollars per mg.

So, I would suggest adding entries about personal purchases, e.g. as part of your collection, or for experimenting.
- My most expensive purchase as part of my element collection was the 10 grams of Ba-metal in an ampoule under argon for EUR 125.
- My most expensive purchase of a single chemical for experimenting was 100 grams of Tl2O3 for nearly EUR 100.
- Gramwise, my most expensive purchase was HAuCl4, EUR 56 for 2 grams.

phlogiston - 7-9-2016 at 04:29

True, that is interesting, but is it not also interesting to learn about what exotic materials are sometimes bought at tremendous cost? I find it fascinating that our society is able/willing to spend seemingly insane amounts of effort and money, often just to gain one little step of knowledge. It is indicative of our curiosity as a species and I am glad we found a way to enable this. It is interesting that we are able to build things like the LHC, not only in a technical sense, but also that we find ways to gather the money for building such a machine, knowing fully well that the chance that it will ever yield a practical applicaiton is infinitely small. Just to satisfy our curiosity.

woelen - 7-9-2016 at 12:02

The fundamental sciences do yield practical applications, but not in the lifetime of the people working on it. History has seen a cyclic movement:
- new fundamental discoveries are made
- the fundamental discoveries lead to better understanding of all kinds of materials around us
- the better understanding leads to development of practical devices
- next, the new practical devices find their way in homes and factories and allow new fundamental discoveries and the cycle goes on

Example of the last century:
- early 20th century: discovery of principles of quantum physics
- mid 20th century: better understanding of the quantum principles, development of new materials (semiconductors, diodes and transistors)
- end of 20th century: improving the semiconductor devices, making practical devices, coming of integrated circuits, computers, etc.

An earlier cycle was the discovery of electricity and magnetism and the relation between them at the end of the 18th century and the early 19th century, the development of devices, using or generating electricity (galvanic cells, generators, electromotors, arc-lamps, tungsten lamps), at the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century came the practical application of electricity, first in industry, later in households. Around wwII most households in the western world had electricity.

The practical use and availability of electricity made the discovery of quantum mechanical effects possible.


Right now I am inclined to think we are at the end of the cycle on electronics, based on semiconductors. The fantastic electronics we have nowadays allows us to explore and discover new things, such as bio-computing, nano-technology and fundamentally new physics (dark matter, dark energy). I expect that in the next 20 to 30 years we will make a new fundamental discovery, which will have long-term impact, probably not before we are well into the 22nd century.

DraconicAcid - 7-9-2016 at 12:10

I think the gold in my now-ex-wife's wedding ring was probably the costliest metal I've ever bought.

MrHomeScientist - 7-9-2016 at 12:58

Mine is by a wide margin my 1 troy ounce bar of rhodium, for my element collection. Based on today's spot price, I've lost quite a bit of money on it. Oh well, at least I didn't buy when it was $10,000 an ounce!

Magpie - 7-9-2016 at 13:13

Probably 5g of Pd/C (5%) for $40. But the fume hood was $2000.

Arg0nAddict - 7-9-2016 at 21:06

Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
Where do you get gallium for $22 for 100 grams? Just got 100g of scrap indium for like $30, and really wouldn't mind making some galinstan for additional testing purposes. I made Field's metal from Bismuth, Indium, and Tin, which is liquid below water's boiling point and doesn't contain lead or cadmium. Trying to see if I can use it as a liquid electrode in place of mercury.


I buy in Kg amounts that come by ocean vessels... uhh.. barges? Then freight to my place of business/living. I would gladly trade for some indium however Ive been reading about a lot of people getting tungsten or cadmium when ordering indium. Are you certain its indium? I also have sodium and am looking to get potassium. ive traded Na for Hg... I am easy to work with but I sure hope im talking to an honest person this week i got ripped off locally though.

OH, USA ONLY

fusso - 8-5-2018 at 11:47

Hg, $51/lb
Ga, ~$70/100g

all converted to usd from my local currency

Sigmatropic - 8-5-2018 at 12:20

Must have been Cyanoethyl N,N-diisopropylchlorophosphoramidite, although I luckily didn't have to pay for it myself.

Dr.Bob - 8-5-2018 at 12:58

Had to use a gold catalyst (AuCl3) once, back in grad school, when gold was a bit cheaper, but still pricey. My advisor wined about the cost (his idea to use the gold catalyst). I asked him if I could get my degree faster if I could make the gold in the lab from lead...He was not amused, but stopped complaining about the cost. Years ago Pfizer had a bunch of gold powder ($100,000+) in a lab (not sure what it was for) in MO that apparently disappeared after they laid off the entire group. I guess that become someones severance pay bonus.

We had some gallon bottles of N, N, N'-trimethyl-ethylenediamine for one project, which I think cost ~$4000 each...

Some of the Kalrez O-rings we used were $100+ each, other gaskets were even higher. Doing research is very expensive, but we were in industry then, so no one balked at it.

Just buying some Pd, Pt, or Rh is usually a big purchase.

And radiolabelled compounds, tritium, deuterium, or 14C are all insanely priced, some are $5000/g range, I'm sure many are higher. We had one tagged compound that I got 5 mg for $5000, but it was a 5 years supply for an assay that ran millions of wells a year. And I got a better deal than the last time they bought it.

diddi - 8-5-2018 at 14:18

i was recently offered a 50mg sample of 3N Tc for 1350 euros. now i dont mind the odd Os bowling ball or nice ingot of rhodium, but this is where i draw the line for my element collection. call me a wowser :)

[Edited on 8-5-2018 by diddi]

VSEPR_VOID - 8-5-2018 at 14:33

Gold and silver. I cant wait for the US dollar to fail

Foeskes - 8-5-2018 at 16:48

10g of silver nitrate (per gram)
Silver metal (total cost)

woelen - 9-5-2018 at 00:08

The most expensive compound I purchased recently was 1/20 bitcoin for $600. Weight is appr. 0.0, so per gram this is very expensive. Unfortunately around one quarter of my purchase evaporated last months and only something worth around $450 is left behind.

Another expensive purchase I made was 10 grams of pure almost oxide-free barium metal, ampouled under argon for EUR 120 and 10 grams of cesium in a lovely ampoule for EUR 150.

My best purchases were 160 grams of ammonium perrhenate for GBP 40 and 8 ampoules with 1 gram of H2PtCl6, all together for EUR 50, including shipping.

User13579 - 9-5-2018 at 01:07

LSD tartrate, £5 for 100 micrograms, so I paid at the value of £50000/g! I suppose Botox is even more expensive than that, being dosed in the nano gram range, but I haven't had the need to buy that, and probably never will!
Other than that perhaps two synthetic diamonds, golden in colour, that I hope to use to make a diamond anvil cell one day. Although they were not very expensive at all compared to natural diamonds.

fusso - 9-5-2018 at 08:48

Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

My best purchases were 160 grams of ammonium perrhenate for GBP 40 and 8 ampoules with 1 gram of H2PtCl6, all together for EUR 50, including shipping.

@Woelen 160g NH4ReO4 for GBP40?! Thats GBP0.36/g of Re! Is Re really that cheap?!

[Edited on 09/05/18 by fusso]

VSEPR_VOID - 9-5-2018 at 09:57

Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
The most expensive compound I purchased recently was 1/20 bitcoin for $600. Weight is appr. 0.0, so per gram this is very expensive. Unfortunately around one quarter of my purchase evaporated last months and only something worth around $450 is left behind.


I purchased 2200 USD of BTC before the pump and made out with a small fortune. If I had played my cards right I could have made four times that.

Morgan - 9-5-2018 at 10:06

Over time something as commonplace as water starts to add up, whether water filters for the fridge or bottled water in addition to typical sources piped in - and in some places heavy bags of salt to soften hard water along with all that jazz. Factor in garden hoses, maintenance of pipes, faucets, pumps and wells and all things used to handle water. And people with pools, keeping the water clean and analysing paraphernalia with chemical treatment costs, filters, pumps, etc. What have I forgotten?
I guess for a single chemical item maybe it would be this roll of platinum wire for $116.00
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/files.php?pid=202104&...

Or this ~13 kilogram roll of Nilo filler wire which is 36% nickel and the rest mostly iron with 1.6% niobium, 0.2% carbon, and 0.4% manganese. It's similar to Invar. I was planning to use it for some Curie motors or reduce the nickel content to around 28% hopefully making it behave like gadolinium having a room temperature Curie point. But I haven't found a way to make/melt the alloy yet. As is, the Curie point of the wire is slightly less than nickel wire if I recall.
http://www.pulse-jets.com/phpbb3/download/file.php?id=15422&...
http://www.pulse-jets.com/phpbb3/download/file.php?id=15421&...

"Invar, also known generically as FeNi36 (64FeNi in the US), is a nickel–iron alloy notable for its uniquely low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE or α). The name Invar comes from the word invariable, referring to its relative lack of expansion or contraction with temperature changes."

"It was invented in 1896 by Swiss physicist Charles Édouard Guillaume. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1920 for this discovery, which enabled improvements in scientific instruments."

woelen - 10-5-2018 at 09:30

Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

My best purchases were 160 grams of ammonium perrhenate for GBP 40 and 8 ampoules with 1 gram of H2PtCl6, all together for EUR 50, including shipping.

@Woelen 160g NH4ReO4 for GBP40?! Thats GBP0.36/g of Re! Is Re really that cheap?!

[Edited on 09/05/18 by fusso]

No, it is much more expensive, that's why I call this one of my best purchases. The seller simply did not know what it was and wanted to get rid of this. No one else saw this auction so I took it before anyone else could reserve it.

unionised - 10-5-2018 at 10:27

I have bought some fairly expensive things in my time, but none of them was anything like as expensive as some of the materials I made.

They were derivatives of oligomers. The synthesis was about a pound a gram.
Isolating the individual components by prep scale HPLC took a few weeks and gave rise to tens of milligrams.
My time was charged at £120 per hour
Call it 40 hrs a week £4800 per week
£15000 or so for the work-up to give perhaps a hundred mg of material in total of half a dozen components.
£2400 for each component
but only a few mg of some of them.
The thick end of a million pounds a gram.

Melgar - 10-5-2018 at 17:45

Quote: Originally posted by wg48  
My most expensive purchase was probably an allotrope of carbon.
It seemed particularly expensive at the time as it was contaminated with impure gold and astronomically expensive in the end, considering how much the divorce cost. LOL

Hard to beat ozone's purchase on a per gram basis.

Do you know why divorce costs so much?

Because it's worth it.

This coming from someone who used to work in the diamond industry, and has handled diamonds worth more than I'll probably make in a lifetime.

But to stay on-topic, the most expensive substance I've bought for chemistry purposes was probably palladium. However, I made about $10k trading precious metals immediately following the 2008 recession.

As far as bitcoins, I have a 240 BTC claim at the defunct exchange Mt. Gox. They had 75% of their bitcoins stolen in 2014, but then the remaining 25% went up in value so much that they sort of became solvent again. The claim is shared between my brother and I, but still, even 25% of 240 BTC is a pretty huge amount. It's just all tied up in Japanese bankruptcy courts at the moment.

You'll all be seeing plenty of pictures of my lab when that pays out. :D

[Edited on 5/11/18 by Melgar]

roXefeller - 10-5-2018 at 18:20

I once priced out heavy water for a research project. Something like $1k per quart.

impulse buy

repogreg - 22-5-2018 at 13:10

Lead210 $90 I always wanted Po 210 (don't ask lol) after looking carefully at halflifes i diced on the lead less potent buy more versatile , unfortunatly i did not research a good detector................ if anyone has a used real / true cloud chamber detector used cheap or accurate "rad" meter message me

zed - 26-5-2018 at 14:56

Recently bought a 1/10 Oz. Platinum Coin for $115 Dollars U.S.. About 3.1 Grams.

Not counting illicit substances, that would be top price per gram for me.
..........................................................................................

Quote: Originally posted by woelen

My best purchases were 160 grams of ammonium perrhenate for GBP 40 and 8 ampoules with 1 gram of H2PtCl6, all together for EUR 50, including shipping.
...........................................................................................

Good price Woelen!

I bought my Platinum, for conversion into Chloroplatinic Acid. Currently listed by some suppliers, at $100 U.S. per Gram. Spendy.

If you made your purchase in the modern era, you did very well indeed!

As a side note: The price of Ruthenium has jumped. Possibly due entirely to speculation.

It was priced at about $60/Oz during the last two years or so. At most recent check, it was around $250/Oz... Not the most active or versatile of catalysts, it does have it uses. But, at $250/Oz, a sizable percentage of the price of Platinum, it loses a lot of its allure.

http://www.infomine.com/investment/metal-prices/ruthenium/5-...

Explanation: https://www.valuewalk.com/2017/04/ruthenium-price-surge/



[Edited on 26-5-2018 by zed]

[Edited on 26-5-2018 by zed]

BromicAcid - 27-5-2018 at 05:45

I bought a Magic the Gathering card for $800 once, at a weight of 1.72 grams that comes out to $14466/oz troy.

In terms of chemicals, way back when I bought some chlorotrimethylsilane from eBay for the egregious price of about $170 shipped. The shipping was charged at $50 which was not part of the listing, they tacked it on at the end because of hazmat. The amount I bought? 100 grams.

CaCl2 - 2-6-2018 at 07:42

Gold, I think.

woelen - 8-3-2019 at 13:21

Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
The most expensive compound I purchased recently was 1/20 bitcoin for $600. Weight is appr. 0.0, so per gram this is very expensive. Unfortunately around one quarter of my purchase evaporated last months and only something worth around $450 is left behind.

Another expensive purchase I made was 10 grams of pure almost oxide-free barium metal, ampouled under argon for EUR 120 and 10 grams of cesium in a lovely ampoule for EUR 150.

My best purchases were 160 grams of ammonium perrhenate for GBP 40 and 8 ampoules with 1 gram of H2PtCl6, all together for EUR 50, including shipping.
Bitcoin is very volatile and my $600 amount of bitcoin evaporated further. Only $150 worth of bitcoin is left.
Fortunately, my NH4ReO4 still is standing here firmly. I now did some tests to be sure that it is the real thing and YES, it really is.

symboom - 8-3-2019 at 14:14

Platinium coated titanium electrode
I got tired of messy carbon and lead anodes $60

[Edited on 8-3-2019 by symboom]

fusso - 8-3-2019 at 14:35

Think this thread should be pinned.

VSEPR_VOID - 8-3-2019 at 16:28

5 ounces of gold

Loptr - 8-3-2019 at 16:50

Two bags of silicone gel. :cool:

Dr.Bob - 10-3-2019 at 18:03

I have used a complex diamine before that was about $10/g and at one point had 4 gallons of it that someone had special ordered, and only used a fraction of, worth about $16,000, as trying to return it for a refund...

Used to fret over chemicals that cost $100 or more, in last few jobs, I have spent $10,000 or more on rare sulfonyl chlorides, chiral amines, sets of DNA starting materials, non-natural amino-acids, and other rare chemicals. But most were project critical for a big project, and that turns out to be a small price compared to other big corporate costs. Worked at IBM 3 decades ago as a coop, and made about $10 million in chips a day. One reagent we used as $300/gallon, and we used about 24 gallons a day in one process, which was done in multiple places a day. I found a way to cut that by 3 gallons a day with no change in the process, and saved about a million per year for them. I got a nice thanks for it... After those things everything seemed cheap.