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Author: Subject: Has anyone obtained "unboilable" drain opener???
Chemist514
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[*] posted on 24-8-2008 at 06:46
Has anyone obtained "unboilable" drain opener???


After all my waste acid was processed we still had some 200 ml of "liquid"
I thought the lead sulfate from batteries may have had some small effect in raising the boiling point...
I had added some clear-line to each batch and it seems that may be what I'm left with, after 3 hours at 410 C its not evaporating.
To test this out I let everything cool and started with a fresh batch of 100% clear-line and that seems to be the problem, color goes but it does not boil much.

Maybe the H2O2 process would clean whatever is responsible for this out?

What temp may be required? 460? 500 600?
Very strange.

All the best folks!




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[*] posted on 24-8-2008 at 09:17


I haven't ever boiled H2SO4, nor have I heard of clear-line, but are you sure that it is really sulfuric acid? Perhaps how it is acting could be better explained by Phosphoric acid?

The boiling point of sulfuric acid is "290 °C, 563 K, 554 °F (bp of pure acid. 98% solution boils at 338°C)" according to Wikipedia. Perhaps your thermometer is in Fahrenheit not Celsius?

Be careful, Sounds like a possible risk for flash boiling to me, if it really is THAT chemical, and is getting THAT hot.

I doubt it would be the lead, but then again, I also doubt that this would happen. Do you have an idea of some of the other possible contaminants?
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Chemist514
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[*] posted on 24-8-2008 at 13:03


>I haven't ever boiled H2SO4, nor have I heard of clear-line, but are >you sure that it is really sulfuric acid? Perhaps how it is acting could >be better explained by Phosphoric acid?

Clear-line drain opener :
"Warning contains sulfuric acid"
And its in the big heavy plastic bag...
But the big tip off for me was a whole crapload of hell fell on some guy who supplied it to some prison, needless to say it was used to make various not so nice things... So I know its got alot of H2SO4 in it.


>The boiling point of sulfuric acid is "290 °C, 563 K, 554 °F (bp of pure >acid. 98% solution boils at 338°C)" according to Wikipedia. Perhaps >your thermometer is in Fahrenheit not Celsius?


I printed the sulfuric acid page out and have it posted in my work area,
its digital and no I do not use the F button...


>Be careful, Sounds like a possible risk for flash boiling to me, if it >really is THAT chemical, and is getting THAT hot.

That may be where my concern is coming from? However the fact that I built a wall (very temp.) and covered the floor with sand has allowed me to probe this issue a bit, at 400 I was amazed, and now this in itself has my curiosity...


>I doubt it would be the lead, but then again, I also doubt that this >would happen. Do you have an idea of some of the other possible >contaminants?

No... the batches that went ok, they had the unknowns in them, hell 1 sample came from a grad student who dissolved (read: melted...) a stirring bar in it, who knows what else he pissed in there..

As I had posted I tested this out, I ran a clean sample from a new bottle of clear-line, thats whats not boiling off...

I'm moving everything into the house.. I have no kids this weekend and a couple friends available to call an ambulance if I get messed up. *wince*
I'll use the stove, that should beat the 450 my corning tops out at..

What if I use an oversize flask? I have a 1L 3 neck, I could place 100-300 ml in that and have more surface area, then the 24/40 joint may help very slightly, but then I'll need 2 extra stoppers in it and I was trying to cut down on glass connections cause of the intense heat here.
I went upwards to 440 about and stopped, something must give eventually.. I'm not sure what to try next, I have 1 bottle of another drain opener, but Id like to have some info on this issue if indeed there is an issue here..
All the best, nice try.

[Edited on 24-8-2008 by Chemist514]

[Edited on 24-8-2008 by Chemist514]




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[*] posted on 24-8-2008 at 20:01


I would suspect phosphoric acid added the the H2SO4 in the drain opener, as a corrosion retardant.

You could try putting a few ml of the residue in a test tube and heating near 500 C. Cool, add water , wash the test tube into a flask and gentle boil for some time, then test for phosphate and lead. The test tube likely would be etched if it's a phosphate heated that hot, or if it's lead sulfate; a good reason to test before using up expensive glassware.
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Chemist514
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[*] posted on 25-8-2008 at 09:02


Quote:
Originally posted by not_important
I would suspect phosphoric acid added the the H2SO4 in the drain opener, as a corrosion retardant.

You could try putting a few ml of the residue in a test tube and heating near 500 C. Cool, add water , wash the test tube into a flask and gentle boil for some time, then test for phosphate and lead. The test tube likely would be etched if it's a phosphate heated that hot, or if it's lead sulfate; a good reason to test before using up expensive glassware.



Ok, I saw a message in a google search on another forum where somebody stated that the MSDS for Clear-line had read 95-100% sulfuric acid, but was not able to locate the MSDS myself, and we know there's some pink stuff in there at the very least..
With work now I only had a chance to heat up a sample from a different brand, though other then the company and label, it looked identical, but seems to be steaming much at about 280 degrees, I had already used to much time, I'll try again and ditch the used batches that are annoying in favor of this product if it works out. but I'll certainly test out a fresh sample of very small size next weekend of the old one too... see how much heat it can take but 5ml or so.. all the best! thanks much.




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[*] posted on 25-8-2008 at 11:48


Is your temperature a reading you got from your thermometer? Or are you just turning your hotplate to 450 and assuming that the liquid is being heated to that temp?

Is your thermometer accurate?

How long did you heat the substance?

I highly doubt there is enough phosphoric acid in there to cause this phenomena. However, if none of the above suggestions work then it could possibly be that or something similar.

I must say, if it isn't equipment error/failure this is rather strange. I have probably boiled down 5 different kinds of drain cleaner and have never encoutered this problem. Nor have I seen or heard of phosphoric acid being added to it (and it being on the MSDS).

Good luck!

P.S. What can you make in prison with only sulfuric acid that can be worse than the acid itself?




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Chemist514
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[*] posted on 25-8-2008 at 21:53


>Originally posted by MagicJigPipe

>Is your temperature a reading you got from your thermometer? Or are >you just turning your hotplate to 450 and assuming that the liquid is >being heated to that temp?

My multimeter has a thermocouple probe, good to 1000 C. So the manual says..

>Is your thermometer accurate?

I had matched room temp when I powered on, but I guess checking accuracy at higher temps is now in order..

>How long did you heat the substance?

Many hours... no kidding. I started at like 12 (lunch) and was shutting down at 2am! I was altering the temp in direct relation to my fear of shit popping much though.

>I highly doubt there is enough phosphoric acid in there to cause this >phenomena. However, if none of the above suggestions work then it >could possibly be that or something similar.

I believe that barring some error in equipment (my multimeter is not a 1000 dollar temp station obviously..) there is some additive added to act as a high temp boiling retardant

>I must say, if it isn't equipment error/failure this is rather strange. I >have probably boiled down 5 different kinds of drain cleaner and have >never encoutered this problem. Nor have I seen or heard of >phosphoric acid being added to it (and it being on the MSDS).

Considering my lack of responses, I have come to this conclusion, ergo something is in error on my end, I will re distill my first "successful" batch and monitor the numbers MUCH more closely, then I will process the new brand (while searching for a new source for it, it seems to have been removed from the shelves...) after which I will have a supply of this chemical in an acceptable grade plus some left as is for the uses it does not matter. Then I'll go with not_important 's suggested tests and post that data. Thanks very much!

>Good luck!

I seem to so need it too. thanks! lol.


P.S. What can you make in prison with only sulfuric acid that can be worse than the acid itself?

I will try to find the link and post it.. I think they used it as a weapon, but somebody decided to list all the stuff they could do with it if they had a few thousand dollars in equipment.. lol. that fear thing..


[Edited on 26-8-2008 by Chemist514]




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[*] posted on 27-8-2008 at 17:55
Small update...


Well, I tried again with 100 ml flasks and a mantle, I let the mantle go brown.. meter reported 440C

I did this to 2 of 3 brands all for more then 1 hour at 400 about, wayyy over what should be required.

Pro Flo
Clean-drain < I didnt test this one, its exactly the same label even, just different name/company...
Clear-line

I cant do much more then this, I noticed that a drop that had spilled in the sand when I was using the hotplate last time I tried had dried and left some small residue which held the sand together a bit.

All the brands have the same pink additive.. thats odd no? perhaps these drain openers are all made from whatever waste acid is available in massive and hence cheap bulk from the local (hence different by region) industry?

Can I ebay this chemical (PURE H2SO4) for biodiesel production in .ca land? or is this not legal???

I will test the meter, I dont have a lab thermometer rated more then 150 C tho, I will have to wait untill better equipment is available.

All the best people!




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[*] posted on 27-8-2008 at 18:58


Tin melts 231.8 C, lead at 327.5 C. If you melt the metal in a container, then let it slowly cool until about half the metal has solidified, then pour off the remaining liquid metal, the solid left should be pure enough to be within 25 C of the true melting point and likely within 10 C.

I really doubt drain opener is made with waste acid. Refinery waste acid is black and thick, it has so much organic content that it can be burnt. Pickling acid is saturated with iron sulfate, you'd know if you were working with that; the acid is often reclaimed for further use by crystallising out the ferrous sulfate and returning the mother liquor with fresh acid to the pickling tanks.
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