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Author: Subject: HCl Preparation with no other strong acid
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 14:13
HCl Preparation with no other strong acid


I was wondering if anyone could shoot some holes in this because to me it seems it should work nicely:
Cl2 from bleaching powder and an acid - any weak acid will work, I used 25% acetic when I tried it a few minutes ago, but it could be done with normal vinegar or plenty of other easily attainable things
H2 from electrolysis of water / heating up various compounds? Can anyone suggest a compound that on (realistic levels) of heating will produce H2?

Combine the two, bubble them through water.
Then with conc. HCl one could make HNO3 by combination with a nitrate. There is already a big thread here on a way one can make H2SO4 at home, so if the above procedure works, that's three major reagents from very easily obtainable equipment / materials. :D
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 14:40


Mossydie,

HCl can be made by burning H2 in Cl2, but the two when mixed are explosive and can be detonated by exposure to sunlight. Don't try this at home. Bubbling Cl2 and H2 through water doesn't work.

HCl can be obtained cheaply in the U.S as muriatic acid at hardware stores. HCl can also be prepared on a small scale by treating NaCl with sodium bisulfate, which can sometimes be found in swimming pool supplies. The classic prep of HCl is to treat NaCl with H2SO4, as you must know. Sulfuric acid is the key reagent for preparing the other mineral acids, and of course there are many threads on the forum regarding the acquisition of sulfuric acid. The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, easily found by Googling, uses sodium bisulfate instead of sulfuric acid for small scale preps. Bisulfate was a standard chemical used in place of sulfuric acid in the chemistry sets of the good old days.

IIRC HCl will not liberate HNO3 from metallic nitrates (probably because its boiling point is below that of nitric acid) , but it will liberate acetic acid from metallic acetates, although the product is likely to be contaminated with the volatile HCl.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 14:41


H2 can be made readily by electrolysis of water or by placing bits of aluminum in a solution of NaOH.

This seems like a hard way to get HCl. Is it not available at your DIY for cleaning concrete, etc?




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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 14:41


H2 and Cl2 react with EXPLOSIVE violence! I don't think bubbling the combination in water will work.

How were you planning to make HNO3 from HCl ? I think this nearly impossible.

Heat NaHSO4 and NaCl together. This will give gaseous HCl. NaHSO4 can be cheaply obtained at swimming pool stores.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 15:26


I have cleaned glassware with a combination of conc HCl and NaNO3, it's a yellowish solution, smells a bit like nitric acid. Standard method for nitric acid is to mix H2SO4 with KNO3 and distil the mixture in a retort.



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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 15:36


A mixture of HCl (conc.) and NaNO3. That is a modified version of aqua regia.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 19:01


I added a solution of calcium chloride to a solution of oxalic acid and it formed a milky white mess that would not precipitate. I then added a rusted iron nail to see if it would react, and it caused the calcium oxalate mixture to separate out almost instantly. I assume hydrochloric acid was formed. If you can get the calcium chloride ice melt, and bar keepers friend you might be able to make hydrochloric acid this way.

Also you could get sodium chloride, copper sulfate, and react that with aluminum to form aluminum chloride and then heat it. Since Al chloride is a strong Lewis acid it hydrolysis and lets of HCl.

Also look into getting sodium bisulfate, and reacting that with sodium chloride. There is a lot of information on this site about these reactions.




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[*] posted on 2-6-2009 at 19:45


Sodium bisulfate (NaHSO4) heated with NaCl is probably the most OTC method of HCl gas production.
In my old chemistry set, this reaction was being used often to produce HCl gas for various uses, and the NaHSO4 was also used to liberate other acids from their salts.
Molten NaHSO4 was the universal substitute for conc. H2SO4 in this chemistry set!




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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 05:25


Back around the middle of the last century(!), I made respectably strong HNO3 by heating NaNO3 fertilizer, CuSO4 and grocery store alum as a dry distillation in a retort. I had found that prep in some 19th century chemistry book, it was not my invention. I haven't been able to find much mention of it in modern references; I think there may have been a historical article in J Chem Ed.

I'm guessing that that prep might make HCl if NaCl were substituted for NaNO3, but it probably has no advantage over using NaHSO4.

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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 06:29


I have no problem getting either H2SO4 (drain cleaner) or HCl (Spirit of salts, even available on ebay but in plenty of shops, £2 / L or so, 32% conc.) but I thought that this might be a nice idea if it could work because all of the chemicals would be available from a normal supermarket.
Shame it doesn't work...Thanks for the information anyhow!
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[*] posted on 3-6-2009 at 09:38


Nitric acid indeed can't be obtained that way. Since as stated, alkali nitrate and hydrochloric acid form a makeshift aqua regia (though it does dissolve noble metals like Au, I wouldn't consider this worthy in place of actual aqua regia to dissolve precious metals). Nitric acid already oxidizes HCl: HNO3 + 3 HCl = NOCl + Cl2 + 2 H2O. NOCl also decomposes from water, light radiation.

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by Formatik]
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[*] posted on 6-6-2009 at 12:39


Quote: Originally posted by Mossydie  
I was wondering if anyone could shoot some holes in this because to me it seems it should work nicely:
Cl2 from bleaching powder and an acid - any weak acid will work, I used 25% acetic when I tried it a few minutes ago, but it could be done with normal vinegar or plenty of other easily attainable things


You can add the chlorine to water to make hypochlorous acid (HClO). Let that stand long enough, and it will decompose to HCl.

Otherwise, your only other option is direct synthesis, either by igniting hydrogen in a chlorine atmosphere, or burning a hydrocarbon (methane, propane, butane, etc.) in a chlorine atmosphere. The latter is definitely not as dangerous, but will make for sooty messes.

Sulphuric acid and "kosher" table salt is by far the better way to go if you absolutely feel you must make your own HCl.

Going to the hardware store and asking for "Muriatic Acid" is by far the best method of all. :)
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[*] posted on 6-6-2009 at 14:57


To clarify - the idea was more for the interest that it might be possible to do that for actually needing HCl. Although I think making things is often far more exciting than buying them! I tried the H2SO4 / NaCl the other day. My apparatus wasn't up for it, sadly - I was using a flask with a bung with the mixture in it, from which glass piping led to another bunged glass pot of water. The bits of glass pipe were taped together with teflon tape, but it didn't work and HCl gas leaked majorly! I thought a much better way to do it might be to have the HCl going in to a balloon, and when that was full to put the balloon onto a glass pipe and bubble it through water - a much simpler set up, assuming that the HCl wouldn't eat through the balloon...
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 07:05


Why don't you just use ordinary (translucent) plastic tubing like everyone else?
Or at least use it to join the glass tubing. . .
Stick an inverted funnel on the end, put it a cm into the water and warm your SA/ NaCl.
I can't see the balloon idea working!
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 07:20


Because I don't have any! My lab supplies consist of some glass jars, one pyrex flask, two bungs, a load of glass tubing, pestle and mortar, a few measuring tubes, a 1kg - 0.1g balance, teflon tape, some test tubes, some test tubes stands, and that's about it... My heat source is an old gas camping stove.
I'm in the process of building it up.

On the note of tubing: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageNa...
That's 13' of teflon tubing. I'm thinking this would be the answer to dreams if one didn't have a full glass setup, as it should be resistant to most things, certainly more than the normal rubber tubing.

And you're right, it didn't work. More stinky HCl gas everywhere, holding my breath whilst trying to get the balloon over the flask... FAIL
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 08:11


Mossy, you say have a load of glass tubing. If so, you don't need Teflon tubing just yet.

Find a hardware store that sells plastic and rubber tubing by the foot. I can get many different types (flexible PE, rigid HDPE, thick rubber gas line hose, etc.) at the local hardware. Any of those can be used for all kinds of chemistry.

The trick is to bend the glass tubing to the shapes you need and just use the tubing to connect it. The glass tubes should touch inside the connection so that very little plastic or rubber is exposed to the gas. If you do it right, you can use the plastic connectors over and over, even with HCl. But don't pass extremely hot gas thru this setup or use it for distilling H2SO4 or HNO3. Bend the glass tubing so you don't need a connection for nasties like those.

Read some of the chemistry lab manuals on this site and elsewhere. Your first instinct should be to look it up, not ask us, OK? Chemistry is about 75% reading and 25% labwork.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 08:19


Teflon would be easier and cheaper because I do not have equipment to successfully bend the tubing, a lot of it ends up broken. I also posted the link for general interest as it seems a good price and I have not found such tubing elsewhere.
I do try to ask as little as possible. In my defence, all the comments on this post are replies to other people's suggestions or comments apart from the original question which I agree I should have searched for online rather than asking here. Reading back though, it does seem like I am requesting spoonfeeding and I'll try to steer clear of this in future.
Thanks for the help.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 08:38


Mossydie, the tubing I used, aeons ago, was the flexible, semi-transparent stuff you see everywhere.
It wasn't attacked by HCl---the acid is sold in plastic bottles, after all. . .
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 08:39


All it takes to bend glass tubing is a propane torch and lots of practice. Bending tubing not not the same as glassblowing; every chemist needs to know how to bend tubing.

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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 08:52


I like books - I want to be an English (literature) lecturer!
And I don't have a propane torch, just that old camping stove.
The HCl is sold in HDPE pottles I assume, these can store most acids. For connecting tubings when distilling HNO3 or H2SO4 or other 'nasties' teflon would be good, as HNO3 especially would eat through rubber in seconds and (as discussed in another of my threads) H2SO4 has the ability to hydrolyse many plastics. I think HDPE tubing is rigid, fine for connecting glass, but Teflon could replace the glass altogether and would be less prone to breaking, that's why I thought it might prove a godsend.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 09:33


No torch. OK, check out this article on How to Set Up Your Home Chemistry Laboratory from a 1932 Popular Science Monthly. It shows how to improvise a set of three DIY alcohol lamps to bend glass tubing. If you poke around on that site, there are dozens of home chemistry articles with good experiments and hints for improvising equipment. They were published during the Depression when nobody could afford to buy equipment.
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/03/05/how-to-set-up-your...

It's not impossible to bend glass tubing on a kitchen gas stove.

But if you're dead set on plastic tubing, go for it, but check out some of those experiments. It not an easy site to navigate; the main page is:

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/category/science/chemistry/


[Edited on 7-6-2009 by entropy51]
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 09:45


Fantastic links! Useful, plus reading anything written over about 50 years ago is funny in itself:
'First you will need a suitable workroom and it would be well to consult the lady of the house before usurping the bathroom or the laundry tubs. Running water is an advantage, but it is not essential. An attic, a corner of the cellar, or a spare room will do well.'

Many Thanks :D

[Edited on 7-6-2009 by Mossydie]
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 12:22


If you're after HCl, how about using no acidic compounds at all to form it? If you take some hydrated MgSO4 and NaCl, add some water to make a slurry and then heat on a hot plate first H2O comes off, then HCl and H2O, then just HCl. Any soluble inorganic Mg salt that doesn't decompose easily probably works in place of MgSO4. Make sure to do it outside and not in large amounts since HCl mist and gas are poisonous and corrosive.

Also for dealing with the gas, if you can't build a fume hood, then get a gas mask from military surplus store or even a multi-purpose respirator from the hardware store. The respirators should say if they can be used for muriatic acid. They look like this: http://www.diytools.co.uk/diy/Main/sp-1-1-78496-draper-exper... Though those won't protect your eyes from irritating vapors. Chemically resistant splash googles will to some extent. Even then work in well-ventilated areas.
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[*] posted on 8-6-2009 at 08:28



Quote:

You can add the chlorine to water to make hypochlorous acid (HClO). Let that stand long enough, and it will decompose to HCl.


My chlorine gas generator from sodium dichloroisocyanurate dissolved in warm water and conc. HCl leaves a precipitate of cyanuric acid that I wish to wash, dry and bottle for later use. The supernatent liquid is high in dissolved chlorine and I delibertly leave in direct sunlight for no more than 2 days and the liquid is water clear instead of greenish yellow and only has faint HCL odor. I guess in the winter I would recommend a UV hyproponics lamp.

[Edited on 6/8/2009 by chloric1]




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[*] posted on 14-5-2018 at 04:42


A modification of the chlorine gas in water approach, starting by heating a copper tube to enrich its oxide coating. Insert the copper tube in the water to which is bubbled Cl2 gas. The water vessel should be ice cooled. Per Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochlorous_acid ) and other sources:

"The presence of light or transition metal oxides of copper, nickel, or cobalt accelerates the exothermic decomposition into hydrochloric acid and oxygen:[10]

2 Cl2 + 2 H2O → 4 HCl + O2 "

Actually, per a recent thread comment, in the presence of black CuO, expect some HClO3 as well (see http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=81555#... ).
-------------------------------------------------

An interesting way to make Cl2 , without a strong acid, is to add a piece of copper and aluminum metal to a solution of chlorine bleach (NaOCl), a good dose of NaCl and vinegar (research 'bleach battery' on SM, here are some links: http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=81796#... and http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=81555#... ). Jump start the electrochemical cell in a microwave.

[EDIT] Without the microwave quick start, I actually yesterday did an attempt to expand the bleaching power of HOCl by placing the target fabric in an aluminum pan with chlorine bleach, vinegar and NaCl. To my surprise in under an hour, a micro hole leak in the Al pan became apparent!

[Edited on 14-5-2018 by AJKOER]
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