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Author: Subject: Birkeland-Eyde reactor for making nitric acid.
axehandle

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Uh-uh. The new rector vessel with the elctodes doesn't fit in my oven, so I've placed in on the stove. This is going to take a while, I'm afraid, since the vessel has a rim along its edge, thereby having a very low contact area with the hotplate.....

I'll probably have to wait the whole day.

Luckily the conductivity of the concrete is within my multimetre's range, approx. 0,26Mohm. Have to get it down to 0....

BIG sigh.....

Edit maybe of I put in a textile bag with CaCL2.... hmm.

[Edited on 2004-2-16 by axehandle]

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Quantum
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Its not me! I run Slackware 9.1

Do you have information on the TV flyback? I have a few old TVs and I was wondering how those work compared to the NST.

GREAT Project. You could install a burret like thing in the bottom of the second jar and do a side reaction with some of the nitric acid.

What if, what is isn\'t true?
axehandle

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Not much info, apart from the fact that they don't put out nearly as much power as my NST.

Plus that it looked like such a pain to identify the different connectors that I considered it worth $200 just to avoid it. There are sites, http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/5322/hv2.html is one, in case you really want to mess with flybacks. My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" Tacho International Hazard Posts: 582 Registered: 5-12-2003 Location: Brazil. Member Is Offline axehandle, I'm in a hurry now and will be away for a couple of days, but can't you do titration with a common syringe and a solution of sodium bicarbonate? It is widely available and stops fizzing when all acid has reacted. I never tried this, but sounds simple. The only problem could be weighting the bicarbonate if you don't have a scale. Hermes_Trismegistus International Hazard Posts: 602 Registered: 27-11-2003 Location: Greece, Ancient Member Is Offline Mood: conformation:ga GAK! antacids of all kinds are widely available, I had previously suggested this. Convieniently enough, the amount of antacid per tablet is even written on the side. you could use a periodic table to convert mass into moles (knew that thing would come in handy someday ) With a syringe (or other measuring device), to measure the water it took to dissolve the tablet. Then you'd know th molarity of your base solution. You would even be able to make up a solution of known concentration. From that you could titrate the acid to neutrality and you'd know the concentration. *** If you do a titration, you may need to dilute both your acid and base quite a bit to get even decently close to neutral. If you need a cheap indicator solution, look in this thread... http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=1372 EDIT: analytical chemistry is a necessary evil. Yes, I said it....EVIL. [Edited on 17-2-2004 by Hermes_Trismegistus] Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics; even if you win: you\'re still retarded. axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny Can't do a titration just yet, have troubles dehydrating the concrete in my new reactor (it won't fit in the oven...). But I will. In a week or perhaps two. Edit: I hacksawed 5cm off of the electrodes. Now it fits in the oven. Phew! I'll use antacid tablets, I think, with a large amount of acid since my scale has a resolution of +- 1g. [Edited on 2004-2-17 by axehandle] My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny <b>Damned!</b> The bottom concrete layer had too great a volume and was thus conductive. No arc. Have to redesign entire bottom (already done) and then wait another fscking 24 hours for the small amount of concrete to harden. If I only could get away with gypsym..... but I don't know how gypsum behaves at plasma temperatures. Fsck. Edit: (18:59) Everything molded. I don't even want to see unmixed con-fucking-crete again as long as I live. Filty, dirty powder! [Edited on 2004-2-17 by axehandle] My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" froot National Hazard Posts: 336 Registered: 23-10-2003 Location: South Africa Member Is Offline Mood: refluxed arb question: I've read that one can only get up to 70% conc. HNO3 when dissolving NOx in water, or that's how they mass produce it, after which they distill it with H2SO4 to get higher conc. Could you get higher conc. when dissolving NOx in H2O2, or otherwise reacting NOx in a vessel with a precise amount of water vapour? We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it. Of necessity, this honor is generally bestowed posthumously. - www.darwinawards.com axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny I think the maximum is more like 68%. With regards to using hydrogen peroxide, I think this reaction is favored: NO2 + H2O2 --> HNO3 + OH- The H3O+ OH- ions would cancel out, H3O+ + OH- --> 2 H2O . The end result would be water. This is, however, by conjecture only. Perhaps someone else feels qualified to answer? I also read somewhere (I think) that the 68% (70%?) limit is not the theoretical limit, but that it's not economical to make it stronger (takes much longer time and energy). My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" Tacho International Hazard Posts: 582 Registered: 5-12-2003 Location: Brazil. Member Is Offline About Hermes antiacid titration: I really, really think that you should use sodium bicarbonate. It's sold pure, with no binders, medicines or flavors and IT IS IT'S OWN PH INDICATOR. It simply stops fizzing (bubbling) when all acid has reacted. I sugested the syringe to measure how much solution of bicarbonate with KNOWN concentration would neutralize a given (small) sample of acid. A common syringe measures 10ml with 0,1ml precision. Something else: Concrete gets hard because it HYDRATATES. When molecules of water bind to the portland cement, it gets hard. So, you will never get rid of all water unless you kind of destroy it. I have never seen concrete as an eletrical insulation. On the contrary, ceramic insulators are everywhere. axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny Good idea, about the sodium bicarbonate. About the concrete: I know that it gets hard because of hydration. I also know from empirical observation that if it's dried out, it WILL act as an insulator, unless it occupies a large volume (more current paths). I also know that its compressive strength gets greatly reduced in the dehydrated state. Same with gypsum. It just has to be handled gently, and everything is fine. A sharp blow (impulse): *crack* My new reactor bottom is right now in the oven. I used even less concrete than in my small, working reactor. It remains to be seen, however, whether the experiment is repeatable...... Otherwise, I'll try terracotta clay. Little cracking tendency. Hell, even dehydrated gypsum would do the trick, the material's only job is to hold the electrodes and to withstand hign temperatures. The reason I haven't tried gypsum is that I suspect it would decompose at plasma arc temperatures. We're talking thousands of Kelvins here. If it all pans out, I will start updating my webpage with shots of the new plasma arc. I will make an anouncement here first, though. My bandwidth is limited...... My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" Marvin International Hazard Posts: 991 Registered: 13-10-2002 Member Is Offline It would be helpful if you read the nitric acid from arc threads here and on roguesci. You are using a jacobs ladder becuase you think the arc moving through the air will provide greater contact. You havnt asked yourself *why* the arc rises though. The answer will alter your design though maybe not be much. Dont think of it in terms of liberating free atoms or ions. You are driving an exothermic reaction backwards with high temperature, and then freezing it in. No ozone will be made this way. If you dont concentrate the NO2 produced, you will be lucky to make 50% acid concentration, and in doing so your absorbtion will be very inefficiant. NO2 is extremly toxic, you dont want to breathe any in. "Who cares if the yield is e.g 50% or 100%" Try thinking 2% on a power basis.... Half a kilowatt will only produce about 20 to 30 grams of acid an hour max. Its hardly worth building a system to produce less. This totally rules out a flyback transformer as power at about 1/100th this. Only the arc should be hot. axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny I know why the arc "rises". That's high school physics. Before designing the machine, I evaluated a different method for the arc. Basically the arc is stationary, and air is pumped through it very fast, just like in one of the patents for the Birkeland-Eyde reactor. I think I will stay with the ladder though. Have you any idea att all how much a stationary arc erodes and heats the electrodes? I have hands-on experience. What works in theory doesn't always work in practise. And no, my budget doesn't allow for tungsten electrodes... I AM going to "recycle" some of the NO2 by feedback. This is on my homepage or in this thread somewhere. And you have obviously not read about how I get rid of the fumes. And what flyback? I'm using a 550W NST, 9kV, 60mA. Btw, 20-30mg of acid per hour would be a fantastic yield, in my opinion. That's 5 liters/week! I'm really confused, you obviously critizise my project, which is fine, but it also seems you do so without having studied the entire thread, or my setup, which is not fine. What is your intent? To confuse me? [Edited on 2004-2-20 by axehandle] My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" Tacho International Hazard Posts: 582 Registered: 5-12-2003 Location: Brazil. Member Is Offline  Quote: Originally posted by Marvin (snip) Half a kilowatt will only produce about 20 to 30 grams of acid an hour max. Its hardly worth building a system to produce less. This totally rules out a flyback transformer as power at about 1/100th this. Only the arc should be hot. You are righ about many things (edit), but: 1- I've built jacobs ladders using neon light transformers and using flybacks. Both created ozone smell. But flybacks probably can't make NO2: not enough energy. 2- 20 to 30 grams of acid for 0,5kW/h is a great yield for those who can't just buy it! I understand acid sales are limited in the country where axehandle lives, as it is in many others. Besides, axehandle is probably having a great time building this stuff. I envy him. Edit 2: By the way, he has BUILTED IT! MADE IT WORK!. I see a lot of talk in many forums but is rare when someone puts an idea to work! [Edited on 20-2-2004 by Tacho] [Edited on 20-2-2004 by Tacho] axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny I still don't understand why he critizised my project when it was obvious he had not read all about it. E.g. I'm certainly not using a flyback. I'm using a VERY powerful NST. And he didn't offer any constructive critizism at all. Yes, nitric is restricted here, sulfuric as well. And I AM having a great time building this machine. Thanks for envying me =) My PGP key, Fingerprint 5D96 E09E 365D 1867 2DF5 C2FE 4269 9C19 E079 CD35 \"Verbing nouns weirds the language!\" Tacho International Hazard Posts: 582 Registered: 5-12-2003 Location: Brazil. Member Is Offline I might stop envying you and start building one myself. axehandle Free Radical Posts: 1065 Registered: 30-12-2003 Location: Sweden Member Is Offline Mood: horny I say: Go ahead! Plasma arcs are very fun to work with. The only drawback is that NSTs are so expensive, I paid$200 for mine. On the other hand it's short-circuit protected and completely cast into a resin block. The monster weighs 8kg....

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Marvin
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Maybe I'm not being clear. When I say 'helpful to read' I mean, 'read the threads because there is so much you dont know, I cant retype it all here'. Particually the stuff on roguesci.

"I know why the arc "rises". That's high school physics. "
Maybe you would like to explain why you think it will cause the arc to contact more air then?

"And what flyback? I'm using a 550W NST, 9kV, 60mA. "
Are you really? Well gee, I based all my math on your predicted yeild based on a half kilowatt system, so if Ive not read your posts that must make me, like, psychic or something. Possibly the flyback comment relates to your discussion with Quantum, and his questions? And your suggestion to Turel about using less power?

"...20-30mg of acid per hour would be a fantastic yield, in my opinion. That's 5 liters/week! "
20 to 30 grams an hour, and more like 3 litres a week of pure acid but the product will be somewhat dilute.

I have read the thread, and looked at the site and since you wanted people to point out mistakes/problems that is what I am endevering to do.

"I AM going to "recycle" some of the NO2 by feedback. "
No, dont do this, it would be bad.

You might want to take heed from the death of a NST in jacobs ladder config particually.

"What is your intent? To confuse me? "
Yes, of course. I cant let you make any nitric acid, you would use up all the air on the planet. I need this air for my own explosives.
axehandle

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 Quote: Maybe I'm not being clear. When I say 'helpful to read' I mean, 'read the threads because there is so much you dont know, I cant retype it all here'. Particually the stuff on roguesci.

No, you were very unclear. Than you for being it now.

 Quote: "I know why the arc "rises". That's high school physics. " Maybe you would like to explain why you think it will cause the arc to contact more air then?

Because the airflow through the reactor vessel is very slow, close to stand-still. Hence a moving arc will contact more of it in a given time.

 Quote: "And what flyback? I'm using a 550W NST, 9kV, 60mA. " Are you really? Well gee, I based all my math on your predicted yeild based on a half kilowatt system, so if Ive not read your posts that must make me, like, psychic or something. Possibly the flyback comment relates to your discussion with Quantum, and his questions? And your suggestion to Turel about using less power?

If you had mentioned that, I wouldn't have jumped at your throat like I did. It looked like you were accusing me of using a flyback. You did not make any reference as to which posts you were referring to, thus I took is as being aimed at me --- all of it.

 Quote: "...20-30mg of acid per hour would be a fantastic yield, in my opinion. That's 5 liters/week! " 20 to 30 grams an hour, and more like 3 litres a week of pure acid but the product will be somewhat dilute.

I obviously meant "g", not "mg". Mistype. My calculation of the yield per week was 7*24*30/1000 liters. Dilute, ofcourse.

 Quote: I have read the thread, and looked at the site and since you wanted people to point out mistakes/problems that is what I am endevering to do.

Fine. Dandy. Very nice. But you were totally unclear on what you were critizising. It looked like a complete trashing of my entire design, and I get mad when someone says one of my children (e.g. my reactor) is ugly...

 Quote: "I AM going to "recycle" some of the NO2 by feedback. " No, dont do this, it would be bad.

Why?

 Quote: You might want to take heed from the death of a NST in jacobs ladder config particually.

The company manufacturing this particular NST gave me their word that it would work in a jocob's ladder config.

 Quote: "What is your intent? To confuse me? " Yes, of course. I cant let you make any nitric acid, you would use up all the air on the planet. I need this air for my own explosives.

I'm not intending to make explosives. I'm very afraid of explosives. I AM, however, very interested in rocket fuels.

[Edited on 2004-2-21 by axehandle]

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Hermes_Trismegistus
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If you can spare the time.....

We're all waiting to see the bigger reactor up and running.
So, if you can tear yourself away from your little lovers spat with starvin' marvin.....?

Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics; even if you win: you\'re still retarded.
Tacho
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 Quote: Originally posted by Hermes_Trismegistus We're all waiting to see the bigger reactor up and running. So, if you can tear yourself away from your little lovers spat with starvin' marvin.....?

Absolutely right!

This is becoming one of those endless pie fights that waste so much time and bandwidth in the net!

Axehandle, what you are doing is a great project!

Somebody has discussed it before? Cool, lets see what they did!

Someone treats you like you are an idiot? This is an anonymous forum! Swallow your pride, be artificially humble! Truth will surface with time.

Check the usenet! Is full of these no-win endless pie fights. Waste, waste, waste.

And focusing on the reactor: Even if the acid is not concentrated, is an easy, cheap source of nitrates!
rikkitikkitavi
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nitric acid can easily be concentrated to 68 % by distillation at normal pressure...

glass, stainless steel is suitable materials of construction.

/rickard
axehandle

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 Quote: If you can spare the time..... We're all waiting to see the bigger reactor up and running. So, if you can tear yourself away from your little lovers spat with starvin' marvin.....?

Yes, yes, impatient ones, I'ts just that I'm having some trouble with the clay. The ladder is functioning, but the clay holding it in place takes forever to dry.

I estimate that I'll have some pictures ready tonight (+10 hours from now), and then I'm going to assemble the bottom and the lid. It's got a very nice integrated digital thermometer. The glass/ceramics silicone will take approx. 24 hours to cure long enough to start running the reactor.

Better slow and working than quick and non-working, eh?

And I consider the "pie fight" over. In my opinion it was all based on a misunderstanding.

Edit: (00:23) The fucking evil bastard clay shit refuses to cooperate. Had to re-mold. Twice! If this doesn't work when it's dried, it's bentonite/distilled-H2O time..... Luckily, I have a couple of kgs of bentonite-W powder as well as distilled water.

It seems that as long as there's more than 1 water molecule in the insulator, it won't insulate. This is taking longer than I had hoped for.

At least I have glass-silicone-glued entrance and exit pipes to my 5 liter buffer reactor (where NO will get plenty of time to become NO2). Pity the silicone only hardens 1mm/24 hours sigh.

What a horrible day. I hate clay as well. On careful consideration, I hate everything. Fucking clay.

[Edited on 2004-2-22 by axehandle]

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axehandle

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The FINALLY functioning reactor bottom with the ladder is now in the oven to remove the last of the few remaining pesky water molecules from the gypsum (yep, gave up on the concrete). Time to completion: Approx. 10 hours.

The new arc was <b>beautiful</b>, a dazzling flaming white. I'll get some pictures up tomorrow.

I did a NO2 test by putting a large glass vessel upside down on top of the ladder and let it run for 20 seconds. Then I stuck my nose into it and took a deep breath. I shouldn't have done that. Suffice it to say that the ladder works....

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Blind Angel
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my god, you should really go to some bank to get help for paying more equipement, instead of tasting HNO3 or breathing NO2 to see if it's realy there, you'll kill you and this is not what we need

/}/_//|//) /-\\/|//¬/=/_
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Special topics » Technochemistry » Birkeland-Eyde reactor for making nitric acid. Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication   » References Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Whimsy   » Detritus   » The Moderators' Lounge