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Author: Subject: Melting Ytterbium metal
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 07:30
Melting Ytterbium metal


Not that exciting of a topic but I have some Ytterbium metal pieces that I want to melt together into a cylinder.

I was thinking of simply placing them in a quartz glass tube and heating it with a blowtorch.

I have had this metal for a few years and it does not look like it has reacted much with the air, looks more or less the same as when I first purchased it.

For this reason I dont think I should need to melt it under vacuum or argon gas. The only thing I am thinking is that it might get contaminated with the quartz glass as I heat it, obviously this metal is expensive so I would not be happy if somehow reacted with either the air or the glass tube hence my reason for this post.
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 07:51


I'm pretty sure you will oxidize the crap out of it at 800+, at RT it reacts with water and the powder is flammable.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 08:02


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
I'm pretty sure you will oxidize the crap out of it at 800+, at RT it reacts with water and the powder is flammable.


If it reacts with water at room temperature then why is it still shiny, its only in a jam jar and looks just as shiny as I first got it. This is why I was thinking I might be able to heat it in atmosphere. If not I have a TIG welder and can use the argon cylinder off that.

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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 10:14


Definitely do it under argon. Just because you don't see any visible deterioration at room temperature doesn't mean it won't oxidize at higher temperatures. This is true of many metals.



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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 11:32


I have sodium under oil in a jam jar that still shines after more than ten years, but I wouldn't dare to heat that under air.. There is a world of difference between RT and 800+.

If you have argon, use it! Why not?

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 11:56


Damn, my jar of sodium in petrol oil got infected(infested?) by a petrol mushroom, I still haven't gotten rid of that damn mushroom, and I have changed the oil at least eleven times in the last eight years!
I don't know where that thing comes from though?
Edit: could be a petrol microbe though, never characterised that, just want to get rid of it.
Changed the original petrol oil to naphtha, to pure petrol ether, and back to naphtha, etc.
Damn diesel bugs...

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by karlos³]
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 12:24


I love fungi for the reason you hate them :) . I have seen them grow on heavy metal/alcohol/cyanide waste which was nicely concentrated as well. They are really tuff.

Could you heat/melt your sodium under the oil just before closing the lid? That should take care of them. Or maybe get a new container, heat that in boiling water, dry in an oven at 180, and fill with preheated (and cooled down again if it is not borosilicate) and then store? If you fill the container almost till the top you could heat it again to be sure, liquid doesn't expand that much.

Somewhere in the process, before storing, you will have to either heat or wash your sodium.. The sodium won't make the oil basic enough to kill the fungus, and spores will happily stick on it in the absence of water.

Two times half an hour at 100 degrees with 24 hours in between will kill anything in an aqueous environment. Twenty minutes at 120 will also kill anything, but you need a pressure vessel. When dry though (as in your sodium dried oil) you will need three hours at 180 to kill everything. Sterilization of dry glass is a pain..

Edit: This reminds me of seeing a completely abandoned diep frying pan, just full of oil, boiled to dryness, left for a year in a dry garage. It was full of something, couldn't have been anything else than a fungus. But the garage was quite humid, I would never have thought they could grow in sodium dried oil. Is the sodium still shiny? Could you take a picture? I would love to see it (the fungus). Sorry :)

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by Tsjerk]

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by Tsjerk]
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 12:36


Yeah I will take a picture, if it entertains you why not :)

For the record: I don't dislike mushrooms either, they are wonderful creatures, I just don't want them on my reagents :D
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 12:56


Thanks! They are everywhere :( You just need the right one in the right place. I once made a PI who was organizing my practical courses very happy. She had all students take growing plates home and "air" them in their student homes :). She had us test all species for surfactant production. I told her afterwards I had this nasty bright orange fungus growing on my spend coffee. No surfactants came up during the course but the orange one was interesting for a while, nothing came out in the end as far as I know.

Never have seen the orange one anywhere else since then.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 12:59


Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Damn, my jar of sodium in petrol oil got infected(infested?) by a petrol mushroom, I still haven't gotten rid of that damn mushroom, and I have changed the oil at least eleven times in the last eight years!
I don't know where that thing comes from though?
Edit: could be a petrol microbe though, never characterised that, just want to get rid of it.
Changed the original petrol oil to naphtha, to pure petrol ether, and back to naphtha, etc.
Damn diesel bugs...

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by karlos³]


I have some Lanthanum metal and I can never keep that thing clean. Its sitting in one of those food containers you can pump the air out of and under paraffin oil and I still cant keep it clean.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 13:11


Maybe you also got such a petrol bug in there?
It starts with the paraffin oil getting cloudy, soon after you will see parts where the cloudiness is more concentrated(mycelium maybe, or at least an aggregation of microorganisms).
In the end it will look overall milky... I have to admit, after noticing that the metal still remains shiny(maybe the "bugs" eat up all the oxygen before it reaches the metal?), I haven't cared about removing them.
Tsjerk will probably be happy about the picture, because the last oil change is more than a year ago :D

Back in my microbiology classes, they always told us the most colorful ones are often pathogenic with this sort of "air plates"(we also did plates where we pressed standard everyday objects like keys on them, those came out dirty, one wouldn't believe the wide array of stuff that grew on them!).

E: tomorrow, I need to get to my storage room and will make a picture of it :)

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by karlos³]
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 13:19


I dont think so I think the metal is oxidising despite being under oil. Can that oil somehow absorb water. I was thinking of changing the oil only next time boiling the oil first.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2020 at 21:34


Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Damn, my jar of sodium in petrol oil got infected(infested?) by a petrol mushroom, I still haven't gotten rid of that damn mushroom, and I have changed the oil at least eleven times in the last eight years!
I don't know where that thing comes from though?
Edit: could be a petrol microbe though, never characterised that, just want to get rid of it.
Changed the original petrol oil to naphtha, to pure petrol ether, and back to naphtha, etc.
Damn diesel bugs...

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by karlos³]


Heard of diesel bugs but not petrol mushrooms wtf?
R u guys being serious?

[Edited on 24-1-2020 by draculic acid69]
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[*] posted on 24-1-2020 at 10:13


Quote: Originally posted by draculic acid69  
Quote: Originally posted by karlos³  
Damn, my jar of sodium in petrol oil got infected(infested?) by a petrol mushroom, I still haven't gotten rid of that damn mushroom, and I have changed the oil at least eleven times in the last eight years!
I don't know where that thing comes from though?
Edit: could be a petrol microbe though, never characterised that, just want to get rid of it.
Changed the original petrol oil to naphtha, to pure petrol ether, and back to naphtha, etc.
Damn diesel bugs...

[Edited on 23-1-2020 by karlos³]


Heard of diesel bugs but not petrol mushrooms wtf?
R u guys being serious?

[Edited on 24-1-2020 by draculic acid69]


I wondered about that too.
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[*] posted on 24-1-2020 at 10:48


Fungi is definitely an issue a aviation fuel installations. They test for it regularly. It can block filters and pipes. Obviously also not ideal for aircraft.
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[*] posted on 24-1-2020 at 11:16


"Diesel bug" is a term applied to both fungi and microbes.
Funny, I already wrote about that four years ago on here: http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=65297&...

And no, I did not went to my storage to take a picture yet.

E: can we maybe split that thread, all the posts concerning these microorganisms?

[Edited on 24-1-2020 by karlos³]
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[*] posted on 28-1-2020 at 06:21


One thing I noticed was that when I placed my paraffin oil in a vacuum small bubbles came out of it. That means atmospheric gas must dissolve into that oil. If that gas is oxygen dissolved into the oil it would promote oxidisation. In my case I dont think the white deposit I see building up on the lanthanum metal is some fungi, I think it is an oxide being formed despite the metal being under this paraffin oil. In either case boiling the oil is the solution.
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