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Author: Subject: ammonia from leaves
John paul III
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 11:31
ammonia from leaves


Ammonia and ammonium salts are available and cheap, but some prepper part of me wants to know if I could make them myself without building an entire alkali cyanide nitrogen fixation plant. According to wiki:

"Before the start of World War I, most ammonia was obtained by the dry distillation[ of nitrogenous vegetable and animal waste products"

Since leaves are more abundant than shit and much more pleasant to work with, im only interested in using plant matter (I guess leaves will contain orders of magnitude more proteins than dead wood)

Dry leaves contain at least around 20% protein, while fresh leaves contain about 1%

Considering, I essentially want to decompose aminoacids, would such dry distillation require addition of a base, like Calcium oxide? And could too high temperature reduce the yield? And how could one capture the ammonia efficiently?



[Edited on 8-8-2020 by John paul III]

[Edited on 8-8-2020 by John paul III]
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Ormarion
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 13:25


Hey, honestly for the first part i dont really know if using something like calcium oxyde would work, but to capture ammonia the best way is to probably set some water bubbler (like 2 of them), ammonia gas is quite soluble in water , and with 2 you should capture most of it.
Good luck with your project even if buying ammonia seem cheaper in my opinion ^^
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 14:58


Wouldn't pee be also a good option?
I mean, it costs nothing, and have you ever smelled the public toilets at a highway pull-in?
The advantage would be that you likely would acquire some nitrate salts as well.
Thinking like a prepper :)
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morganbw
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 15:12


Perhaps grow some chickens and collect their poop.
I was raised on a chicken farm for a while and the chicken shit mixed with the shavings which were used for bedding was pretty potent.
A very strong ammonia smell and a very potent fertilizer.
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symboom
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 18:27


I'd say put it in a closed container with another container with distilled water let sit and it should absorb ammonia from urine or the leaves as it decomposes. The distilled water should contain dilute ammonia you can ever test this with magnesium sulfate which perciptate magnesium hydroxide from ammonium hydroxide. Then you u got ammonium sulfate in solution

[Edited on 9-8-2020 by symboom]




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Junk_Enginerd
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[*] posted on 9-8-2020 at 06:08


What about some variant of composting? If I don't have enough nutrient-poor material in the compost(e.g. too much food scraps and grass/green cuttings, not enough saw dust/dry leaves) it very much starts to stink of ammonia. Maybe amassing a big pile of fresh grass/leaves etc and capturing the "exhaust".

I don't know the chemistry behind it, but the compost requires oxygen to reach this state, which makes me wonder if it's enough to just dry distill, or if some form of oxygen might need to be added. A compost is just a really complex and slow fire after all.
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Alkoholvergiftung
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[*] posted on 9-8-2020 at 10:08


60% shredded wood 30% greens the rest an lime or ash and old gypsum that binds the escaping ammonia.
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DraconicAcid
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[*] posted on 9-8-2020 at 10:13


Quote: Originally posted by Alkoholvergiftung  
60% shredded wood 30% greens the rest an lime or ash and old gypsum that binds the escaping ammonia.


Lime and ash are bases, and aren't going to bind escaping ammonia- they will help kick it out.




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Alkoholvergiftung
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[*] posted on 9-8-2020 at 11:02


not the lime and the ash but the gypsum does bind it.The ash and lime are only for the nitrification.
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macckone
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[*] posted on 9-8-2020 at 21:58


The best source of ammonia is going to be animal antlers, hooves and hide.
They are heated to produce hartshorn oil.
In theory leaves could do the same.
You are also going to get a bunch of side products either way.
It is worked up by dry distillation to purify the ammonium carbonate.
The ammonium carbonate is easily converted to ammonia by calcium or sodium hydroxide with mild heating.
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Alkoholvergiftung
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 05:41


Urea or piss and urease enzym should work too.
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