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Author: Subject: hobby chemical supply NZ/addition funnels
uchiacon
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[*] posted on 13-8-2011 at 16:46
hobby chemical supply NZ/addition funnels


Hey guys,

I have two topics I will be discussing in this thread.

First, I am considering putting a few grand on the table and buying bulk (upwards of 300kg of perchlorates) for listing on trademe and my own website. These would include ammonium and potassium perchlorate, various metal powders, fuse made in new zealand on my machine (or imported from china if possible), along with a lot of common chemistry reagents. These would include acetone, xylene, benzene, HCl, HNO3, H2SO4, ethanoic, and a few others. I have a small business on trademe selling acids/solvents/common pyro chemicals, and it is doing quite well.

Before I throw some $3000 on the table though, I need to gauge demand. No doubt I will need to organize an approved handlers certificate, chemical storage space and an official business name. As I'm 16, this could be a bit of a problem, but before I start going further I would like to hear what people think of this idea and if there are actually a lot of hobby pyrotechnicians/chemists in new zealand.

I have the opportunity to buy 2000kg of sodium/ammonium perchlorate at under $4/kg including shipping from china. Sodium perchlorate was quoted at $1.70/kg including shipping from china for 2 ton, but would this take years to sell completely even at $20 or $30/kg? A maximum of two years would be the max I'd want to have that 2 ton for, but having a heavily investment orientated mind, a profit of 1000%+ would easily be enough for a deposit on a house to begin my own investment porfolio.

Thoughts guys? I need to find a way to pay for my expensive hobby that doesn't involve asking my dad for money all the time. Any SOLID advice (NOT supposition) on customs and taxes I would need to pay would also be very appreciated.

Second, I was looking at addition funnels vs seperatory funnels. I noticed that there is usually a price difference of 2x, and as I recently fixed my broken glass aspirator by melting it back together with MAP gas, how hard would it be to break off the glass stem and replace it with a ground joint of choice? Surely this isn't that hard, and melting glass onto glass isn't that hard from what i've seen. It would be a very simple job, and I'm sure it would save me hundreds. But is there a difference anywhere else on addition funnels except for the ground joint?

Uchi




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Phthalic Acid
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[*] posted on 13-8-2011 at 22:28


Many addition funnels have a pressure equalizing arm, which seperatory funnels do not. If you don't care about that then go ahead and melt a joint onto the end of a sep (not sure if it's as easy as you say though, but then again, I'm no glassblower.) Another difference would be that an addition funnel is graduated. That probably won't make much difference though since you'd (presumably) already have the liquid measured out before you put it in there.

A little off topic, how much vacuum can your glass aspirator pull?

EDIT: If you ever want to expand, Australia would be a good choice. It seems like there are a lot of us here interested in home chemistry and I know I would personally be very interested in buying from you. You mentioned you would be selling from Trade Me and your own website. What's the address?

[Edited on 14-8-2011 by Phthalic Acid]
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Lambda-Eyde
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[*] posted on 14-8-2011 at 08:43


Don't buy 2 tons of sodium perchlorate, that's my advice. Potassium perchlorate is often used in colored pyrotechnic compositions where the characteristic sodium yellow is unwanted.

Quote: Originally posted by uchiacon  
I noticed that there is usually a price difference of 2x, and as I recently fixed my broken glass aspirator by melting it back together with MAP gas, how hard would it be to break off the glass stem and replace it with a ground joint of choice? Surely this isn't that hard, and melting glass onto glass isn't that hard from what i've seen. It would be a very simple job, and I'm sure it would save me hundreds.

No. Technical glassblowing is more complicated than that. I wouldn't buy addition funnels from someone without the relevant education/experience. Also, you'd need to anneal the glass afterwards. I take it you don't have an annealing oven in your garden shed. :P

If I were you, I'd contact a local glassblower to get a quote. Such small modifications shouldn't be expensive, but maybe it's cheaper to buy the addition funnels directly from the manufacturer.

Quote: Originally posted by uchiacon  
But is there a difference anywhere else on addition funnels except for the ground joint?

Separatory funnels are often pear-shaped, but addition funnels tend to be cylindrical.

[Edited on 14-8-2011 by Lambda-Eyde]




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uchiacon
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[*] posted on 14-8-2011 at 13:10


I can hook up an annealing oven, I wouldn't consider it hard to do. You just need something that can do a decent heat and then cool down slowly.

Potassium perchlorate is a pyrotechnic chemical in a lot of demand I'd say. Whether or not that's 2 tons worth of demand, I don't know. If I was to go for a reasonable price, maybe $30/kg, I would need to sell 113kg to make back that investment...then I could do bulk discounts. I'm trying to find a supplier for less than 2 tons. Considering people buy it on trademe for $90/kg, then I'd have to say thre is some decent demand for it. I could go further and offer 25kg sacks for 150-200$. Transport to australia would be a bitch no doubt... but yes, I suppose there would be plenty of demand there.

The addition funnels I was looking at do not have pressure equilizers.

Not sure on what the aspirator pulls. I think it could boil water around the 30-40C range.

[Edited on 04-07-09 by uchiacon]




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watson.fawkes
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[*] posted on 14-8-2011 at 20:13


Quote: Originally posted by uchiacon  
You just need something that can do a decent heat and then cool down slowly.
565 °C is the annealing temperature for borosilicate, a little more than twice that of the cleaning cycle on a typical household oven. That what 'decent heat' means here.
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uchiacon
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[*] posted on 16-8-2011 at 23:53


565C should not be particularly hard to achieve with some charcoal, a thermocouple and a variable air supply. Alternatively, I could rig up something with thick nichrome, but this will have to wait as I need to splooge on a few pyrotechnics chemicals first.



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kwik kiwi
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[*] posted on 22-8-2011 at 09:22


There may be a market for more potassium perchlorate in NZ, sodium perchlorate is unlikely to be wanted and ammonium perchlorate...." is a Class 4 oxidizer (can undergo an explosive reaction) for particle sizes over 15 micrometres and is classified as an explosive for particle sizes less than 15 micrometres"....(Wikipedia), strictly for the experienced or suicidal.
I admire your entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps have a look at countingsheep1 on Trademe, he has been selling stuff for quite a while and may give you an idea of the market you are aiming at.
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