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Author: Subject: Making Sodium Silicate
CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 25-4-2012 at 03:46
Making Sodium Silicate


Hi, I don't have enough of those silica beads found in those little packets so I am going to use sand instead in order to get a decent amount. But I could not really find any information on how clean the sand needs to be before starting the reaction with Sodium hydroxide. Is washing it with clear water good enough? Or should I mix water and alchohol and wash it that way? Since I have access to so many varieties of Sandy beaches here, I mean ranging from dark brown to light yellow I was wondering if anyone had any insight into the the necessity to use high purity sand.
thanks Hope I am not wasting your time on this one.

[Edited on 25-4-2012 by CHRIS25]




‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

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[*] posted on 25-4-2012 at 07:56


I've tried something similar. Strongly recommend that use pure quartz sand ( SiO2 ) or you will get an impure substance contaminated with other cations that are virtually impossible to remove.
If you want to purchase sodium silicate, suggest trying a pottery or ceramics supplier. I buy mine now.
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 25-4-2012 at 09:14


Ok thanks Mountain man.



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 25-4-2012 at 09:42


Beach sand is mostly SiO<sub>2</sub>, but also will have various salts from the water and bits of broken shells mixed in. You want to use as pure white of sand as you can find, to minimize other impurities. Washing with water a few times will get rid of the soluble impurities (NaCl, etc.), but leave the seashells behind. For that, you want to react it with hydrochloric acid until any bubbling stops. This reacts the calcium carbonate that makes up the shells into soluble calcium chloride. Those two steps should give you reasonably pure SiO<sub>2</sub>. Is that pure enough to make water glass? I can't be sure; I don't have any experience making it myself.
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 25-4-2012 at 09:54


Ok thankyou. I think I can find light sand but not the white stuff that I am sure I have seen on some American coastlines. However that is certainly worth doing. Thanks.



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 26-4-2012 at 18:01


If the crystal garden experiment is any indicator, then silicates of the metal impurities should be poorly soluble. I would like to try this experiment with some rust-colored sand and see what happens, but you might get a usable sodium silicate just by letting the impurities settle.

Edit: I didn't see that Mountain Man tried this already... guess the impurities were a problem?

[Edited on 27-4-2012 by Pyridinium]
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[*] posted on 26-4-2012 at 18:53


As an aside, this is a slow reaction. Even using little porous silica beads (which presumably have a large surface area), it took me days at RT to get them to dissolve. I expect using sand will be even slower, though with enough heat maybe you can fix that :-).



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[*] posted on 26-4-2012 at 19:29


Yeah, silica beads take ages to dissolve. Accorrding to Nurdrage, sand doesn't work at all unless you use molten NaOH, which of course requires a metal container. The way I'm making my garden is I've crushed the silica gel beads under a layer of water in my little mortar and pestle so that they wouldn't bounce away, let it air dry, and scooped that up into a little vial. I'm going to wait until I have some nice transition metal salts before I make the sodium silicate, but when I have them it'll just be as simple as mixing NaOH and the crushed silica gel beads in water, diluting the result, and dropping some clumps in.

Fun.
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 27-4-2012 at 05:57


I am actually wanting to make silica gel, for absorbing moisture, both for the fungus problem in corners of a room, but also for making sure I get rid of moisture from some precipitants double quick efficiency. Sodium acetate storage, which I have successfully made and isin an air tight container, but I presume throwing in a small packet of silica gel would keep the moisure away. It's not that I am not careful it's more that Ireland is a damp country to live in and Total dryness for storage purposes can never be guaranteed. Even in summer!



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 27-4-2012 at 07:45



Sodium Silicate used to be used for preserving eggs. It was called Water Glass.
Perhaps you may be able to purchase in a store for doing that job?

http://mistralhowto.wordpress.com/tag/water-glass-preserving...

Dann2

[Edited on 27-4-2012 by dann2]
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 27-4-2012 at 10:53


Quote: Originally posted by dann2  

Sodium Silicate used to be used for preserving eggs. It was called Water Glass.
Perhaps you may be able to purchase in a store for doing that job?

Hi Dan, that would be nice, but I am a bit of an adventurer and liking chemistry too much. I would like to make things from scratch, for fun and to learn but there is a kind of self sufficiency about all this that I enjoy. having said that it would be difficult I think to find a store like that. Though I know one place in Dublin that deals with the food industry and preservatives - i ordered from them before so I might as well check them again as a last resort.


http://mistralhowto.wordpress.com/tag/water-glass-preserving...

Dann2

[Edited on 27-4-2012 by dann2]




‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 27-4-2012 at 13:15


From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Sodium silicate is stable in neutral and alkaline solutions. In acidic solutions, the silicate ion reacts with hydrogen ions to form silicic acid, which when heated and roasted forms silica gel, a hard, glassy substance.
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[*] posted on 28-4-2012 at 09:59


Pottery shops often sell it cheap.

If you try and use silica sand, do you self a favour and heat it with a chip of broken window glass till it all clumps together and gets gooey. Converting the quartz to glass makes life better. You can also buy ground quartz dust from pottery shops and get very fine quartz sand from brick supply places as a mortar ingredient.
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 28-4-2012 at 11:09


You know what folks I think I will take your advice on this one, have too much to do anyway in mixing ingredients. So thanks for those pointers Gentleman.

Kind Regards
Chris




‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 28-4-2012 at 11:22


Another source is the crystal type of kitty litter, it's mostly pure sodium silicate (make sure it's the unscented one). I recently bought a 1 kilo bag for 3 bucks at the grocery store.

Robert




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[*] posted on 28-4-2012 at 13:12



A hardward store may have it. One 'out the country'.
Da
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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 29-4-2012 at 10:29


Halo Arthur and Dann2, I looked up kitty litter, so far no luck here in Ireland with that one. But thanks for the tips.



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 29-4-2012 at 13:31


How about sodium metasilicate. It's sold in pure form as a cleaner over here (great for making silica gel), maybe you could find it as brewer's detergent or mixed with something. Then maybe the right amount of NaOH if that works, or just HCl and getting nice white SiO2 that way.



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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 29-4-2012 at 23:11


Ok, Three of the top homebrewer suppliers in Ireland - absolutely no sodium metasilicate. 13 dollars for 250 grams in Northern Ireland for silicate. How does that compare with USA?

KInd Regards
Chris

[Edited on 30-4-2012 by CHRIS25]




‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 03:04


Not well. RD TSP-90 cleaner is $2/lb, as the pentahydrate.



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CHRIS25
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 04:52


I typed in the above and also just TSP into the four brewery supplies in Ireland - it simply does not exist, and a google search in Ireland delivers nothing, even a search for cleaners gives just a handful of strange looking products. So yeh, as usual I will attempt to make my own from common beach sand.



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 05:48


If you are looking for something to control mold, use CaCl2 which is sold commercially as a damp remover (very effective).
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 05:59


I think TSP is trisodium phosphate and it is widely available as an alkaline cleaner;

http://mistralni.co.uk/catalogue/product/98/TSP-TriSodium-Ph...
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 06:39


Great, that solves the mold problem, calcium chloride I shall make and I never knew about this one. As for the TSP, thanks squirrel, I thought that the post by S C Wack on RD TSP-90 was perhaps referring to a brand name containing sodium silicate.



‘Calcination… is such a Separation of Bodies by Fire, as makes ‘em easily reducible into Powder; and for that reason ‘tis call’d by some Chymical Pulverization.’ (John Friend, Chymical Lectures London, 1712)

Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. (William Penn 1644-1718)

The very nature of Random, Chance development precludes the existence of Order - strange that our organic and inorganic world is so well defined by precision and law. (me)
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[*] posted on 30-4-2012 at 13:33


Metasilicate. Pentahydrate. RD is the company, TSP-90 is what they call it. It seems that this (USA) and brewer's detergent (elsewhere) are the few available sources. Water glass solutions were found in the hardware store some years ago.



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