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Author: Subject: Electrolysis using a lead anode
sassybaskets
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[*] posted on 23-6-2013 at 16:29
Electrolysis using a lead anode


Hi all

So we've been trying to run electrolysis to clean a rifle barrel, and it's worked well for removing copper residue, but there is still lead that will not come off. I'm thinking of running electrolysis using the barrel as the anode, in a solution of lead acetate. We're not completely sure how to go about doing this, or if it'll work at all (we don't know what lead salt/oxides are even deposited on the barrel). Anyone care to weigh in?
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cyanureeves
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[*] posted on 23-6-2013 at 17:31


wont the steel give first? like chemotherapy in that you hope to poison the cancer before the chemo poisons the patient.hoppe's#9 and a brush have been doing fine work for eons and it smells good too.
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 23-6-2013 at 17:35


I picked up a bunch of lead slugs from a shooting range for lead acetate. used a lead acetate/vinegar sol. to draw more into solution and plate out lead sponge. it works for electrolysis and acetate production but I am unsure how it would treat your barrel material. I used a stainless nail to contact the pile of slugs in the solution and it tried to eat through the stainless nail a bit. as it turns out I had missed a few copper jackets on some slugs, and it took the lead out of them with minimal loss of copper into sol. (some did come over for sure). maybe you could do a test with a similar steel by torching lead to its surface. or mechanically rubbing some lead on a nail, what ever just give it a shot. just don't use a galvanized nail as results would not be realistic compared to barrel material.

try the solution you had planned on the leaded nail/scrap and see if it turns all yellow from iron, or visibly pitts it while cleaning. personally I wouldn't risk my barrel with out a test but tha'ts just me. last vinegar cleaning wasn't too nice to my .50cal black powder rifle. no electrolysis was used but I did get minor pitting :( see if any one here has some info of a more scientific nature. I am long out of practice on all the commonly known rules from college. I been reading up to get back to that point. but for right now I only read on project I intend to do soon so the rest could be viewed as more practical chemistry. it gets the job done but I am often unaware of all the peripheral actions happening. hope it helps
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Metacelsus
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[*] posted on 24-6-2013 at 12:53


Why the lead acetate solution? It will hinder the dissolution of the lead. If you don't want the steel to corrode, I recommend using a concentrated iron(II) solution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nernst_equation

You need to make it more favorable for lead to be oxidized than iron.

Generally, I think electrolysis is a bad idea if you want to preserve your barrel.




As below, so above.
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lavenatti
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[*] posted on 25-6-2013 at 02:43


I've used a 50/50 (volume) mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar to clean lead out of gun barrels. Just have a container for the waste fluid and sludge handy. A lot less scrubbing and no electricity required.
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