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chemoleo
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[*] posted on 3-3-2005 at 17:57
Experiments with liquid Nitrogen...


I am in a somewhat lucky position, having access to liquid N2 anytime.

Can anyone think of interesting experiments to do with it? For instance, I remember the Na solvation experiment which happily dissolves in liquid ammonia. Are there similar experiments like this, i.e. unexpected solutions of compounds in N2(l)?
Of course there are many reactions that can be done with extremely unstable compounds, unfortunately they are often hazardous (such as oxides of halogens, halogen-halogen compounds, compounds in a very high oxidation state that'd normally decompose, and so on).
Or are there compounds that can be only made at very low temps, and yet persist at RT (unlikely from a thermodynamic perspective)?

Any ideas? I haven't gotten further than freezing ethanol and various liquids.
It's quite interesting to see that ethanol becomes as viscous as glycerol when it reaches its freezing point. On the fingers, it nearly feels sticky (like glycerol) which doesn't last long of course because it heats up.
Another experiment was to accidentially freeze the fingertip of my thumb - I noticed nothing until a sharp pain hit me. By that time, the tip of my thumb was solid and whitish. Once defrosted, it hurt a little, stung, and after a few days the skin started to peel off. I was lucky it didnt go very deep.
For that matter, I know that warts and such are removed with liquid nitrogen, it seems to work as seen with my little thumb experiment!

Oh, and freezing glacial acetic acid, or diethanolamine with it worked very well - two liquids that'd normally refuse to crystallise at 4 deg C or so.


Any input/suggestions welcome (except those that involve bodily parts ;) )




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[*] posted on 3-3-2005 at 19:29


How about Making high TC superconductor
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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 3-3-2005 at 19:35


Not chemistry related but I read something a while back about speeding up your computer by making a liquid nitrogen cooling system. If I remember correctly it was called overclocking.



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neutrino
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[*] posted on 3-3-2005 at 20:29


Overclocking isn’t necessarily cooling the processor. Rather, it’s modifying the processor’s instructions in some way to run faster. This generates heat which tends to fry the chip, which is why you need a good cooling system. I have heard of making chips run faster by cooling (or something like that), but I think only works with a few of them.

Back to playing with the nitrogen: a couple of fun things to do with it are: 1.make ice cream (you get a nice, smooth ice cream because a.the nitrogen vaporizes very quickly, preventing big crystals from growing and b.the nitrogen arêtes (not sure what the right word here is) the cream), 2.make dry ice, 3.spill it onto a metal table and watch the drops flying around on a cushion of nitrogen gas 4.put it on your tongue (the same principle), and lots of other stuff.

You may want to look here.
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[*] posted on 3-3-2005 at 20:43


Ah thanks for clarifing that for me neutrino.

I have made liquid nitrogen icecream before and it is superior to most icecreams I have tasted.

Make liquid oxygen...I am sure you can figure out many uses for this yourself.;)




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[*] posted on 4-3-2005 at 02:05


Liquid nitrogen is used in minor surgery, to remove warts, moles, and small benign tumors, by freezing them hard and cracking them off.

As for high-temperature superconductors, only the recently-discovered yttrium-barium-copper mixed oxides and similar ceramic compositions which have lattice vacancies and a metal in more than one oxidation state (2 and 3 in the case of copper) are superconducting at as high as liquid nitrogen (boils at 77ºK) temperatures.

[Edited on 4-3-2005 by JohnWW]
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[*] posted on 4-3-2005 at 09:08



    • You could cool polymers to below their transition-to-glass temperatures. At 77K, rubber tubing will shatter rather than bend.
    • You could make chlorine ice. (Chlorine freezes at 172K.)
    • You could make liquid oxygen. (Oxygen liquifies at 90K). The reaction between liquid oxygen and many combustible substances is very impressive.
    • If you have access to a vacuum dessicator, you could make nitrogen ice, by subjecting liquid nitrogen to vacuum. (Nitrogen boils off, cooling the remaining liquid.)




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[*] posted on 4-3-2005 at 13:12


Liquid nitrogen is used in minor surgery, to remove warts, moles, and small benign tumors, by freezing them hard and cracking them off.

From personal experience I think that is dri-ice. Genital warts appear and need to be sorted out, after all the pills and other stuff freezing with dri-ice worked. They need sorting out because they have been linked cervical cancer, herpes etc. If they were going to sort it out with liquid nitrogen I do not think I would have turned up.

mick

With liquid nitrogen you can make slush baths and know it is that temperature. I think if you fill a metal container with it, liquid oxygen might condense underneath it.

mick
edite to add


[Edited on 4-3-2005 by mick]
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[*] posted on 4-3-2005 at 19:02


Quote:
Originally posted by I am a fish

You could cool polymers to below their transition-to-glass temperatures. At 77K, rubber tubing will shatter rather than bend.


This is fun. The rubber tubing shatters just like glass when you hit it.

If you do this with a latex glove it looks like you are breaking french fries (the thin ones). Just freeze one, throw it to the ground and stomp on it and you'll see what I mean.
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[*] posted on 4-3-2005 at 22:02


You could make what has been said to be the worlds best iced cream!!!
http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/Henry/Icecream/Icecream.html
and many more
http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=liquid+nitrogen+...
Apparently the liquid N2 makes it ice crystal free so your result is perfectly smooth ice cream and also i read its very fluffy due to the aeration action of the N2 bubbling off....

Mmmmm sounds nice...
-rlr
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[*] posted on 5-3-2005 at 22:52


I have a 25 liter LN2 tank that I fill up sometimes. It really does make great ice cream. I can tell you a lot of fun activities to do with liquid nitrogen, but it is hard to think of scientific applications. An interesting thing to do is to break open an incandecent light and put the filament into the LN2 and light it up. The filament just being near the surface of liquid nitrogen will protect it from oxidation.

It is also a lot of fun to spit liquid nitrogen. If measure out a teaspoon or so and put it in you mouth then quickley spit it out, it make a huge amount of smoke. Very impressive and not as dangerous as it sounds. A teaspoon swallowed will just make you burp a lot.

You could use it to liquify methane and use that as a solvent, or study the magnetic properties of cryogenically cooled copper. It would be interesting to freeze a bit of mercury in a mold of a nail and pound it into a board. Hg is supposed to be as hard as steel at those temperatures. Thats all the ideas I can come up with.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 00:43


with regard to Chemoleo's orignal post, it is quite likely that alkali metals would react with liquid N2 to form, in succession, the anions •N=N-, -N=N-, -•N-N--, and N---, similarly to the gas-phase reaction.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 06:42
Aluminum and magnesium


I hear these metals are extreamely fragile at liquid nitrogen temperatures. You could pound these with a heavy hammer and when you have shards/granules then you can ball mill these for a week or so with stearin.

Also, you could condense or freeze equilmolar amounts of NO and NO2 to form unstable N2O3 and directly neutralize with NaOH, or KOH or any other strong alkali to get the pure nitrite.




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neutrino
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 06:43


In the link I posted, a couple of people were talking about freezing tanks of butane, cutting them open, and playing with the butane ice inside.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 07:54


Here's a tale about what NOT to do with it.
http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/aaiieee_dont_eve...
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 08:32


:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o:o

Jeez, urban legend or not, it's wacko to take a swig of something that liquefies below 0 °C !!!!!

That was dumb.

Oh, and chloric, ballmill with stearin? Why would a glyceride be needed for ballmilling a metal?

sparky (~_~)

P.S. I wonder how molten agar (or gelatin) would behave when poured in liquid N<sub>2</sub>? :D




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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 09:00


I read that one before, but don’t remember the scars or hospital visit. What it said happened was that he mixed up holding liquid nitrogen on his tongue and drinking it. Not too smart, but possible.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 09:31


Neutrino, that link was good. I haven't read it entirely, but got to the solid butane experiments and pictures.
I wonder if propane can also be used? Because propane is much cheaper than butane and available in 5kg- tanks.
It'll surely liquefy, but I'm not sure if it will freeze.

I also have access to liquid nitrogen at any time, but its expensive (2,50€/liter) and I have to buy several liters.

I always wanted to make liquid ammonia, dissolve sodium in it and add an iron catalyst to make NaNH2 (which directly gives NaCN on heating with charcoal).
But LN2 is way too cold for this (the ammonia would solidify) and dry ice isn't available.

Liquid oxygen is great fun to play with , I once did the cigarette-in-LOX experiment in school and it burned rapidly with a fascinatingly bright purple flame. At the end, the LOX soaked cotton filter deflagrated as if it was guncotton.
A piece of charcoal soaked in LOX exploded on lighting, scattering white hot charcoal pieces over the entire room and causing our teacher to dispose of the remaining LOX to stop further experimenting.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 09:50


Methinks propane would solidify. ChemFinder says propane melts @ -187.778 °C, while liquid N<sub>2</sub> boils @ ~ -195 °C.

sparky (^_^)




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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 09:58


Good, I'll try the propane thing when I get some LN2.

I also read that many colored substances change colour when cooled with LN2. Sulfur, for example, becomes white as chalk. Bromine first solidifies and then the color changes to a light yellow-orange.

Lead, at room temp, is soft, but at LN2 temp it is hard and elastic as steel. A bell made of lead rings like it was silver when cooled and hit with a metal rod.
Maybe you can hammer a nail made of soldering lead/tin wire into a piece of wood?

I once had some molten chocolate on a carpet and it was sticky and impossible to remove. After pouring LN2 on it, it could easily be scraped off.

[Edited on 6-3-2005 by garage chemist]
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 10:01


Just thought of another idea, make liquid ammonia and then dissolve alkali metals. If you were so inclined you could then use the solution of alkali metal in ammonia to make the azide of the metal dissolved.

EDIT: This will not work as pointed out by sparkgap. I do not know why I was thinking ammonia would still be liquid at these temperatures.:(

[Edited on 6-3-2005 by rogue chemist]




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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 10:20


garage chemist already mentioned that ammonia will freeze at the temperature of liquid N<sub>2</sub>. :D

You may want to take a look at ChemFinder or any chemical handbook if you believe the contrary.

sparky (^_^)




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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 11:31


Quote:

I once had some molten chocolate on a carpet and it was sticky and impossible to remove. After pouring LN2 on it, it could easily be scraped off.

Your carpet fibres didnt shatter and break off? :o




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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 12:42


No, the fibers didn't shatter, they remained flexible. Don't ask me why, though.

I have a pair of plastic tweezers for handling a superconducting pellet. They also remain flexible at LN2 temperatures. It must be a special kind of plastic...
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[*] posted on 6-3-2005 at 14:07


Quote:


Oh, and chloric, ballmill with stearin? Why would a glyceride be needed for ballmilling a metal?


Basically sparky, when these metals get in a finely divided state they may become pyrophoric. THe stearin is merely a precaution that can eeasily removed with toluene and next with ether. The grinding media would be steel balls or lead if you where paranoid about sparks. Lead may contaminate though.




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