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Author: Subject: mercury sources ??
chemchem
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 06:38
mercury sources ??


anyone have any ideas on sources of elemental mercury?? i know its a toxic substance and its use is limited but is it still used in industry ??
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Ashendale
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 06:53


In nature mercury is quite rare, altough is gets into air from volcanoes. Indissoluble mercury compounds (like HgS) was believed to be untoxic to living things, but in contaminated environment they change to even more deadlier compounds

Mercury is used in metal and chemical industry, electrical components (switches), pharmacy, medicine (thermometers, barometers), in dental treatment, colours.

Hope that helps abit

[Edited on 10-4-2005 by Ashendale]




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mick
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 12:22


You should still be able to find mercury in a thermometer or an old tilt switches for lighting up the boot and bonnet of 60/70s cars. Found one of the tilt switches last year and the mercury is very clean and well sealed. If you find an old mercury vacuum gauge and the mercury sticks to the glass you might be able to clean it up with conc nitric followed by a lot of washing.

mick
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 12:25


Quote:
Originally posted by mick
If you find an old mercury vacuum gauge and the mercury sticks to the glass you might be able to clean it up with conc nitric followed by a lot of washing.

mick


Don't do that, it will dissolve the mercury! The nitric acid must be very dilute here (around 8%).
A better method to clean mercury from its oxide layer is to let it drip through a filter whose tip has been punctured with a needle. The oxide will remain on the paper and the mercury will be shiny afterwards.
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mick
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[*] posted on 10-4-2005 at 13:02


Sorry about that.
Lack of details.
Most of the rubbish is removed by filtration through pin holes.
The final cleaning of the mercury was with nitric acid. I think it was with a quick wash of nitric, neutralise, water and the mercury was dried with filter paper. I cleaned the glassware with conc nitric and put the two together and the Edwards vac gauge gave a sensible reading with the specifided 92g of mercury.

mick

The above could be wrong because it came from memory and I can not find the original notes. I sorted the stuff out some how but with out the original bits of paper I can not be confident.

mick

[Edited on 11-4-2005 by mick]
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mick
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[*] posted on 13-4-2005 at 11:58


garage chemist
You were right, I found the original ref.
It gives bubbling air through the mercury to oxidise any rubbish, filtration and nitric acid wash. I did the filtration and a good wash and shake with 10% nitric.
sorry
mick
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[*] posted on 13-4-2005 at 13:42


Mercury tilt, float and vibration switches are still for sale through electronics component distributors like Farnell. So theres no need to rely on scavenging in scrap yards.
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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 13-4-2005 at 17:17


Go straight for the gold, don't fiddle with little switches. Buy a mercury filled plumb bob from ebay or some other place. I bought one and got enough mercury for all my experiments probably for life. Nearly 300 g in one fell swoop for $8



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[*] posted on 13-4-2005 at 21:39


Quote:
Originally posted by BromicAcid
...Buy a mercury filled plumb bob...


What is a plumb bob?
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[*] posted on 13-4-2005 at 21:56


Use google... An example of a common plumb bob sometimes also called a plumb line. It is used to establish what is vertical, I don't think it requires any more explanation. Play safe with Hg, take the necessary precaution guys.

[Edited on 14-4-2005 by Esplosivo]




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jimwig
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[*] posted on 23-4-2005 at 16:13


i always check out wall thermostats for the leveling vials of mercury - used a switches.

I have accumulated quiet a bit from various small sources of discarded mercury.

Once bought an entire flask at a yard sale.

Fancy that.
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[*] posted on 8-5-2005 at 04:38


I've foud a 1% mercurochrome (C20H8Br2HgNa2O6) solution at the grocery store. So, if I place a zinc plate in the solution, I belive that just a simple replacement will occur. The zinc plate will be covered of mercury.



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[*] posted on 8-5-2005 at 05:42


I think the mercury is somewhat tied up in the molecule, you would have to destroy it before being able to extract the mercury, ashing followed by boiling in HNO3 probably.

Just doing a quick google search it looks like it was banned in the United States although I could have swore I saw it recently, though it looks like there is an effort to bring it back.




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[*] posted on 8-5-2005 at 11:18


I presume you mean wet ashing, roasting the stuff would reduce the mercury to the metal and boil it off.

BTW, don't forget that 1% dye is rather less than 1% mercury (about .26% I think). I doubt this is a very cheap supply.
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[*] posted on 23-10-2005 at 22:13
mercury sources


One might try these as sources for mercury 1) http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/bnsdocs/hgsbook/auto.pdf
2) www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/hw/factsheets/MercurySwitchFactsheet.pdf
3) http://pasture.ecn.purdue.edu/~epados/health/mercury/device_m.htm
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[*] posted on 3-11-2005 at 14:54


I suggest you try someone who deals in furnace repair. They often repair and replace obsolete thermostats which each have about 10g of mercury in them. I actually know a repairman who's saved up a couple dozen (that I'll hopefully relieve him of :) ). I'd have to skim off the glass and dust floating on top, but otherwise, clean mercury. Just my anecdote :D
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[*] posted on 3-11-2005 at 15:39


Jeez, is mercury watched now, too? I had no idea. I bought mine from a scientific supply house recently for my manometer. Or are you guys just enjoying the thrill of scavenging? I suppose the hazmat fees can sting you, but add other chems to justify the expense. The folks I deal with cater to the hobbyist and have lots of neat things in their catalogue. If you want to know who I deal with I'll gladly either list here in another post if no objections or in a U2U.

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[*] posted on 3-11-2005 at 16:00


Well post up their contact information then! I'd be glad to deal with a company that looks kindly on hobby chemistry.
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[*] posted on 3-11-2005 at 16:40


I know of only one company friendly to amateurs, but they do not carry chemicals to my knowledge. Feel free to post it or PM it to those interested. (such as me);)



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[*] posted on 4-11-2005 at 07:22


http://www.elementalscientific.net/downloadcat.html

I've been dealing with them for over ten years, even back when they were Hagenow Labs. They are friendly, sell chemicals and glass, and will special order just about anything.

It appears there is no hazmat fee for mercury in their catalogue:)

Never had any problems with them at all. For example: I special ordered a Bennert manometer (lots of delicate glass), and the shipping company destroyed it. It was a $350 piece of equipment, and Elemental replaced it free of charge. If their prices seem high, the quality of their service justifies any seemingly high expense, IMHO.

[Edited on 11/4/2005 by prole]

[Edited on 11/4/2005 by prole]




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[*] posted on 4-11-2005 at 18:32


Heh....turns out I have used them as well.:) I like the ammounts they sell in.

EDIT: One problem with them I had was I got a bomex 100mL beaker, not pyrex which I ordered, but since all the other glass I got was fine I did not really mind.

[Edited on 5-11-2005 by rogue chemist]




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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 5-11-2005 at 06:16


Scrap metal yards keep the mercury which
they accumulate as salvage from various switches and relays and other junk . They tend to save it until they have a substantial amount , because there is probably a hundredweight minimum freight or some similar unit that it is commonly exchanged and price quoted in commerce , like the " international flask " which IIRC is 78 pounds . But you can buy scrap mercury at scrap price just like scrap metals of other sorts , and then you can filter it and wash it with muriatic acid to remove many impurities . To get it absolutely pure would probably require distillation , or chemical purification can be done by conversion to the nitrate , heating to oxide , dissolving in HCl , and back to elemental mercury again by amalgamation of pure electrical conductor grade aluminum in dilure HCl .
After all the aluminum is dissolved , pure mercury is left as the residue .
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[*] posted on 5-11-2005 at 06:41


Quote:
Originally posted by Rosco Bodine
Scrap metal yards keep the mercury which
they accumulate as salvage from various switches and relays and other junk . They tend to save it until they have a substantial amount , because there is probably a hundredweight minimum freight or some similar unit that it is commonly exchanged and price quoted in commerce , like the " international flask "


I once hit a real winner that way. The yard had mil surplus stuff that I could not believe. Powdered metals- Ni, Sn, Al, Cu, in the most unique and fine sizes, all much finer that 325 mesh. I still have that crap. I got so much for so little $ that I almost bought him out. :D Some of it was sub-sieve level and expensive to produce. The way I found it was to find a yard with mil stuff in front and just wander around where they put large caches of batteries, electronics and stuff that needs protection from the elements (no pun intended).




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[*] posted on 5-11-2005 at 12:26


Another source of mercury is the old blood pressure gauges.
mick
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[*] posted on 7-11-2005 at 01:51


Jeez, is mercury watched now, too? I had no idea. I bought mine from a scientific supply house recently for my manometer. Or are you guys just enjoying the thrill of scavenging? I suppose the hazmat fees can sting you, but add other chems to justify the expense. The folks I deal with cater to the hobbyist and have lots of neat things in their catalogue. If you want to know who I deal with I'll gladly either list here in another post if no objections or in a U2U.

If one has nothing to hide, one should not live in fear.


Well I'm not from Gringolanda, or from over the rainbow, I live in the U.S. and here if it is not illegal today it will be tomorrow. I personaly belive that it is important to have alternative sorces, and I would encourage others to continue to post whenever a way is found to procure a chem with no "strings attached". Am I doing anything wrong? NO. However I am somewhat fearful of my Government, (they have not been waging a war on terror, it's a war on personal freedom, yours and mine). The media here has done a great job in educating the population to the fact that the ONLY thing chemistry is good for is making drugs, bombs, and poison gas. I would belive this faster than I would belive that I am free and have nothing to fear living in the U.S.
I hope I haven't offended anyone, and I just feel it needs to be said I love my country, and as long as we have scrapyards and each other we can "pretend" to be free a while longer. Besides scavanging can be fun. ;)




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