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Author: Subject: Drunken Aga Challenge #1 - Finished
aga
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 11:41


Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
Be aware that people can suggest a challenge that they have an (perhaps unfair) advantage in, or even something that they already accomplished.

Doesn't mean their already accomplished method will be the Best method, or be voted for above other methods.

Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
solutions/good writeups for practical problems many members have been struggling with in the past

Such as ....




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DrMario
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 12:32


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
If the Target product can be bought, that really does not matter.

The next challenge will require a write-up of how the product was made, in precise and photographic detail.

Simply posting a screenshot of the ebay listing, then an opened box won't win the prize money !


Believe me, part of me could see this coming. And yet, another part of me thought/hoped that the challenges of the type "Synthesize compound X" would have X be a substance either hard to come by, or prohibitively expensive - e.g. Luminol.


(Yes, I know there's a well known method for synthesizing Luminol; this was just an example of an expensive compound.)
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aga
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 12:45


So a Luminol synthesis is a suggested Challenge.

Nice one. The photos would look great too.

Edit :

Any synthesis that has interesting chemistry attached will be good, whether the resulting product(s) are useful or not.

[Edited on 12-11-2014 by aga]




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 12:58


Quote: Originally posted by plante1999  
I have an idea. Turning proteins into usable ammonia. Not only is it a reasonable goal, but many ways to acheive it. One would have to find a protein source, hair, horn etc, and find the process.

The purer and more concentrated ammonia, the better.

Are you taking the piss?
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 13:00


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by plante1999  
I have an idea. Turning proteins into usable ammonia. Not only is it a reasonable goal, but many ways to acheive it. One would have to find a protein source, hair, horn etc, and find the process.

The purer and more concentrated ammonia, the better.

Are you taking the piss?


Hahah, good one!
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aga
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 13:23


Removing Urine from alcohol :

Step 1. Find a suitable reaction vessel.



barney.png - 43kB




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 13:51


Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
Be aware that people can suggest a challenge that they have an (perhaps unfair) advantage in, or even something that they already accomplished.


Also, consider to use the opportunity to buy solutions/good writeups for practical problems many members have been struggling with in the past but that are not necessarily the most difficult (rather than very difficult but 'academic' problems that are a of particular interest to only very few or even just one person).


Avoiding cheating will never be 100 % possible but detecting cheating is not that hard, in most cases.




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 14:01


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Are you taking the piss?


What makes you think that he is?

Recovering ammonia from glycine (recovered from hair e.g.) could be interesting and certainly not easy to do without enzymatic activity to 'snip off' that amine function as NH3.




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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 14:25


You should add a competitions page to the sciencemadness wiki, I think that'd be cool, to have a central place for competitions.



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aga
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 14:45


Personally i don't understand the Rador thing.

It appears (to me) to be a schism in the SM thing, driven by Age differences, which is totally understandable.

For me, SM is the dog's bollocks, so the DAC will stay here for now (if permitted).

Edit:

I'm amazed i was allowed out of Beginnings without being mugged !

[Edited on 12-11-2014 by aga]




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 14:50


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Are you taking the piss?


What makes you think that he is?

Recovering ammonia from glycine (recovered from hair e.g.) could be interesting and certainly not easy to do without enzymatic activity to 'snip off' that amine function as NH3.


Looks like someone missed the joke entirely...
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 14:55


It's actually supposed to be a collaborative outreach project to put together videos and make chemistry "cool" for outsiders. I'm happy to organize competitions and things - I don't have a lab thus I have no unfair advantage, as I can't participate. It's not a schism as we're still going to be doing stuff on the forums anyway and have no plans to separate - in fact, we hope to draw more people to the forum and keep them interested.

I also do outreach at university, I just want to bring it to SM.

aga, stick to running small challenges, just like the one you just posted, and we at Rador can handle the big ones. Again, there will be a Rador Labs challenge by November 15, and it lasts for a month.

[Edited on 12.11.2014 by Brain&Force]




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 15:14


Thanks for the clarification.

At the very least there should be no further challenge here before the 16th then.
(I'll drink a bit less to try to make that so)

Big and Little demarcation ?

I feel sure that the SM community can handle Difficult as well as Easy.

Edit:

It just occurred to me: appologies if my random post has stolen some thunder from a plan i was unaware of.


[Edited on 12-11-2014 by aga]




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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 16:40


Our challenge is going to last about a month. But you can run whatever smaller challenges you want throughout that time.

Actually, I may cut it to 15 days...




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 16:47


Perhaps some collaboration would be in order to prevent any difficulties.
Best move to U2U, so as not to reveal anything pre-facto.




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 19:37


Loved this post.. I don't have time to hit the lab when I want to or I would love to participate!
Maybe I'll have time since there is no winner yet!




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 19:48


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
Our challenge is going to last about a month. But you can run whatever smaller challenges you want throughout that time.

Actually, I may cut it to 15 days...
YOU may cut it to 15 days?
Now now, you're not the only one who gets to decide that. :P

Also, I see no problem with aga's challenges. Nobody has any real authority here over who can and can't organize little events like these, and it doesn't seem like it will effect our thing in any negative way.

[Edited on 11-13-2014 by zts16]




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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 20:32


Quote:
1. Concept/process must be accompanied by stoichiometric chemical formulae.


I submit that this requirement was never met.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 20:48


I submit that
Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
HCl
technically counts.
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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 05:57


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
So a Luminol synthesis is a suggested Challenge.



He didn't mean it that way. There are probably numerous 'How To' and Utoobs on Luminol. Not really a challenge if ready to use instructables are readily available.




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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 10:40


One of the ideas I had was fastest synthesis of a random compound - first one to synthesize a compound (kept secret until the start of the challenge) wins.



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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 10:43


@Brandon: photos of the synthesis with some sort of physical verification(like the date on paper)? That could work.





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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 11:12


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by aga  
So a Luminol synthesis is a suggested Challenge.



He didn't mean it that way. There are probably numerous 'How To' and Utoobs on Luminol. Not really a challenge if ready to use instructables are readily available.


Indeed. It was just an example of a compound that, while buyable, is extremely expensive. But I know of at least two processes for synthesis of Luminol.
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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 12:27


I second the idea of limiting the competition to substances that are either expensive or hard to get, and either useful to a variety of people or chemical reactions. "Hard to get" doesn't necessarily mean "unavailable on eBay". It could also mean "not available locally over-the-counter".

The previous competition to purify HCl was a good idea. Not everyone can buy reagent grade HCl, and purifying the OTC stuff is a useful skill to have. The idea potentially could have generated more interesting responses than it did, which is why I suggested some extra structure to the competition next time.

The topic of acids is an interesting one. Nitric acid is a very useful substance that is only going to become more difficult and expensive for people to obtain in the future. Nitrate salts are in the same category of increasing unavailability and expense. This is a shame, because nitric acid is a generically useful chemical that has many important uses in a lab.

As one possible idea, I would propose a competition to make nitric acid from non-nitrate salts. If ammonia oxidation is performed, then less than 1g of platinum is allowed (about $50 on eBay). A better design would incorporate a non-precious metal catalyst, if it gives useful lab-scale results. A Birkeland Eyde process could be used. Starting materials other than air and ammonia can be used, as long as they are not nitrate salts, and are cheaply and readily available.

Entries could be judged according to ($) input vs. nitric acid output for various quantities. A Birkeland Eyde process uses air as a starting material, but the process is inefficient. Electricity cost becomes significant. Ammonia oxidation requires more expensive starting materials, but is more efficient. Industrially, it is a cheaper process. One drawback is that it normally uses expensive catalysts. Also, safety is an important consideration. A design that has high voltages tucked away from inquisitive fingers, or designs that minimize the risk from fuel-air explosions, would take priority. A winning project needs to be documented well enough for someone else to duplicate it, using components that other people can order.

I've thought of doing the Birkeland Eyde process myself, and I do have a personal advantage on the electronics side of the equation. I haven't gotten around to doing this, though. I'm not proposing that a reward be offered, other than the ego trip from knowing that one's design is better than everyone else's. The real reward would be to the forum, which would benefit from the knowledge that would be shared.
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[*] posted on 13-11-2014 at 13:03


I like that one. Cheers.
Alternate non-bases-of-nitric-acid methods for making HNO3 would be very useful, and hopefully challenging !




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