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Author: Subject: Hardware store chemicals - questions
grndpndr
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 Quote: Originally posted by Quince Automotive electrolytic battery.

Ive found used battery electrolyte more useful than any of the reccomended brands of drain cleaner.Bit more work,questions,but the result is water clear concentrated H2SO4 likely some lead contamination.Fresh Battery electrolyte
<$15 6x950 ml/$30 2.5gallons IIRC? 1.265 SG. Around 2L+ 98% per 6qts my ciphering?Concentrated Electrolyte Far cheaper than even a local PU of tech grade H2SO4 93% sans shipping unless I wanted to buy 5gallons.I considered the same reselling as the other poster but decided against the additional hassle possibly w/LEO,sales tax,license etc.Im on thier shipping route so no hazmat/or shipping charges period.Chem+Jan.supply very handy as would be the 'lowly' school janitor and his unquestioned access to useful chemicals.
batt.electrolyte needs to be pretty clean of contaminants or the battery will be("poisoned") short lived ,lead contaminats of course being the exception in used elecrolyte,being no problem given its usual intended use.And most auto shops are eager to rid themselves of dead batt.Rather than pay a premium to have them picked up,only problem being the new
sealed batterys however simply drillin a hole in the individual cells will give access to the electrolyte.
I could be way of base here but the information I run into is the waste acid from steel mills,H2SO4 used to remove the scale from rolled steel plate etc is reused in drain cleaners.
Any drain cleaner i had left would be used for Nitric acid production/cleaning my clogged drain, which was $9 L! for Liq Lightning/worse,Black Rooto.FWIW [Edited on 9-11-2009 by grndpndr] hissingnoise International Hazard Posts: 3919 Registered: 26-12-2002 Member Is Offline Mood: Pulverulescent! I've found the red shit and the clear acid on the same shelf in hardware---if there are two brands I open the top and have a peek under a light (and sometimes the containers are translucent); if anyone asks, I just say (something like) I wondered why the bottle was so friggin' heavy and had to have a quick look. . . grndpndr International Hazard Posts: 508 Registered: 9-7-2006 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Good Idea,always have a preplanned (not rehearsed) reply to any questions your likely to encounter.The cleanest Ive encountered (visually)is the Liq lightning,Rooto,IME sometimes varies between midnight black and a light wt clean motor oil coloring like the lot # Liq lightning Ive found.But even the electrolyte can be difficult to get unless your known or you find the right counter person.An individual can order the 5gall -15 gall lots of 93% SA locally but A well though out reason for its need best be ready and the 15gall obviously excessive.The recent use of 98% H2SO4 for use in recycling used veg oil to diesel fuel etc .99% NaNO3 is also available for the same use as is 100% lye etc.Tighter control of SA's inevitable. IMHO [Edited on 9-11-2009 by grndpndr] hissingnoise International Hazard Posts: 3919 Registered: 26-12-2002 Member Is Offline Mood: Pulverulescent! I've never seen black stuff this side of the pond; the darkest was a bit darker than Rosé! At 9 Euro for half a litre, it's not cheap. . . [Edited on 9-11-2009 by hissingnoise] grndpndr International Hazard Posts: 508 Registered: 9-7-2006 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Rose Odonnel?Oh you mean wine!The only wine Im familiar with would be Ripple,MD20/20/Cabernet Suavignon.Closer to a MD20/20 w/o the purplish hue.So maybe a bit of exageration but very dark in fact I had no changes in coloration at all during the lab even during sulfonation. Seriously,same store,only brand they carry, I was in fact very suprised myself. At$9 euro a half liter its not cheap". To what do you refer?

[Edited on 9-11-2009 by grndpndr]
hissingnoise
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Both grndpndr, but the acid is never more than 9 Euro---not yet anyway!
Rosie O'Donnell---now she is dark, and more than a match for Larry David!

[Edited on 9-11-2009 by hissingnoise]
hissingnoise
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I wonder why those posts deserved such summary deletion?
Seems a bit over-cautious. . .
Polverone
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The whole series of responses was based around a now-deleted spammer's post. They cluttered the thread and didn't even make sense after the spam-post was removed.

PGP Key and corresponding e-mail address
entropy51
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You should look around some more!
 Quote: Originally posted by entropy51 I have had good luck buying Rooto in the past; it was never very discolored and has worked well for my purposes. I just bought a new bottle and have made two surprising observations. The first is that this bottle is very nearly colorless. It has only the very slightest brownish tint, almost identical to reagent grade sulfuric. The more surprising thing is that when a 1 mL sample was diluted 1:100 and an aliquot titrated with 0.095 N NaOH, it appears that the Rooto is about 97% H2SO4. Since this seemed rather high (titrations of previous bottles were about 93%), I made a 1:100 dilution of reagent grade acid and titrated with the same NaOH, obtaining a very similar result as the Rooto titration.
grndpndr
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Thanks for the sage advice.When i need better/cheaper than
'the concentrated elecrolyte Ill run right out 200 miles round trip to pay more for a product of an unknown quality/content.Or order tech grade 93% H2SO4 $19.95 gallon add shipping/hazmat and pay$70+ gallon.The Liq. light. Ive seen lately does have a light motor oil color and viscosity and may work fine for most uses.The Rooto I no longer buy due to the experience I had with the product being very dark for whatever reason which may only have occurred with that lot#.Eectrolyte I know is made to standards w/o contaminants that would "poison a battery" and is cheaper.I need look no further than a friendly auto supply store, thanks.

Its a personal preference based on the fact Im aware of whats in a battery electrolyte and its cheaper after concentrating to 93% than drain cleaner which I havent a clue where it came from and what it was used for prior to bottling as well as what additives are used to protect the pipes?That should be an acceptable personal decision with valid reasoning.NO?Besides the fact its much easier to observe labs w.water clear H2SO4 and anything that might or might not be occuring than with a darker substitute.Im glad your happy with your choice.I am happy with mine,my wallets a bit healthier and it serves its purpose quite well

[Edited on 10-11-2009 by grndpndr]
entropy51
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 Quote: I havent a clue where it came from and what it was used for prior to bottling as well as what additives are used to protect the pipes?
According to the Rooto company, it's drain opener contains no additives, but not true of many other brands. Apparently some lots were not used for anything prior to bottling. But to each his own.
grndpndr
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I have bought rooto before and it was perfectly satisfactory.
For all I know the current lot on the shelves is exactly as you describe.As I said the Liq.Light. seems to be a perfectly fine product OT the moderate discoloration and of course the price.It may be cheaper in your area but it is \$9 L out here and 85 miles RT
but then again theres 3 hardware stores within 42 miles one way. After the single experience with what I still believe to be Rooto has made me gunshy.

Anyone have this experience of 'clarifying' H2SO4 of the discoloration with H202 only to have the discoloration return
after reheating the H2S04 to Rid the SA of any accumulated water?The acid became near crystal clear after a small addition of H202 but returned to its orginal if not a darker color opon reheating? Im afraid I keep horrid notes of my labs so thats no help as far as the exact order/temp involved.

I agree Entropy if it works for you great I have no bone to pick w/anyone,as you say to each his own. Respectfully,grndpndr

[Edited on 11-11-2009 by grndpndr]
entropy51
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Thanks, grndpndr! I think it's good for people to put their different experiences out there for people to consider. Proximity of the supplier is definitely a consideration. I'm sure I'll get burned on Rooto eventually, as you once said buying it is a crap shoot.
Formatik
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 Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr Anyone have this experience of 'clarifying' H2SO4 of the discoloration with H202 only to have the discoloration return after reheating the H2S04 to Rid the SA of any accumulated water?The acid became near crystal clear after a small addition of H202 but returned to its orginal if not a darker color opon reheating?

That might be a ferric sulfate contaminant.
bbartlog
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 Quote: Anyone have this experience of 'clarifying' H2SO4 of the discoloration with H202 only to have the discoloration return after reheating the H2S04 to Rid the SA of any accumulated water?The acid became near crystal clear after a small addition of H202 but returned to its orginal if not a darker color opon reheating?

Had this happen with my homemade H2SO4. I think it's likely some organic compound that's quite resistant to oxidation. Ferric sulfate seems like it should usually be reddish, but for all I know that changes once the pH drops to zero.
hissingnoise
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Oxidisable contaminents are oxidised fairly quickly by hot concentrated H2SO4 so H2O2 treatment isn't neccessary. . .

 Quote: Originally posted by bbartlog Had this happen with my homemade H2SO4.

Formatik
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Common impurites of sulfuric acid known to older chemists and depending on the process used, include: HNO2, HNO3, hyponitric acid, sulfurous acid, arsenous-, arsenic acids (this from arsenic-containing sulfur or ores), lead sulfate from lead chamber or lead pans, small amounts of iron oxide, copper oxide, calcium, or alkali partially from the water. Selenium from selenium-containing sulfur and ores. Hydrochloric acid from KCl. Antimony oxide, thallium oxide, mercury oxide (from sulfur or sulfur ores). In addition we know the brownish discoloration imparted on sulfuric acid by organic bodies. The charr and suspension of carbon. But also the brown and black humic compounds e.g. humic acid and humin formed when sugar is boiled with sulfuric acid. Unless a deliberate impurity is added to the drain cleaner like a dye or foam agent, I doubt the kinds of impurities encountered are going to have changed much since then. But suspect a better modern management of impurities like arsenic.

Simple distillation of impure sulfuric acid which isn't done too long leaves behind non-volatiles like Pb, Fe, Ca, K salts, etc. That could at least rule those inorganics out. Iron contamination from iron oxide comes from fuming sulfuric acid process. To see if copper or iron are present, precipitation with H2S or ammonium sulfide would show if they are. According to Justus Liebig, lead can be separated nearly entierly by diluting with water and allowing to settle.

To test for lead one test was (described in Handwörterbuch der reinen und angewandten Chemie by Liebig), to conc. sulfuric acid: 1 to 2 drops hydrochloric acid was added. In the presence of lead - at the point of contact - there is immediately white cloudiness and on shaking a white turbidity results which disappears on further addition of hydrochloric acid. The most sure and accurate way to do this is said to be done by using sulfuric acid which has at the most 1 volume percent strong hydrochloric acid added.

[Edited on 11-11-2009 by Formatik]
bbartlog
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 Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise Homemade bbartlog---pray tell?

Nothing practical, I'm afraid. I electrolyzed an MgSO4 solution with a terra cotta (flowerpot) membrane placed in an HDPE bucket. Stainless steel cathode in the flowerpot, lead anode outside the flowerpot in the bucket. Ran it for several days using a battery charger (6V). Accumulated Mg(OH)2 inside the flowerpot and on the cathode was removed daily. Then I boiled down the acid portion until I had a rather concentrated solution, and added ethanol[1], causing the remaining MgSO4 and water to separate from (most of) the H2SO4 and alcohol. Then I distilled the H2SO4/alcohol, adding dilute H2O2 a couple of times (both to oxidize organics and to provide water, which allows more alcohol to be driven off before the H2SO4 gets so concentrated that it starts turning the ethanol into other things).
Net result was about 120g of fairly concentrated H2SO4 (though I have yet to titrate it). Impure though; dark even after adding H2O2 and reconcentrating. And not worth the effort if you have access to any commercial source. I actually have both a 1 gallon and a 1 liter container of Rooto H2SO4; this was just done as an exercise.

[1] I also used IPA on one occasion. Though this does separate, I find that it ends up making a weird slushy mixture with the MGSO4/water portion if there is a lot of MGSO4, and this is harder to separate than the analogous (EtOH+H2SO4)-(MGSO4+H2O) mixture. The ethanol doesn't seem to 'stick' to the MGSO4 crystals as much, for example you can filter it off of them without vacuum. I also think the IPA is more likely than the ethanol to be responsible for any remaining organic gunk.
grndpndr
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Wouldnt ferric sulfate be assosciated with the use of H2SO4
to remove scale from rolled steel/iron plate.One of the uses I had heard the H2SO4 was used for pior to it being used as an acceptable waste acid in drain cleaner?Ergo the darker color upon heating

The H2O2 was added to cold H2SO4 and slowly heated the following day,not added to hot SA.The acid cleared but returned to the original color upon boiling to remove any introduced water.

Formatik,you mentioned diluted SA contaminated with lead
would precipitate out according to a source I cant recall.
To take this further then would lead sulfate also precipitate out of used lead /acid electrolyte which could be removed by careful decanting?Using this method Ive had very good results concenrating the electrolyte to a water clear concentrate but metals content particularly lead is a concern.
although I suspect other metal contamination in electrolyte is low
the concern being possible 'poisoning' of the battery.

[Edited on 11-11-2009 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 11-11-2009 by grndpndr]
Formatik
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 Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr Formatik,you mentioned diluted SA contaminated with lead would precipitate out according to a source I cant recall. To take this further then would lead sulfate also precipitate out of used lead /acid electrolyte which could be removed by careful decanting?Using this method Ive had very good results concenrating the electrolyte to a water clear concentrate but metals content particularly lead is a concern. although I suspect other metal contamination in electrolyte is low the concern being possible 'poisoning' of the battery.

Sorry, I didn't see your question until now, grndpndr. With lead contaminated acid, expect sol. PbSO4 content even as high as 1.1%, esp. when conc. Although H2SO4 concentration increases solubility of PbSO4 a lot, traces of the acid have been found to actually decrease solubility in several experiments done by Sehnal (Compt. rend. 1909, 148, 1395), so a 0.049% H2SO4 solution only solubilized 0.0006g PbSO4 per 100cc solution equivalent. If it's true, then it is close to as good as ACS grade. ACS grade sulfuric acid has 0.0001% heavy metals (Pb). Decantation or siphoning should work if settled sediment from around the bottom of the liquid does not come over. But there also is always distillation. Distill it enough and you have trace metal grade.
Picric-A
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Try bubbling a bit of H2S through the PbSO4/H2SO4, then chill to Ppt PbS.
Filter though glass and you have much purer acid.
Formatik
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Conc. H2SO4 would probably solubilize PbS forming PbSO4, in that case I'd suggest dilute acid also. But generating H2S can have its own issues. I would rather chose to separate as mentioned in the post above.
grndpndr
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Belated thanks for the responses.The dacantation worked well but as to lead content I did no testing at the time but the result was a water clear H2SO4 from OLD battery acid w/o filtering,high temp distillation.That it was clear is no indication of contaminants or lack there off I only know the acid was perfectly satisfactory for my uses and was free though somewhat laborious but did I mention free and successful synthesis.

OT but did anyone happen to see a show concerned with a barge salvage operation. Im sure this was following Katrina?
The cargo was H2SO4 filling a 4000 ton river barge No specifics as to the H2SO4 concentration etc.Destined to become Rooto/LL maybe

[Edited on 18-12-2009 by grndpndr]
entropy51
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 Quote: Destined to become Rooto/LL maybe
More likely to a Gulf coast oil refinery. I believe they still use H2SO4 by the bargeload.
grndpndr
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Im afraid had I been on the job they never would have missed a few 5gallon HDPE containers.Lightn the load dont ya know.Helpin out!

Maybe akin in some way to its use in biodiesel!??
Anyway I could likely have put it to good use!

[Edited on 18-4-2010 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 19-4-2010 by grndpndr]
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition » Hardware store chemicals - questions Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum