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Author: Subject: Steel wool ferrocyanide
Daffodile
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[*] posted on 31-8-2016 at 19:17
Steel wool ferrocyanide


Alright so I made some posts awhile ago about my attempts to make potassium ferrocyanide. I use iron fillings, as everyone else does, as well as charcoal and potassium carbonate. My results gave shit yields, small amounts of ferrocyanide mixed with loads of carbonate. But now, I think I found a nifty trick.

I heated a few spoonfuls of sugar in a metal can over a gas burner, and added a dabble of potassium carbonate, and a bit of urea to make a melty black liquid. I then added some shredded steel bits, and cranked up the heat. Thirty minutes later, a light yellow crust had formed on the steel, while the rest of the liquid seems to have dripped to the bottom of the can and formed a black cake of crud. The crust tested positive for the Cyanide ion, leading me to believe it is ferrocyanide.

Now this gives me an idea. To maximize surface area of iron to liquid to air, what about soaking the melty liquid into steel wool? Seems legit. I thought Id post this here because I havent been around SM and it looks like amateur chemistry in North America is going to shit.
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Texium (zts16)
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[*] posted on 3-9-2016 at 13:26


The cyanide ligands attach to iron ions, not iron metal, so you have to have the iron in solution as a salt. Personally, I've always gotten the most horrible stench ever after dissolving steel wool in sulfuric acid, which was nothing like the occasional sulfur smell you can sometimes get dissolving regular iron in acid. I read somewhere that steel wool is coated somehow to keep it from rusting, but further research didn't say anything about what that was.
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 01:46


Shouldnt steel wool be boiled up in acetone first? Maybe a quick dip in HCL then DI and use immediately.

Most the steel wool i have seems to have something like WD40 on it to stop it rusting.
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 19:06


Generally speaking steel wool will either have no additives or a bunch of soap. In the past I have had to buy the soapy stuff and so I soaked it in hot water, strained and repeated a few times. I then put the wool in the oven as high as it would go to dry it out, which often caused a fair bit of rust to form.
I've never had any problems with steel wool prepared like that so perhaps you could try using the same method to clean it?
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 12:48


What I've done in the past is gotten a bunch of waste galvanized steel, put it in dilute HCl, until the solution started changing color and th bubbling slowed down, indicating that the zic had been eaten through. Usually a carbon coating would start to form. This is the carbon part of the steel, and won't get dissolved by anything except pirannha solution, so it's better to use a low-carbon (softer) steel. If you just cap the flask loosely to allow vapors to escape, there won't be any iron III salts, and if there were, they'd be reduced. As long as the H2SO4 solution is dilute, you'll get a light blue-colored solution and pale blue (II) sulfate heptahydrate crystals. But they're not as easy to look at if they're covered with carbon, so try and use actual iron if you can. I believe those Hot Hands chemical hand warmers are almost entirely reduced iron, with a few inert ingredients that catalyze its oxidation.
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