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Author: Subject: What's the most expensive substance you've bought?
TacosNitrate
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[*] posted on 3-9-2016 at 03:05
What's the most expensive substance you've bought?


I really hate spending too much money on lab stuff, i usually have a montly budget of maximum 50€...

Probably one of the most expensive things i've ever bought for my lab is a group of 5 elements samples, both for collection and chemistry purposes, which are :

5g of uranium (collection)
250g of red phosphorous (collection and chemistry)
15g of rhenium metal (collection)
50g of sodium metal (collection and chemistry)
25g of potassium metal (collection and chemistry)

All, excluded 90 euros of shipping, for a total of about 250 euros....

...well, it was part of my birthday gift xD

Probably some of you may afford to spend waay more, but what is the biggest order you've ever made in chemicals/ other lab stuff?

[Edited on 3-9-2016 by TacosNitrate]
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[*] posted on 3-9-2016 at 06:51


I buy a kilo of sodium at a time to either resell or trade (usa only)

I want potassium, more gallium and more sodium in bulk amounts but I will not pay the slap in the face prices of gallium source. Their markup is discusting. I pay $22 for 100g of gallium they want 70. The only thing they have that I would ever buy is the 454g of Hg for $97 and then but a $5 magnesium roll to get the free shipping.

I think I heard there's a place doing a pound of Hg for 65 though. Science is in the url but I forgot the rest.

And they have never accepted a price match like they claim.

I found a website that sells 2.2lbs of potassium metal in the US FOR $650 to businesses with an EIN which I have. I just don't have the cash to put up and if people will even buy from me. I don't sell much sodium but I'm getting low only 1lb left but it took years to unload 5lbs and all local nobody here






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Ozone
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[*] posted on 3-9-2016 at 07:06


Probably Pediocin A. $252 for 50 micrograms.

Purified peptides are expensive!

O3




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NEMO-Chemistry
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[*] posted on 3-9-2016 at 07:17


Erm, Some mineral acids @ ~£35 a ltr with shipping. Methanol for £25 for 1 ltr with shipping. Only then to discover you can buy ~2011ltr methanol of good purity for £125 from bio disel places.

they also sell certain restricted acids to anyone (SWIM not me), but i think its not a great idea to do this.

I try not to spend too much on chemicals if i can help it, i will be buying a load in one go soon but the problem then becomes what to buy and in what quantity.

Do you buy 1 ltr when for 20% more you can buy 3ltr?

There is 3 of us within reasonable distance of each other, so we are talking about sharing costs, the trouble with that is everyone has a different interest and a different idea what to buy.

One of us likes thing likely to get the others noticed, nothing that bad but here you cant fart loudly without getting into trouble.
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diddi
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 00:41


kg scale distilled rare earths do the trick when it comes to budget blowing



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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 00:50


Metallic 24ct gold, but not for chemistry use, but for jewelry making. Once I got 80 grams of Au metal for a bracelet.
For chemistry use ? 50g of Ga metal.
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 02:50


Quote: Originally posted by diddi  
kg scale distilled rare earths do the trick when it comes to budget blowing

An osmium bowling ball will hit the pocket hard too.

Without running through my inventory too systematically I would say that in dollars per gram my most expensive was probably my iridium sample. My most expensive single chemical was probably a can of sodium -- soon to be eclipsed by an ingot of one of the lanthanides.




If you are interested, take a look at the latest offering from sum_lab:
A primer on metals and non-metals with at least one novel experiment.
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unionised
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 03:21


I never bought anything spectacularly expensive, but I made some things that took a week or two of my time, costed at £100 per hour- so that's about £10000 and the yields were a few tens of mg so that's about ten million pounds a gram or so.
They were standards for calibration of measurements of derivatives single oligomers of commercial isocyanates.
The bulk starting materials cost a pound a kilo or something like that.

Was someone saying something about "markup" earlier?
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 4-9-2016 at 04:36


Custom synthesized peptides with an extra modification, 250 euro per mg.
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 00:04


Where do you get gallium for $22 for 100 grams? Just got 100g of scrap indium for like $30, and really wouldn't mind making some galinstan for additional testing purposes. I made Field's metal from Bismuth, Indium, and Tin, which is liquid below water's boiling point and doesn't contain lead or cadmium. Trying to see if I can use it as a liquid electrode in place of mercury.
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 05:34


Actually I paid the most for a single reagent with 1l of Thionyl chloride (>99,7% reagent grade) for 72 EUR incl. shipping, 65 EUR excl. shipping.

SOCl2 is a rather cheap compound, but I had to buy it for that moon price since the seller announced he will not ship it anymore to private individuals at some point during the year.
Which is the case by now.

The "real" market price is probably arround 15 EUR/l for laboratories, universities etc. with moderate amounts.
A chemistry professor gave a kg price for S2Cl2 (2013) of 15 EUR.
Btw, good for those who speak German, complete Organic Chemistry I and II:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig3ok5KbfTo


[Edited on 5-9-2016 by Schleimsäure]
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 07:25


In order, my largest expenses so far;

17 moles 99.99% Ag
vac pump
B10 distillation kit
Mineral acids
Distilled water
Solvents
Stands and clamps
1 kg Hg


[Edited on 5-9-2016 by Sulaiman]




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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wg48
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 08:57


My most expensive purchase was probably an allotrope of carbon.
It seemed particularly expensive at the time as it was contaminated with impure gold and astronomically expensive in the end, considering how much the divorce cost. LOL

Hard to beat ozone's purchase on a per gram basis.
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 09:10


Quote: Originally posted by wg48  
My most expensive purchase was probably an allotrope of carbon.
It seemed particularly expensive at the time as it was contaminated with impure gold and astronomically expensive in the end, considering how much the divorce cost. LOL

Hard to beat ozone's purchase on a per gram basis.



I dunno he might have paid more physically but you probably win all totted up :D.

Some allotrope's of Carbon should strictly be for grinding wheels etc. I think ones like you brought should be highly restricted considering the potential damage to health and wealth :D.

Probably cheaper in the long run to 'rent' company.
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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 11:40


$230/20g Ir ebay. Turned out to be W powder with no refund as it was too late.
$120 - 4x6x1" Zr aloy plate, bid high, first one was like $60-80 (ebay)
$100/1lb Ta strips
$120/2lb Te ingot

~$100 - 6 dead argon ion laser heads for the Au/In braze between all joints (untouched after reading about beryllia ceramic toxic issues)
$240 distillation set, customized from ebay
$300 fume hood

Time is always the most expensive reagent to be honest though. You cant just buy more (at least yet)




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[*] posted on 5-9-2016 at 13:07


10 grams of Ba in ampoule under argon: EUR 125, for element collection




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[*] posted on 6-9-2016 at 03:13


Eur 35,- for a few mg of InGaN (445 nm diode laser chip), if that counts.

For 'raw' materials Eur 100,- for a piece of platinum sheet
Profesionally, thousands of euro's for mg or even ug quantities of custom-made, stable-isotope labelled peptides, radiolabeled compounds and chiral reagents.
A collegue recently ordered 10 mg of a stable-isotope labelled compound to be used as an internal standard for analytical purposes for Eur 8000,- ...

[Edited on 6-9-2016 by phlogiston]




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[*] posted on 6-9-2016 at 09:27


WG48 -- I have to agree, that was (in terms of loss, both collateral and emotional) much more expensive than my Pediocin. Been there, done that...

O3




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[*] posted on 6-9-2016 at 20:26


500ml aniline. In itself wasn't so expensive but with required poison-pack packaging it drove the price up to something like $130 IIRC. Plus it then had to cross the border so Duty was paid on that with a happy smile on my face, $30 or so. So $160 for a half liter of aniline. Well, now we have aniline.



Note to self: Tare the damned flask.
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woelen
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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 01:28


What I find most interesting in this thread is what people spend on their hobby. Purchases in a professional lab are a different thing. It is not your own money and of course, professional labs can do research on very special things which may cost thousands of euros/dollars per mg.

So, I would suggest adding entries about personal purchases, e.g. as part of your collection, or for experimenting.
- My most expensive purchase as part of my element collection was the 10 grams of Ba-metal in an ampoule under argon for EUR 125.
- My most expensive purchase of a single chemical for experimenting was 100 grams of Tl2O3 for nearly EUR 100.
- Gramwise, my most expensive purchase was HAuCl4, EUR 56 for 2 grams.




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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 04:29


True, that is interesting, but is it not also interesting to learn about what exotic materials are sometimes bought at tremendous cost? I find it fascinating that our society is able/willing to spend seemingly insane amounts of effort and money, often just to gain one little step of knowledge. It is indicative of our curiosity as a species and I am glad we found a way to enable this. It is interesting that we are able to build things like the LHC, not only in a technical sense, but also that we find ways to gather the money for building such a machine, knowing fully well that the chance that it will ever yield a practical applicaiton is infinitely small. Just to satisfy our curiosity.



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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 12:02


The fundamental sciences do yield practical applications, but not in the lifetime of the people working on it. History has seen a cyclic movement:
- new fundamental discoveries are made
- the fundamental discoveries lead to better understanding of all kinds of materials around us
- the better understanding leads to development of practical devices
- next, the new practical devices find their way in homes and factories and allow new fundamental discoveries and the cycle goes on

Example of the last century:
- early 20th century: discovery of principles of quantum physics
- mid 20th century: better understanding of the quantum principles, development of new materials (semiconductors, diodes and transistors)
- end of 20th century: improving the semiconductor devices, making practical devices, coming of integrated circuits, computers, etc.

An earlier cycle was the discovery of electricity and magnetism and the relation between them at the end of the 18th century and the early 19th century, the development of devices, using or generating electricity (galvanic cells, generators, electromotors, arc-lamps, tungsten lamps), at the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century came the practical application of electricity, first in industry, later in households. Around wwII most households in the western world had electricity.

The practical use and availability of electricity made the discovery of quantum mechanical effects possible.


Right now I am inclined to think we are at the end of the cycle on electronics, based on semiconductors. The fantastic electronics we have nowadays allows us to explore and discover new things, such as bio-computing, nano-technology and fundamentally new physics (dark matter, dark energy). I expect that in the next 20 to 30 years we will make a new fundamental discovery, which will have long-term impact, probably not before we are well into the 22nd century.




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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 12:10


I think the gold in my now-ex-wife's wedding ring was probably the costliest metal I've ever bought.



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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 12:58


Mine is by a wide margin my 1 troy ounce bar of rhodium, for my element collection. Based on today's spot price, I've lost quite a bit of money on it. Oh well, at least I didn't buy when it was $10,000 an ounce!
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[*] posted on 7-9-2016 at 13:13


Probably 5g of Pd/C (5%) for $40. But the fume hood was $2000.



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