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Author: Subject: Can you help Identify these chems? May be a nice find!
caffiendo
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shocked.gif posted on 5-12-2006 at 08:24
Can you help Identify these chems? May be a nice find!


My friend's dad passed away and after cleaning out his basement, we came across an old chem set that was coveren in probably 30+ years of dust. After some cleaning and looking through the remaining chems, I have come up with a list of chems that I can determine. I believe that these may have been part of a large "chemistry set purchase" back in the day. I would say that there is a fair amount (100g-1kg of each substance). I have some chem background from some general classes in college, but would like to get some more info. I think some of these sound pretty interesting :) :P I marked the ones that I think I've seen as "special" before, so info on these would help..

Can any of these go bad over time?

-Potassium Nitrate (empty)
-Yellow powder (very fine powder, maybe 600 mesh)
**-Sodium ThioSulfate NaS2O3.5H2O F.W. (larger crystals)
-Sodium Chloride NaCl
-Zinc, Technical Mossy Zn (chunks of metal, melted droppings,15mm thick x 23mm long rod)
-Nickelous Sulfate Crytal, Niso4.6H2O
-Black powder, some larger chunks the size og small gravel. Possibly charcoal
**-Potassium Iodide
-Calcium Chloride (Anhydrous Lump) CaCl2 (this now has a liquid on top of the powder/crystals)
-Boric Acid, Crystals H3BO3 (White powder, some clumping)
-Azurite 2CuCO3Cu(CH)2 (blue/green or carribean blue powder, some small clumps)
**-Oxalic Acid H2C2O4.2H2O (white crystals)
*-Citric Acid, 'Baker' Anhydrous Powder” (White “sugar-like” texture)
-KOH Pellets (Hard white pellets)
-Manganese Dioxide MnO2 (fine black powder)
-Ferrous sulfate
**-Potassium Permaganate

Full container
-Lead Oxide, Fine yellow powder (which looks orange to me) PbO
-Sodium Bicarbonate Powder NaHCO3 (White fine powder)
-Calcium Hydroxide Powder (Ca(OH)2 Fine white chalky pwdr
-Calcium Oxide CaO (Fine White Chalky Pwdr
-Sodium carbonate, Anhydrous Granular NaCO3
-d-Tartaric Acid, HOOC(CHOH)2COOH
-Cupric Sulfate, Large Crystals CuSO4.5H20
-NaOH Pellets (some dark discoloration)
-Zinc Oxide ZnO White power (WP=white powder)
-Zinc carbonate (WP)
-Iron, NF, Filings (1-4mm small pieces, like graphite lead pencil)
**-Manganese Dioxide Powder MnO2, Black dust
-Sodium Bisulfate Crystals, NaHSO4.H20 (white/yellowish powder)
-Ferrous Sulfate (white & translucent aqua/blue/green color crystals)
-Calcium Carbonate Pwdr, CaCO3 WP
**-Potassium Permanganate Crystal, Fw 158.04 KmnO4 (black/purple shinny crystals)
**-Magnesium Sulfate Crystals, MgSO4.7H20 (small white “rod-like” crystals. 1mm*2-3mm)

Thanks for any help!!
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garryb
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[*] posted on 5-12-2006 at 10:10


Congratulations. They sound an interesting set of chemicals. Nothing really exotic or unusual, but one or two of them are not the easiest to get nowadays. Most of them would not really deteriorate over time, but the KOH, NaOH, and CaO may well have absorbed CO2 and become carbonates (try adding a drop of dilute acid and seeing how much they fizz). It is possible that your Anhydrous Calcium Chloride is not completely anhydrous now, if it is sitting in water!
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 5-12-2006 at 12:23


Those chemicals should be OK provided they have been kept in airtight/hermetically sealed containers, away from air and water. Some of them would be best kept in sealed bottles under nitrogen, or better still argon, until used - those that may absorb water vapor (deliquescent/hygroscopic), or react with H2O or CO2 or O2 in the air; these would be the NaCl, CaCl2, NaOH, KOH, KI, CaO, Ca(OH)2, and Fe. Of the others, the KMnO4 may slowly decompose in elevated temperatures.
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caffiendo
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[*] posted on 5-12-2006 at 13:52


Thanks for the replies! don't know what to do with these. They have all been kept in a cold basement 55 degrees or so, and in air tight amber glass jars (well, mostly airtight, the CaCl2 must not have been since it now has liquid on top).

I have no idea what to do with these. Are they safe to dispose of or are there certain precautions that must be taken?
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Blind Angel
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[*] posted on 5-12-2006 at 16:06


Yup, special precaution: put them in a box and send them to me :D



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Elawr
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[*] posted on 5-12-2006 at 18:13


Do you live near Alabama? I am a licensed physician very familiar with the assessment and disposition of ancient pharmaceuticals and other potentially deteriorated substances. After all, I'm getting kind of ancient and deteriorated myself! From your list I'd say you've aquired an amazing array of chemicals from the old school.

I'm sure I would have liked your friend's dad.

My advice is to bring all these chemicals to me immediately! I would be delighted to thoroughly analyze your prize to be sure you have nothing potentially fulminant or incriminating on your hands. And for only a modest fee!:D

[Edited on 6-12-2006 by Elawr]




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caffiendo
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[*] posted on 6-12-2006 at 01:08


Ok, from what I gather I may have stumbled upon some items that are no longer available, due to various gov agencies heroic efforts to protect ourselves from ourselves, LOL, or maybe that's just communism creeping up on us.?.

After Wiki'ing for a lil, the only thing I found possibly "of interest" is the KMnO4 or did I miss something else? isn't everything else readily available? even the KMnO4 is available for water treatment isn't it?
Maybe some of you kind folks could fill me in a little or point me in a direction to where I could use these fine chemicals to their full potential in research! Obviously I don't want to do anything illegal, but it would be interesting to know what "could" be done with it!

PS_ I'm not instested in burning anything or blowing up anything. I learned the hard way trying to make a smoke bomb in 8th grade with sugar and saltpeter (I think it was saltpeter..) What a mess that was. I learned a lesson on EVEN heating and the bottom of the mixture gets hotter b4 the top, lol. kids, geesh!
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[*] posted on 6-12-2006 at 02:06


If you want to experiment with these chems, then first try to obtain some general knowledge about the chemical compounds involved. Grab a good book on elementary inorganic chemistry. Most of the properties of the compounds you have, you will be able to understand if you read such a book. The compounds you have allow for a nice set of redox reaction, coordination reactions and formations of all kinds of precipitates. The risk involved is not that high, as long as you stick to water as a solvent. Of all kinds of home-chemistry, inorganic chemistry in aqueous solution is one of the most benign.



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prole
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[*] posted on 6-12-2006 at 11:43


Interesting thread. What will your kid's friends find in the basement when you buy the farm? Hopefully not 30 years of dust!



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Waffles
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[*] posted on 6-12-2006 at 12:24


Quote:
Originally posted by caffiendo
After Wiki'ing for a lil, the only thing I found possibly "of interest" is the KMnO4 or did I miss something else? isn't everything else readily available? even the KMnO4 is available for water treatment isn't it?
Maybe some of you kind folks could fill me in a little or point me in a direction to where I could use these fine chemicals to their full potential in research! Obviously I don't want to do anything illegal, but it would be interesting to know what "could" be done with it!


Those are all very benign, easily obtainable, and harmless (if you don't eat tens of grams of each) chemicals. KMnO4 is available all over the place, even eBay.
As woelen said, you can do a bunch of very basic oxidation/reduction and acid/base reactions. I think your find is much more valuable in terms of its nostalgia and vintage value than actual chemical content.




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