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wonderboy
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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 10:57
Help getting started


I just recieved some basic glassware (beakers, flasks, etc.), and I need some project ideas for what to do with it. I have dabbled around with chemistry in the past, but now that I have some equipment, I would like to get more serious. I have mostly only otc chemicals, so here is a small list of what chemicals I have:

Copper Sulfate pentahydrate
Potassium Nitrate
Ammonium Nitrate
Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium Hydroxide
Borax
Manganese Dioxide
Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrogen peroxide 3%
Sodium metabisulfite
Sodium bisulfte
Silver Nitrate
Zinc
Dentured alcohol
Acetone
Xylol
Glycerol
Sulfur
Bleach
Household ammonia
Lead metal





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Bert
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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 10:59


You could start by learning to make acids, as you have none.

Sulfuric first.

(Oops, missed the hydrochloric acid).

[Edited on 1-1-2017 by Bert]




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wonderboy
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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 11:03


I have some sulfuric acid drain cleaner. Maybe I could try purifying that.
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Bert
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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 11:22


Maybe tell people what you are INTERESTED in?

And list the tools you have on hand- type & size of glassware, and any other tools like burners, hot plates, stirrers, ring stands, etc.




Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 11:57


@Bert Dude ! Keep calm. It's just another noob asking for pointers as i am repeatedly told.

@wonderboy if you are new to chemistry, you got a lot of chemicals there.

Try making a saturated solution of the copper sulphate and then start throwing table salt in and see what happens.

The venerable blogfast25 told me that one almost 3 years back.

Interesting reaction making tetrachlorocuprate.

Do it again, but add some ammonia instead of the NaCl.

[Edited on 1-1-2017 by aga]




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[*] posted on 1-1-2017 at 12:33


a couple that come to mind;

Copper Sulfate pentahydrate
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxoHB_sTkI8
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M16UXIkSlmA

Borax
... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flubber_(material)

Silver Nitrate
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOkIqxwc5zs&t=210s
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGmxHLHyUPc

Acetone
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvkuqLxQd2c
... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37m_kMK7Po0

and http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=70570




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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wonderboy
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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 15:44


My list of equipment:

One 10 ml Graduated Cylinder
One 250 ml Beaker
One 100 ml Beaker
Two 50 ml Beakers
One 250 ml Erlenmeyer Flask
One 150 ml Erlenmeyer Flask
One 50 ml Erlenmeyer Flasks
Two 50 ml Florence Flask
Nine 15x150 Test Tubes
Three Plastic Vials
One Petri Dish with cover
One Amber Glass Dropper Bottle
Three Glass Stir Rods
Two 75 mm Watch Glass
Two Poly Wash Bottles
One Poly Funnel

-Assorted sizes of polypropylene beakers
-Rubber stoppers for almost everything
-Old repurposed kitchen hot plate that was previously used for pancakes
-scoopula
-measuring spoon
-nickel crucible w/ lid
-beaker and crucible tongs
-Test tube holder
-scale
-Mortar and pestle
-porcelin evaprating dish
-tubing
-huge bag of disposable pipets





For now I'm just trying to synthesize some common reagants, but in the future, I would like to try to extract some chemicals from plants, extract manganese from manganese dioxide I got from batteries, and learn some organic chemistry, which I am currently pretty much clueless about right now.

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aga
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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 16:18


Quote: Originally posted by wonderboy  
For now I'm just trying to synthesize some comon reagants

Maybe start with making some sulphuric acid.

Copper sulphate solution, copper pipe as electrodes and a small battery.

Stay safe, start small, look up the Dangers associated with any chemical reaction before trying it and be prepared for the worst, always.

That means being aware that your activities might affect others too.




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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 16:53


I did not see Goggles on your list of equipment ... please protect your eyes.

I got interrested in chemistry about three years ago,
amongst the bazillions of things that I wanted to try was plant extractions;
I am not expert but I learned pretty quickly, and disappointingly, how complex it can be,
unless it is just for steam distillation / the extraction of essences etc.
... don't go there yet, it is painful.
(mainly, how do you check if the reaction that you expected actually occured ?,
testing/identifying organic stuff is way beyond me)

I hope that you get as much enjoyment from chemistry as I have had, but no pain no gain definitely applies :)

One reason that I pointed you towards the burned toast discussion is that
you actually have a chance, even with more optimism than experience, (like me)
of discovering something previously unknown to mankind... with burned toast !

P.S. the guys were bullying you ... no one expects a complete inventory of another members chemicals and equipment, but it is useful to list, for yourself.
We do show off pictures of our lairs, from very humble to OMG you are so lucky !
and
in theory you should check what laws may apply in your area regarding chemistry,
but do not bother, everything is illegal, you are a criminal, just get on with it, but be careful and considerate.

P.P.S. I FORGOT TO MENTION THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HOBBY CHEMISTRY

... mess up the kitchen and you die ! ... (either you, or your plastic)

c'mon guys, which is more scary, toxic chemicals or an upset partner/parent ... ?


[Edited on 3-1-2017 by Sulaiman]
(didn't take long to choose, did it ?)

[Edited on 3-1-2017 by Sulaiman]

[Edited on 3-1-2017 by Sulaiman]




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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 16:56


Bert has a point though, you have invested some money in equipment and chemicals. Surely, you did you not do that without some kind of goal in mind.

What are you looking to do?
If there is no particular chemical you want, but you just want to learn by doing, great. However, then please indicate which area you find particularly interesting. There is Inorganic and organic chemistry, Biochemistry, Energetics, Modelling (probably not, or you would have listed your Cray), Analytical chemistry, etc, etc.

The tree of possibilities with what you have is enormous. There is no way we can list everything that can be done with what you have. Only when we know what you find generally interesting can we suggest certain experiments that you might enjoy to try.

[Edited on 3-1-2017 by phlogiston]




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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 18:43


wonderboy, I just thought, cleaning up sulfuric acid with 3% hydrogen peroxide may not be a good way to start,
ESPECIALLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE GOGGLES

It is very possible that you will get tiny droplets thrown off when adding mostly water to conc. sulfuric acid ... more so with heat
(droplets have a nasty habit of clinging on to glassware, choosing just the right instant to fall, etc.)


Sorry to be a moaner but I think it's important,
keep sodium bicarbonate solution nearby when using concentrated acids, think through panic procedures,
very few of us will not make potentially serious mistakes.



[Edited on 3-1-2017 by Sulaiman]




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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 19:25


Dont worry, I have goggles and lots of nitrile gloves. I just didn't list them because I didn't think to write it down. I think that tommorow I will try to find an msds for the sulfuric acid drain cleaner, and I will try to purify it.

Thanks everyone for your help so far.
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[*] posted on 2-1-2017 at 20:02


I am going to recommend disassembly of a zinc carbon battery, purification of the gunk and ultimately isolation of as many elements as you can. Nurdrage has some good vids on the gunk purification process. I consider this something of a rite of passage and a great way to learn a lot of different processes. It is not highly dependent on flash glassware (or any other chemistry equipment). It is not dependent on precise measuring or anything analytical. And yet there are a huge number of different things you can do and a surprising number of useful reagents / elements tat can be isolated.

Another suggestion is to delve into some copper chemistry. The pool is deep. You might simply synthesise a range of salts using what you have and maybe some additional household items. If you look up the "copper carnival" competition and scan the entries you will get some great ideas.

At some point you will wasn some nitric acid and sulfuric acid. It is worthwhile planning ahead and reading up on how you might acquire or synthesise these. Then when you have got the needed equipment, take the plunge. Distillation of nitric acid is anther rite of passage IMO.

Extraction of acetylsalycilic acid from aspirin and making oil of wintergreen is another good one to do and sends you in the direction of organic chemistry. MrHomeScientist has a good video on this.

Depending on your location you might also consider getting into some thermite reactions. They are lots of fun. But you will need some powdered Al to get you started.

There are some suggestions. Ultimately it depends on what appeals to you and what you feel comfortable attempting. Most things should be done small scale at first. Judging by the size of your glassware you are in that realm anyway.

A lot can be gleaned from browsing youtube videos. If you look up my channel and see what I am subscribed to you will dind a lot of very instructive YT producers that will give you some really good ideas. shiva chemist is one. MrHomeScientist is another. TheHomeScientist (Robert Bruce Thompson) is also very good and you feel like you are in safe hands if you follow his example.

Hope this helps.




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