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Author: Subject: Foiled by Canadian Tire(in a minor way)
Daffodile
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Foiled by Canadian Tire(in a minor way)

So I live in Vancouver Canada, and recently at Canadian Tire, a hardware store, I found instant cold packs for around $3 CAD each ($0 USD lol). The packages said "Ammonium Nitrate Crystals", so I bought a bunch.
Also bought a similar one for cheaper that was "Calcium Ammonium Nitrate".

At home, I mixed the cold pack contents with some Sulfuric Acid and some water, and set up to distill in a 500 ml RBF.

Not much but some 1M acid distilled over ( I titrated afterwards) but after that, nothing came over no matter how hot I heated it, ~200 ir 300 degrees. The fumes produced smelled faintly like Ammonia.

I tested the distillate by adding a piece of Copper to it and added varying amounts of water. There was no reaction typical of Nitric Acid.

What the hell happened? I have no idea.

<I>Edit by moderator : Changed title on request</I>

[Edited on 5-24-2017 by gdflp]
Daffodile
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Also, huge amounts of gas were produced. I'm curious as to what the CAN and AN actually were.
Sigmatropic
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Ammonium hydrogen sulfate can decompose into ammonia and sulfur dioxide under strong heating, which recombine to give ammonium bisulfite. Im guessing this would decompose again as it hits the distillate but I dont know.

I believe the large ammount of gas being produced is a side reaction in which ammonium is oxidized (by nitrate, nitrite and sulfate???), giving off nitrogen gas. The yield of distilled acid and bisulfate should reflect this.

As I too did this kind of nitric acid synth. i will check the distilled acid for the presence of sulfates/sulfites with a strontium or barium salt in the near future.
Melgar
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Either you didn't use enough sulfuric acid, or more likely, most of the cold packs actually contained urea as opposed to a nitrate salt. You can test this in the future easily enough by thermally decomposing a tiny amount of the stuff and seeing what kind of vapors form. Ammonia vapors, with a hard white residue left behind, means urea, whereas NOx vapors are indicative of a nitrate salt.

This is probably something you should be careful doing, since the explosive urea nitrate is made under similar conditions.
Daffodile
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Yeah so I did the heat test Melgar suggested, and it looks like what I bought was actually Urea. This pisses me off because the package was labelled as Ammonium Nitrate ("If swallowed, contact physician immediately. Product contains Ammonium Nitrate crystals and water.") Not sure what loophole involved, but I don't see how something mislabeled like that can be legal. Particularly, as any potential complaints I would make would invite criticism that I had used the product for illegal activity, as the package I thinks says something like "Do not use product for anything except intended purpose".
j_sum1

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Not good to have misinformation on a safety label. I am not sure what the medical treatment is for a child who accidentally ingested ammonium nitrate or urea. But if it happened I would prefer the doctor to have the correct information.

As an aside, Daffodie, you don't suppose you could express yourself in a more pleasant fashion in your thread title? After all, if it is "in a minor way" it probably does not need the expletive. Perhaps you could request a moderator change it for you.

[Edited on 24-5-2017 by j_sum1]
Daffodile
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Dear Bert,
I'm sorry that I mistakingly used an inappropriate word. Please demonstrate your kindness and generosity by repairing my blunder. If it saves you time, you can also delete the thread. Please don't ban me. You are a generous god.
gdflp
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I'm no Bert, but I liked JJay's suggestion.(I can change it to something else if you want)

Daffodile
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Thanks fam
Melgar
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 Quote: Originally posted by Daffodile Not sure what loophole involved, but I don't see how something mislabeled like that can be legal. Particularly, as any potential complaints I would make would invite criticism that I had used the product for illegal activity, as the package I thinks says something like "Do not use product for anything except intended purpose".

It was probably made by a subcontractor, who made the substitution as a means of cutting corners and increasing profits. Chinese manufacturers are notorious for this, but they're not the only ones.
CaptainPike
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I'm more interested in what the thread title must've been…

Back in high school, before I knew about IED's (maybe they didn't exist yet, it was a while ago)we used to boil down ammonium nitrate and it gave off all kinds of gas – LAUGHING GAS – we collected it, bubbling it through water with a huge, thin, dry cleaners bag – just for giggles.

Daffodile
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 Quote: Originally posted by CaptainPike I'm more interested in what the thread title must've been… Back in high school, before I knew about IED's (maybe they didn't exist yet, it was a while ago)we used to boil down ammonium nitrate and it gave off all kinds of gas – LAUGHING GAS – we collected it, bubbling it through water with a huge, thin, dry cleaners bag – just for giggles.

Lol if you tried that with Urea it would be much less fun.
XeonTheMGPony
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The ones from crappy tire in Sk are Ammonium nitrate, from wally world (Wall Mart) you get the CAN style packs, I react it with ammonia to remove the Calcium as calcium hydroxide, then filter off and concentrate it be for using it to make dilute (68%) Nitric acid.

The CAN ones are cheaper then the purer AN packs, I use those for blasting old concrete at home as a heck of allot faster then a pick axe!!!!

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Miscellaneous » Foiled by Canadian Tire(in a minor way) 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