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MycoTricho
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[*] posted on 14-11-2020 at 21:42
New to chemistry


Hi Science Madness,

I have recently developed an interest in chemistry, so I started reading, watching YouTube videos, and collecting supplies. I think the forum was mentioned in a NileRed video, so here I am. I just so happened to have been registering for school this month, so I decided to take a chemistry course as well this winter. I have literally no experience, but I am extremely interested.

I just wanted to introduce myself; and ask, with the supplies I have listed below, what experiments would you recommend to someone in my position?

My main interests at the moment would probably land in the category of extraction techniques. Not necessarily drug related extractions, just anything that will give me a better understanding.

I don't have any chemicals, but I can order some. Or maybe I could do something with household items? I bought a kindle version of Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson, and am preparing for some of those, but I wanted to know what you all could recommend, while introducing myself.

  1. Erlenmeyer Flask 250 ml
  2. Beaker 250 ml
  3. Graduated Cylinder 100 ml
  4. Media Bottle 500 ml
  5. Funnel
  6. Hot Plate Magnetic Stirrer
  7. #6 Solid Rubber Stoppers
  8. Stirring Rod
  9. Analog Thermometer


[Edited on 11/15/2020 by MycoTricho]
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MidLifeChemist
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[*] posted on 14-11-2020 at 22:10


Welcome to the forum. The RBT book is a great place to start.

If you make a trip to the hardware store / general store and pick up the following:

Steel wool, Lye, Muriatic Acid, Copper Sulfate (Root Killer), Ammonia, Epsom Salts, Baking Soda, Sulfuric Acid, Vinegar, Krystal Cat Litter (silica gel), Hydrogen Peroxide, Table Salt, Sugar, Borax, TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate), Bleach, Lead shot, Zinc Anodes, Acetone and Aluminum Foil -

then there are dozens and dozens of experiments you can start off with.

[Edited on 11/15/2020 by MidLifeChemist]
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EthidiumBromide
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 01:10


If you also want to dabble into areas of chemistry, I can recommend trying to extract some DNA from various fruits and vegetables. It's easy enough for a beginner and quite rewarding for how little equipment and chemicals are needed. Requires only 99% isopropyl alcohol, dishwashing soap (detergent) and table salt (sodium chloride). All you would really need to purchase or order is 99% isopropyl alcohol (70% rubbing alcohol won't work for this), the rest you should already have at home.

The procedure is described literally everywhere on the internet, including this forum.
Generally speaking, you need to pre-chill some 99% isopropyl alcohol in your fridge (just cover it with some plastic wrap or aluminium foil to halt evaporation).
Reduce whatever fruit/veg you have to a pulp, transfer it to a plastic bag, add a squirt of dishsoap and bit of salt. Mix it thoroughly for a few minutes, then strain the pulp through a coffee filter into a container. Then carefully pour some of the chilled alcohol, avoiding mixing of the two layers (helps to tilt the container with the pulp filtrate a bit).
You will then see a whitish precipitate forming between the two layers, this is your DNA. Using a pair of tweezers, you can try to pull out and collect this precipitate. If you want, you can try to store it, otherwise throw it out.

Strawberries work the best for this (due to their high DNA content, caused by a phenomenon called polyploidy - strawberries have their entire DNA in 8 copies - octaploids, where as most organisms have only 2 copies - diploids). But I've extracted DNA with success from apples, bananas, onions, potatoes. You can try pureeing different kinds and seeing how much DNA you can extract from each.
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 02:20


What is it about chemistry you like? You could try picnic acid from asprin, separate they various components of any numbers of batteries or pick some colourful metal compounds to work with. Do what you are interested in and you will always be motivated to do more chemistry.
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 03:47


Welcome.
What a great position to be in. Most of us have been there: full of curiosity, without much equipment or chems and looking for projects.

Let me suggest that you find chemplayer on bitchute: What they accomplished with minimal equipment (often a beaker and a hotplate) is amazing.

You will want to add to your equipment in short order. Distillation equipment, hotplate stirrer, filtering equipment will be the main outlays early on.

I personally learned a lot from attempting thermite reactions and also a ptoject to isolate useful chemicals from batteties. Resourseful use of otc items remains a passion.

If you are reading and watching videos you will quickly build up a list of projects: faster than you can do them. Nurdrage is another must yt channel.

J.
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Boffis
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 04:26


May I recommend that you buy yourself a water-jet type vacuum pump, a Buchner flask and a couple of different sized Buchner funnels. I use mine more than any other piece of equipment. They are easily available off ebay. They come in two type; the sintered glass type or the white perforated ceramiuc type that require separate filter papers. I prefer the ceramic type for various reason but from a beginners perspective they are cheaper on ebay. I bought a box full of diferent sized Buchner funnels off ebay many years ago and never looked back!
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 08:11


You can also have a look at glassware on Aliexpress, Deschem is a good one for example.
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 08:33


If you want to start playing with chemistry, buy yourself sulfuric acid and NaOH, these two are basic chemicals and will be useful in almost every reaction.

[Edited on 15-11-2020 by mackolol]
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MycoTricho
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 11:42


Oh man. Sorry everyone, I wasn't expecting this much of a response. It's Sunday, so that means prepping for the week. I'll read through and respond soon. Thank you all for answering my questions. Most specialty forums like this aren't so welcoming of new comers.
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 17:07


Following the RB Thompson book will be a great beginning, without trying to get into more exotic things. It is very useful to develop your laboratory skills ; a good way to this, besides the RBT book, is to acquire an older laboratory manual for a high school or college introductory chemistry course. For the next step, I would recommend working through the "type reactions" for the cations and anions as described in an older qualitative inorganic chemistry course. I keep saying "older" because so much chemistry today, even at the introductory levels, involves electronic instrumentation which, although much of it can be acquired used, is not all that easily self-taught, both operation and interpretation of results. Best of luck!

[Edited on 11-16-2020 by CharlieA]
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 18:39


i got "hooked" with nothing more than vinegar, root killer (copper sulfate), several odd pieces of metal, and some batteries.

Electroplating and synthesis of copper acetate electrolytically. Extremely beautiful compound, not difficult or particularly toxic.

Saturated solution of CuSO4 with a piece of copper wire attached to the positive lead of an old five volt cell charger, and a clean us quarter connected to the negative. Will plate BEFORE you're eyes. amazing.

copper wire attached to both negative and positive leads and immersed in vinegar will slowly form CuAcetate in solution. dry it out--beautiful color crystals.

And this is a very friendly forum, not /r/chemistry LMFAO


[Edited on 11-16-2020 by arkoma]




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MycoTricho
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 20:47


Quote: Originally posted by EthidiumBromide  
If you also want to dabble into areas of chemistry, I can recommend trying to extract some DNA from various fruits and vegetables. It's easy enough for a beginner and quite rewarding for how little equipment and chemicals are needed. Requires only 99% isopropyl alcohol, dishwashing soap (detergent) and table salt (sodium chloride). All you would really need to purchase or order is 99% isopropyl alcohol (70% rubbing alcohol won't work for this), the rest you should already have at home.


This is really cool. I had no idea you could do this. What can I do with the DNA after it's been extracted?
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MycoTricho
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[*] posted on 15-11-2020 at 21:00


Alright, just finished reading through all of your comments. Thank you all for the tips. I am excited to get off and running. I'm waiting on a few more supplies to come in the mail, and then I am going to dive into the RBT book.

I have a feeling I'll be lurking for a while, but I will be around. I don't have much to contribute at this point, but hopefully I'll be joining in the conversation soon enough.

[Edited on 11/16/2020 by MycoTricho]
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woelen
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[*] posted on 16-11-2020 at 00:26


I wrote a web page about starting a small home lab: https://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/misc/homelab.htm...



The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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[*] posted on 16-11-2020 at 06:05


I'm sure a decent writeup of any the of experiments in RBT's book would be welcomed in beginnings. Including fuck-ups, especially if you re-ran and then KNEW why you didn't succeed before. We like to encourage fun and science. Don't be embarrassed or feel stupid if you don't think your "worthy" of posting results. All results are good when documented. The section on lab notebooks is IMPORTANT.

Have a way to measure mass, volumes, and temperatures and keep notes, and you will be doing science.

Welcome to our forum.

*edit* ESPECIALLY keep procedural notes on extractions. They are notoriously harder to do than it sounds (trust me, I know). You get a good yield, by gosh you are going to want to repeat it. No notes, no repeated procedure.

[Edited on 11-16-2020 by arkoma]




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EthidiumBromide
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[*] posted on 16-11-2020 at 15:13


Quote: Originally posted by MycoTricho  

This is really cool. I had no idea you could do this. What can I do with the DNA after it's been extracted?

I'm afraid not much, aside from looking at it and perhaps drying it out to store it.
Without a special lab adapted to biochemistry, you can't use the DNA for anything interesting. Also, the DNA extracted this way is contaminated and likely to degrade. Extraction of DNA for genetic manipulation must be conducted in very sterile conditions with very pure reagents.
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