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Author: Subject: Things That Frustrate As A DIY Chemist
xfusion44
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 Quote: Originally posted by byko3y What frustrates me is that I can acutally make explosives, while it's hard for me to obtain acetone and toluene (and also phosphorus chlorides, elemental phosphorus and permanganate). But I can freely purchase iodine, iodides and hypophosphites. God only knows why some particular chemicals are banned in some countries.

Yeah, this is also well known to me. In USA you can buy drain cleaners with H2SO4 anywhere, but not here in the EU, but there is probably something that is easier to get here than in the US. You just can't get all of the chemicals in one country.

The Volatile Chemist
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Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

unfrozen
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 Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

Is this anywhere useful? Prices are better in larger sizes.

Sodium Nitrite, $7.50 / 2lb http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=2sniteF Sodium Nitrate,$3.75 / 1 lb
Potassium Nitrate, 3.95 / 1 lb
szuko03
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 Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

I can get potassium nitrate at a home depot like store called Lowes, sorry I am never sure what store names are national and which arent but you can get stump remover that is pure potassium nitrate. I got mine for 7 dollars a pound, which seems just a little higher then ordering it online. You may want to look at the stump removers in your area just be careful because stupid me bought one that wasnt nitrate eons ago.

Chemistry is a natural drive, not an interest.
Texium

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Quote: Originally posted by szuko03
 Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

I can get potassium nitrate at a home depot like store called Lowes, sorry I am never sure what store names are national and which arent but you can get stump remover that is pure potassium nitrate. I got mine for 7 dollars a pound, which seems just a little higher then ordering it online. You may want to look at the stump removers in your area just be careful because stupid me bought one that wasnt nitrate eons ago.
Well luckily for you that other stump remover that you bought is likely sodium metabisulfite, which is very useful as a reducing agent for cleaning up nasty oxidizing stuff like dichromate, and also used for making the peculiar Chevreul's salt. I was fortunate enough to find both that and the potassium nitrate version side by side on the shelf at Lowe's, so I happily bought both. Although, the KNO3 one is really quite overpriced and not super pure, so when I run out of it (probably soon) I'll buy some from Duda Diesel instead. Their products are of quite good quality, affordable, and they have great service too.

Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
szuko03
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^that is true but by eons ago I mean I wasnt even into that side of chemistry and was just trying to surprise my friends. And its purity is good enough for sugar rockets which was what I was interested in at the time. I am also lucky in the sense that nothing gets thrown away so that sodium metabisulfite, which it is I remember the name, is still in the garage.

To be honest it is sometimes surprising what you can just buy, its like how can they "regulate" something and then sell it on the shelf in a public place for cash.

[Edited on 1-6-2015 by szuko03]

Chemistry is a natural drive, not an interest.
SimpleChemist-238
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Man, I can't stand the black helicopters always flying by. But when at the end of a hard day I can always go to this forum and laugh at the humor and terrible chemistry jokes. It is the strange people on this forum who dream of destroying the Earth that I call my closest friends. Also it looks like our emails are safe from the NSA for a few days well Congress argues about the Freedom Act!

We are chemists , we bring light to the darkness. Knowledge to ignorant, excitement to the depressed and unknowing. we bring crops to broken fields and water to the desert. Where there is fear we bring curiosity.

The Volatile Chemist
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Quote: Originally posted by zts16
Quote: Originally posted by szuko03
 Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

I can get potassium nitrate at a home depot like store called Lowes, sorry I am never sure what store names are national and which arent but you can get stump remover that is pure potassium nitrate. I got mine for 7 dollars a pound, which seems just a little higher then ordering it online. You may want to look at the stump removers in your area just be careful because stupid me bought one that wasnt nitrate eons ago.
Well luckily for you that other stump remover that you bought is likely sodium metabisulfite, which is very useful as a reducing agent for cleaning up nasty oxidizing stuff like dichromate, and also used for making the peculiar Chevreul's salt. I was fortunate enough to find both that and the potassium nitrate version side by side on the shelf at Lowe's, so I happily bought both. Although, the KNO3 one is really quite overpriced and not super pure, so when I run out of it (probably soon) I'll buy some from Duda Diesel instead. Their products are of quite good quality, affordable, and they have great service too.

I have a Lowe's nearby. What were the brand names? I'd looked on lowe's site, but they don't have anything tagged with 'nitrate'.

 Quote: Originally posted by SimpleChemist-238 Man, I can't stand the black helicopters always flying by. But when at the end of a hard day I can always go to this forum and laugh at the humor and terrible chemistry jokes. It is the strange people on this forum who dream of destroying the Earth that I call my closest friends. Also it looks like our emails are safe from the NSA for a few days well Congress argues about the Freedom Act!

What was the result of this, did they decide yet? I first heard about this on Wikileak's twitter page. It seemed like it was a long time ago.

Texium

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Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist
Quote: Originally posted by zts16
Quote: Originally posted by szuko03
 Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist Nitrates and nitrites are a pain to get here. I've never seen a good source in the mid- US.

I can get potassium nitrate at a home depot like store called Lowes, sorry I am never sure what store names are national and which arent but you can get stump remover that is pure potassium nitrate. I got mine for 7 dollars a pound, which seems just a little higher then ordering it online. You may want to look at the stump removers in your area just be careful because stupid me bought one that wasnt nitrate eons ago.
Well luckily for you that other stump remover that you bought is likely sodium metabisulfite, which is very useful as a reducing agent for cleaning up nasty oxidizing stuff like dichromate, and also used for making the peculiar Chevreul's salt. I was fortunate enough to find both that and the potassium nitrate version side by side on the shelf at Lowe's, so I happily bought both. Although, the KNO3 one is really quite overpriced and not super pure, so when I run out of it (probably soon) I'll buy some from Duda Diesel instead. Their products are of quite good quality, affordable, and they have great service too.

I have a Lowe's nearby. What were the brand names? I'd looked on lowe's site, but they don't have anything tagged with 'nitrate'.
The potassium nitrate one is Spectracide brand, and comes in a black bottle with a pointy lid that works as a sort of pour spout. The metabisulfite one is Bonide brand and comes in a white, squarish bottle with a purple lid.

Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
aga
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The Most frustrating thing is NOT knowing when to run away screaming instead of putting on the gas mask and trying to take control.

It's a fine line methinks.

[Edited on 4-6-2015 by aga]

binbin
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 Quote: Originally posted by Pickardjr I dont like the phobia of today associated with home chemistry. If someone was to see all my equipment set up, then I'd be in for a lot of explaining . Im just preparing solvents/reagents for other experiments. Average people really don't understand, and assume its drug related because they believe what the T.V tells them. My other peeve is not having enough time to complete procedures that are time sensitive, thus having to postpone. I could go on but that the top two for me.

Most people don't have hobbies. They suspect if a grown man/woman is performing chemistry, that is it for economic gain on the side. Breaking Bad has enforced this stereotype. Do I blame them? Not at all! I think they are just looking out for the community. It's still infuriating though.

And here lies the one reason I have a tough time making male friends in my community... nobody has interesting hobbies past "lets get drunk and watch the game." Chemistry? Astronomy? Metal working? Tinkering? Computers/Tech? There aren't many nerds or interesting people in my city of 250,000.

However I think the most frustrating/stressful things as a home chemist are:

1. Control of fumes with proper equipment. Fume hoods are just too damn expensive.

2. Fear of chemical fires, and/or fear of proper storage of your chemicals.

[Edited on 5-6-2015 by binbin]
Loptr
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Quote: Originally posted by binbin
 Quote: Originally posted by Pickardjr I dont like the phobia of today associated with home chemistry. If someone was to see all my equipment set up, then I'd be in for a lot of explaining . Im just preparing solvents/reagents for other experiments. Average people really don't understand, and assume its drug related because they believe what the T.V tells them. My other peeve is not having enough time to complete procedures that are time sensitive, thus having to postpone. I could go on but that the top two for me.

Most people don't have hobbies. They suspect if a grown man/woman is performing chemistry, that is it for economic gain on the side. Breaking Bad has enforced this stereotype. Do I blame them? Not at all! I think they are just looking out for the community. It's still infuriating though.

And here lies the one reason I have a tough time making male friends in my community... nobody has interesting hobbies past "lets get drunk and watch the game." Chemistry? Astronomy? Metal working? Tinkering? Computers/Tech? There aren't many nerds or interesting people in my city of 250,000.

However I think the most frustrating/stressful things as a home chemist are:

1. Control of fumes with proper equipment. Fume hoods are just too damn expensive.

2. Fear of chemical fires, and/or fear of proper storage of your chemicals.

[Edited on 5-6-2015 by binbin]

Actually, I would say that there has been a resurgence in various hobbies due to the maker movement. When I was in Charlottesville (UVA) there was a huge group that would get together in the hacker/open spaces to do just this; not to mention the un-conferences.

Just look at all the young people interested in hobbies that are know sharing it with the world in maker magazines, youtube, instructables, etc.

We are many.

[Edited on 5-6-2015 by Loptr]
Magpie
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Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

Recently I have made several electro-mechanical devices to support my chemistry hobby. I talk about these in a tangential way with my friends at morning coffee. Of course they always ask: and what is the purpose of this device?

I give a circumspect answer and they drop it. One electrical engineer was quite interested in my stepper motor stirrer. He wanted me to bring it to Starbucks, plug it in to the wall outlet, and give a demonstration. I replied. "No way. I'm not bringing a black box with wires coming out of it! Someone would call the bomb squad." His answer: "And well they should." This is a sad state of affairs.

The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
The Volatile Chemist
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Have there ever been SM organized chem hobby conferences/events?

aga
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Nope.

We're all Odd and live all over the planet, and don't really do 'people events' as well as we can type stuff into computers or stuff reagents into beakers before blasting them with heat.

A bit like You i guess.

P.S. an Event would cost a huge amount of money, simply down to the air-fares, hotels etc

P.P.S. the more Capable of the SM membership would be a bit paranoid as well, and would think it a FBI/DEA/CIA event designed to flush them out.

P.P.P.S. Cool ! That means that i can come to the party !

Sulaiman
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the main thing that frustrates me as a D.I.Y. Chemist is my lack of any real depth of knowledge

and I've not yet discovered the joy of cleaning glassware
or the skill of not using so much at once.
byko3y
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I'm so pissed because of lack of well developed/known and easy methods of preparation of common reagents.
As you may know, some time ago I was forced to develop anthranilic acid synthesis all over again (because I can't just leave my 5% yield as is and pretend I've succeded), until s.c.wack found a 100 years old article with absolutely the same procedure which had been forgotten, and instead tonns of non-reproducible procedures were spread all over the internets.
Same thing happenned to elemental phosphorus thread - it is filled from the begginning to the end with procedures, which are mostly untested and the rest suits for industrial production, but not for a home chemist. In thirteen (13) years nobody managed to find an answer, it's like a huge bin that collects all the useless ideas to avoid flooding the forum with dozens of threads. I hope soon I will prove that you can actually make phosphorus by means of kitchenware and basic OTC chemicals.
Aluminium isopropoxide, acetonitrile, pyridine, acetic anhydride, sulfuric acid, sulfuryl chloride, thionyl chloride, dimethyl carbonate - those are usefull and potentially easy to make reagents, but scantily explored. I was going to put oxalyl chloride into the list, but there were few members on the forum who actually performed extensive research on the subject and some experiments, however, there's still a lot to explore in the oxalyl chloride synthesis.
I want to remind you about a famous aluminium reduction of nitroalkenes, which was unknown for so many years, while in fact it was well known to chemists hundred years ago.
I'm starting to think there are some agents on forums who intentionally discuss useless procedures to hide the truth, which lies in the fact nobody knows shit and the usable method is yet to be discovered or rediscovered.
Some people blame Lerner for being a dick, but let's look at facts - he's one of few members who actually tested the procedures. Half of them are not usable at home, but who cares?
The Volatile Chemist
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That's why I continually push for some sort of organizational measure. The SM Wiki is a good idea, but it doesn't have the expansive qualities to organize large amounts of information and procedures. I'm looking for some good model to use for such a measure, but I haven't found one that works.

byko3y
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That's pretty much what rhodium was trying to do and sucked hard, because he did not perform most of the procedures he gather into his site. I'm talking about these articles:
http://bitnest.ca/Rhodium/chemistry/nitro2amine.mg-n2h4-hcoo...
http://bitnest.ca/Rhodium/chemistry/oxime2amine.mg-af.html
http://bitnest.ca/Rhodium/chemistry/debenzylation.zn-af.html
Some1 could gather his private site the verified information about procedures his collegues and him already performed. Like google docs.
But the other problem that bothers me - not much of people seem to care about researching basic reagents, and those who actually do, seem to have too few knowledge and/or equipment to perform the correct analysis, like it was in the TEMPO case, where I still got no confirmation that the resulting compound is actually a TEMPO and not substituted compound or some mix.
I remember my attempt to post a message to professional chemists about a need for developing procedures for basic reagents preparation, and I was laughed at, because YOU CAN'T MAKE MONEY ON IT. Why anyone would bother himself with chemistry if he can't make money, right, Jessie?
And thanks god today we have enough access to science journals, because otherwise we would be like blind kittens having no idea where to go and what is this world. But still a lot of knowledge is obscured, e.g. few people seem to know about dithionite and thiourea peroxide, while those reagent are so much OTC, and ther's no way amateur chemist can make NaBH4 ro LAH.
Once again in case you haven't understood: you can't take dithionite or thiourea peroxide away from people, just like you can't ban hydrogen peroxide or sulfuric acid, because those reagent are used a lot in different industries. But you can ban borohydrodes easily, because the only branch of industry, that uses it, is drug synthesis, and the companies making drugs are forced to obtain licenses. So, basically, if you want to be an advanced chemist and you think that status quo is okay, then you are forced to attain some colledge or make your business and obtain a license for precursors (because in most cases an individual person is either not eligible to have this license or nobody would sell suspicious chemicals to an individual).
I'm worried about bans on chemical equipment, but I don't think you can ban the equipment made from steel, because otherwise a lot of people will become potentially suspicious and the whole idea loses sense.
AFAIK, the restriction on equipment is implemented only in australia-NZ and some US states, probably because a lots of people actually have glassware, including schools, thus there's no sense in controling sales of this equipment, because no government have resources to do that. Even in australia/US i believe those are violated a lot, taking into account their formulation is vague.
Zephyr
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Byko3y:

1. Are you saying I faked my yield?!?! Just because you didn't get the same result once doesn't mean everyone else is wrong.
2. Many people did succeed in the phosphorus thread, mostly using OTC materials.
3. You yourself discuss some pretty useless stuff...
4. Decent amounts of research has been done into all of the reagents you've listed, you just need to search deeper.
5. Are you saying scientific journals make you dumber????

I'm done... I can't read this any longer....

Sciencemadness Patches for sale! U2U me if you are interested.
byko3y
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Pinkhippo11, describe your first position fully, because I have no idea what you are talking about there.
2. I know a lot of people succeeded, but their devices are far from OTC and/or the yields are miserable. The amount of phosphorus that can be further used for more than one experiment starts somewhere at 20g - I doubt anyone in the phosphorus thread made that much.
4. Yes and no. Yes, the researches have probably been done, no, there's no people on the forum who can share the results of the research;
5. No.
Amos
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@byko3y : Why are you on this forum? What do you do to contribute, and what gives you the platform to continually belittle members that do contribute?

byko3y
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If I succeed in my upcoming phosphorus experiments, then I would have a huge platform to detract those contributions.
But that will happen not earlier than my recovery from bromine intoxication, which makes me so irritable.
What do I do to contribute to what? Did you mean phosphorus thread? Speaking about it, I found no convenient procedure in the thread, so I was forced to spend a lot, A LOT of time searching for other ways, while the discussion in the thread goes through the same methods over and over again. And I can barely remember all the things which are written there, because there's really a lot of text, and I'm not a phosphorus manufacture specialist.
I can disclose the way I'm gonna prepare the phosphorus - I'm gonna use something phosphine-like, but I have not made decision about details. I don't say it has to be gaseous phosphine, countrary, it should be dissolved in a solvent. I don't see much reason to talk about it, because most likely nobody would try to develop the method.

[Edited on 11-6-2015 by byko3y]
j_sum1

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Mood: Taking opportunities to breathe.

I intend to do a foray into extracting P. I will use a variation of Rogeryermaw's method using sodium hexametaphosphate, SiO2, Al with a NaCl flux. The set-up is not that hard although my furnace design is going to be different from his. It all looks rather doable. he has posted in the P thread (scattered over several pages) He also shows his procedure in a video on his youtube channel.
If that helps at all byko3y.
Amos
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 Quote: Originally posted by byko3y If I succeed in my upcoming phosphorus experiments, then I would have a huge platform to detract those contributions. But that will happen not earlier than my recovery from bromine intoxication, which makes me so irritable. What do I do to contribute to what? Did you mean phosphorus thread? Speaking about it, I found no convenient procedure in the thread, so I was forced to spend a lot, A LOT of time searching for other ways, while the discussion in the thread goes through the same methods over and over again. And I can barely remember all the things which are written there, because there's really a lot of text, and I'm not a phosphorus manufacture specialist. I can disclose the way I'm gonna prepare the phosphorus - I'm gonna use something phosphine-like, but I have not made decision about details. I don't say it has to be gaseous phosphine, countrary, it should be dissolved in a solvent. I don't see much reason to talk about it, because most likely nobody would try to develop the method. [Edited on 11-6-2015 by byko3y]

So let me get this straight: You're complaining that people on the forum have had to use too-specialized procedures that take too much work (waaah) to make phosphorus with decent yields. And since they're not OTC enough for you, you're going to show everyone how OTC and simple you can be by generating and making use of phosphine gas. As opposed to simply heating a pretty simply welded apparatus using the correct heating element and power supply, keeping everything in a nearly closed system. I think it'd be great to try out your new method for producing phosphorus, and I have the highest hopes for you. But if you're complaining that existing methods aren't accessible, and that everyone's posting untested procedures(false) much like the one you're discussing now, then this is a new level of hypocrisy. Conduct your research, share anything interesting you find, and make the site a better place yourself.

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