Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Samarium is sending me insane!
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 14-2-2015 at 11:33
Samarium is sending me insane!


I received my rare earth samples from diddi yesterday, and already I've been conducting experiments with the samarium shards I have.

The first test I did last night was a burn attempt, as I've seen numerous videos of samarium burning red. I attempted to ignite the shard on a gas stove, but nothing happened after the shard turned red-hot.

Second test involved potassium nitrate and samarium to get the coveted red flame. I used a piece of wood as the ignition area, put a few pellets of potassium nitrate on the wood, and placed the samarium on its deathbed. After melting the potassium nitrate with one of those wind resistant torches, a big flash occurred and sparks were thrown.

Other than one small piece at the end, the samarium remained mostly intact, and the potassium nitrate preferred to oxidize the wood instead. I assume the flash was due to the small piece burning.

Third test involved dissolving the samarium in citric acid solution. The samarium dissolved relatively slowly (about the speed of zinc in the same solution even though the metal is as reactive as magnesium), the solution turned yellow, and a black precipitate settled on the bottom.

Anyone have any ideas on how to get that coveted red flame out of samarium? I need to try sanding down the sample slightly to expose the metal surface - that works well with magnesium pieces.




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
deltaH
Dangerous source of unreferenced speculation
*****




Posts: 1663
Registered: 30-9-2013
Location: South Africa
Member Is Offline

Mood: Heavily protonated

[*] posted on 14-2-2015 at 11:49


Samarium salt instead of the metal? You can mix a small amount of the salt with sugar, KNO3 and sulfur in a volume ratio of 2:4:1. I did this with a little calcium sulfate and got a spectacular red flame (from calcium). Grind down that mixture for maximum effect. I suppose you can also add some of your solution from the citric acid dissolution on the KNO3 and dry it, then grind it with the other ingredients.

[Edited on 14-2-2015 by deltaH]




Mind your step or step your mind. Website: www.ideashack.org
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
blogfast25
Thought-provoking Teacher
*****




Posts: 10334
Registered: 3-2-2008
Location: Old Blighty
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 14-2-2015 at 12:16


My own experience with Sm metal was also bizarre. None of the prescribed behaviour in HCl for instance. I did get it to react with I<sub>2</sub> though...



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
The Volatile Chemist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1973
Registered: 22-3-2014
Location: 'Stil' in the lab...
Member Is Offline

Mood: Copious

[*] posted on 14-2-2015 at 12:51


How many different samples did you get?



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
nezza
National Hazard
****




Posts: 315
Registered: 17-4-2011
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: phosphorescent

[*] posted on 15-2-2015 at 01:24


I have previously posted a video of samarium dissolving in dilute hydrochloric acid (transient deep red colour) and have tried igniting a shard of the metal. It is very difficult to ignite and burns almost white when it does catch.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 16-2-2015 at 15:23


Quote: Originally posted by deltaH  
Samarium salt instead of the metal? You can mix a small amount of the salt with sugar, KNO3 and sulfur in a volume ratio of 2:4:1. I did this with a little calcium sulfate and got a spectacular red flame (from calcium). Grind down that mixture for maximum effect. I suppose you can also add some of your solution from the citric acid dissolution on the KNO3 and dry it, then grind it with the other ingredients.

[Edited on 14-2-2015 by deltaH]


From what I've seen the metal itself burns bright red. I don't know if this is an artifact of the camera used to record the combustion or if it's actually bright red.

Quote: Originally posted by nezza  
I have previously posted a video of samarium dissolving in dilute hydrochloric acid (transient deep red colour) and have tried igniting a shard of the metal. It is very difficult to ignite and burns almost white when it does catch.


What was your ignition method? I tried a gas stove and one of those wind-resistant lighters, as well as a wood flame (grill). I've also tried placing ytterbium in molten potassium nitrate but no flame occurs, instead the ytterbium appears to react without burning. I couldn't get holmium to ignite either.

Lanthanum powder burns really easily though. Terbium sparks when ground, but terbium powder doesn't ignite easily, either.

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
How many different samples did you get?


I have lanthanum (but I don't know the purity), samarium, gadolinium, dysprosium, holmium, and ytterbium. Also I have some leftover terbium metal and salts from my previous work.




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
The Volatile Chemist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1973
Registered: 22-3-2014
Location: 'Stil' in the lab...
Member Is Offline

Mood: Copious

[*] posted on 16-2-2015 at 15:34


Sounds like fun. I'll be expecting pictures...



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
gdflp
Super Moderator
*******




Posts: 1320
Registered: 14-2-2014
Location: NY, USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Staring at code

[*] posted on 16-2-2015 at 15:54


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  

I have lanthanum (but I don't know the purity), samarium, gadolinium, dysprosium, holmium, and ytterbium. Also I have some leftover terbium metal and salts from my previous work.


I've got some neodymium, praseodymium, and cerium salts in decent quantities, as well as pure lanthanum(III) oxide. If you're interested in any properties of these element's compounds, let me know and I could try the experiment and post pictures and such.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
diddi
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 723
Registered: 23-9-2014
Location: Victoria, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fluorescent

[*] posted on 16-2-2015 at 19:07


how did you make the Nd III salts? I tried Nd/citric acid and also vinegar with odd results
View user's profile View All Posts By User
gdflp
Super Moderator
*******




Posts: 1320
Registered: 14-2-2014
Location: NY, USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Staring at code

[*] posted on 16-2-2015 at 19:14


I was able to buy neodymium(III) oxide at a yard sale, this dissolves readily in ammonium chloride to yield neodymium(III) chloride. I haven't tried to synthesize the nitrate yet, but I should considering I just made a decent quantity of nitric acid.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MrHomeScientist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1803
Registered: 24-10-2010
Location: Flerovium
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 17-2-2015 at 07:56


At a yard sale! That must be one fun neighborhood...
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
nezza
National Hazard
****




Posts: 315
Registered: 17-4-2011
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: phosphorescent

[*] posted on 17-2-2015 at 14:06


Hi. I used a blowlamp to ignite the samarium. I have reposted the video of samarium in HCl along with the burning video.

Attachment: Samarium burning.mp4 (5.3MB)
This file has been downloaded 411 times

Attachment: Samarium in HCl.mp4 (2.7MB)
This file has been downloaded 424 times




If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-2-2015 at 17:11


nezza, that's beautiful! Is it really reddish like that or is it more white?

Ytterbium does the same thing, but it burns greenish, so I will get around to trying some.




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
nezza
National Hazard
****




Posts: 315
Registered: 17-4-2011
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: phosphorescent

[*] posted on 18-2-2015 at 00:55


Brain&Force - The colours are accurate as I remember. It burns white hot with a pinkish tint. FYI both videos are in slow motion.

[Edited on 18-2-2015 by nezza]




If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
The Volatile Chemist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1973
Registered: 22-3-2014
Location: 'Stil' in the lab...
Member Is Offline

Mood: Copious

[*] posted on 18-2-2015 at 13:04


Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  
I was able to buy neodymium(III) oxide at a yard sale, this dissolves readily in ammonium chloride to yield neodymium(III) chloride. I haven't tried to synthesize the nitrate yet, but I should considering I just made a decent quantity of nitric acid.

There's only one thing I can say: "'Murica!" - Because that's so great! What country do you live in, if you don't mind divulging...
I've bought a few electronics related things from yard sales, but nothing as great as that




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
gdflp
Super Moderator
*******




Posts: 1320
Registered: 14-2-2014
Location: NY, USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Staring at code

[*] posted on 18-2-2015 at 14:40


I'm in the US, in New York. I think it was just luck to be honest, it was an older chemist who was moving into assisted living and couldn't bring his lab with him. I also got some other interesting chems like 125ml of CCl4, 250ml of benzyl alcohol, 250ml of bromobenzene, 125ml of methyl benzoate, some salicylamide, Michler's Ketone, and of course the rare earth's previously mentioned. Apparently he had a whole bunch of glassware too, but it was all sold before I got there.:(
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 18-2-2015 at 16:05


Dissolving samarium with citric acid resulted in this:

<a href="http://imgur.com/YisvXS6"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/YisvXS6.jpg" title="yup, that's my house" width=800 /></a>

I'm not sure where the turbidity is coming from, but holmium and ytterbium do not exhibit this – they simply dissolve cleanly. I suspect this is either to some oxidation product (the Sm is oxidized but the Ho and Yb are pretty clean) or due to some difference between HREEs and LREEs. Are you seeing this as well diddi?

If it's the latter case we just might have a separation method on our hands!

[Edited on 19.2.2015 by Brain&Force]




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
diddi
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 723
Registered: 23-9-2014
Location: Victoria, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fluorescent

[*] posted on 18-2-2015 at 20:47


now I have been playing with Nd. the Nd dissolved slowly in citrate to produce a sludge and pale solution, but after leaving for several days, I have not only had a small amount of evaporation, but a huge (almost quantitative amount) of crystals have appeared and almost all the sludge has gone.
the Nd in vinegar has also continued to react slowly, but there is an amount of orange (rust colour) ppt that has still not dissolved. after evaporation masses of pale purple crystals appeared.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
The Volatile Chemist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1973
Registered: 22-3-2014
Location: 'Stil' in the lab...
Member Is Offline

Mood: Copious

[*] posted on 19-2-2015 at 09:37


Great pictures everyone!
Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  
I'm in the US, in New York. I think it was just luck to be honest, it was an older chemist who was moving into assisted living and couldn't bring his lab with him. I also got some other interesting chems like 125ml of CCl4, 250ml of benzyl alcohol, 250ml of bromobenzene, 125ml of methyl benzoate, some salicylamide, Michler's Ketone, and of course the rare earth's previously mentioned. Apparently he had a whole bunch of glassware too, but it was all sold before I got there.:(

That's cool! I'll have to go to more yard sales this summer! I *wonder* where the glassware went... :)




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 30-10-2015 at 21:34


I bought a Bernzomatic propane blowtorch with a webbed flame, and decided to try two things with samarium.

First, I tried lighting a piece of samarium metal with the torch by holding it in the flame for about 30 seconds with vise grips. No ignition occured - the metal got yellow-hot and oxidized, though.

Then I decided to try to alloy it with some zinc from a melted penny in a stainless steel lid. It appears this was only slightly successful. The samarium piece broke into two, and it appears some of the small pieces that broke off may have dissolved in the zinc - though I cannot confirm this.

I also tried lighting a piece of ytterbium in the stainless steel lid. The piece did not melt or burn, but it weakly welded to the lid and of course oxidized.

I know, nezza, you successfully lit a piece of samarium, how did you set it up? I want to try this as a demonstration.




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
The Volatile Chemist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1973
Registered: 22-3-2014
Location: 'Stil' in the lab...
Member Is Offline

Mood: Copious

[*] posted on 10-11-2015 at 15:14


Interesting. How much did the torch cost? I'm looking into getting one for the hotter sort of test-tube chemistry.



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
careysub
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1339
Registered: 4-8-2014
Location: Coastal Sage Scrub Biome
Member Is Offline

Mood: Lowest quantum state

[*] posted on 10-11-2015 at 20:16


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
I bought a Bernzomatic propane blowtorch with a webbed flame, and decided to try two things with samarium.

First, I tried lighting a piece of samarium metal with the torch by holding it in the flame for about 30 seconds with vise grips. No ignition occured - the metal got yellow-hot and oxidized, though.


It would be interesting to make a small carbon arc to set stuff alight:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Carbon-Arc-Lights/?ALLSTEPS

If that doesn't work, nothing will.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
blogfast25
Thought-provoking Teacher
*****




Posts: 10334
Registered: 3-2-2008
Location: Old Blighty
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 07:44


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
I bought a Bernzomatic propane blowtorch with a webbed flame, and decided to try two things with samarium.

First, I tried lighting a piece of samarium metal with the torch by holding it in the flame for about 30 seconds with vise grips. No ignition occured - the metal got yellow-hot and oxidized, though.



Have you tried reacting it with iodine? That worked well for me in a test tube with argon and mild Bunsen heat.




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
nezza
National Hazard
****




Posts: 315
Registered: 17-4-2011
Location: UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: phosphorescent

[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 11:51


One way to get some sort of burn from Samarium is to put a piece on a grinding wheel. Like many lanthanides it sparks like mad and the sparks do have a pink colour. I have attached a slow motion video of this.

Attachment: Samarium sparks.mp4 (2.3MB)
This file has been downloaded 287 times

Attachment: Burning Samarium.mp4 (5.3MB)
This file has been downloaded 288 times





If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Brain&Force
Hazard to Lanthanides
*****




Posts: 1297
Registered: 13-11-2013
Location: UW-Madison
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 23-1-2016 at 11:24


Should have checked this thread earlier.

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Interesting. How much did the torch cost? I'm looking into getting one for the hotter sort of test-tube chemistry.


It was somewhere around $25 IIRC, just a regular propane torch. I'd like to try a more powerful torch, though.

Quote: Originally posted by careysub  
Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  


It would be interesting to make a small carbon arc to set stuff alight:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Carbon-Arc-Lights/?ALLSTEPS

If that doesn't work, nothing will.


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Have you tried reacting it with iodine? That worked well for me in a test tube with argon and mild Bunsen heat.


Unfortunately, I'm in the US and iodine isn't going to be easy, though I have been curious about attempting to react it with chlorine or bromine.

Quote: Originally posted by nezza  
One way to get some sort of burn from Samarium is to put a piece on a grinding wheel. Like many lanthanides it sparks like mad and the sparks do have a pink colour. I have attached a slow motion video of this.


My preferred method of igniting samarium and ytterbium is to powder the metal with a file and dropping it into the kitchen stove/grill. It also works well as flash powder with PTFE.

What size was the piece of Sm you ignited with the torch, and what kind of torch did you use?

Ok, now on to two new things with samarium.

When I visited zts16 I had the chance to dissolve samarium in concentrated HCl. I tried it and did observe the dark red color of samarium(II) surrounding the metal on initial addition of samarium pieces. But on further addition of samarium pieces the color would no longer surround the dissolving metal. I'm thinking samarium(II) needs extremely acidic conditions to be at least somewhat stable. It never occurred to me to try the same reaction with concentrated sulfuric acid, so I'm stuck with these results only.

Second, I tried making samarium salicylate by dissolving samarium in a solution of salicylic acid. The dissolution rate of samarium started off extremely slow...but then it stopped. I left it for two weeks with no change or bubbles being generated. I haven't tried samarium in water, but I have tried holmium in tap water and that corroded in less than a week. It might be of note that the samarium is black and dirty, but on the other hand, the holmium I tested turned black and dirty under tap water.




Raney nickel can't hydrogenate dank memes.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top