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Author: Subject: New element in the collection: Zr
Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 10:01
New element in the collection: Zr


Hello ScienceMadness,

I recently acquired a couple of zirconium vodka shots from ebay along with the platter for service.

Price was good so of course I have my doubts...

Does anyone has a test in mind (preferably non destructive!) that could be performed to make sure it is indeed Zirconium ?
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fusso
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 10:11


At least you have the density(6.52) and magnet test…
If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(Zr mp=1855C), most alloys that can produce that density and cheap enough(add Al to lower density) should be melted by blowtorch…

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]




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unionised
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 10:47


Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 10:48


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...
Put sample in Ar, blowtorch outside…



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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 12:25


Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...
Put sample in Ar, blowtorch outside…

Outside what?
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 12:30


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...
Put sample in Ar, blowtorch outside…

Outside what?
Outside the container



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Ubya
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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 15:08


Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...
Put sample in Ar, blowtorch outside…

Outside what?
Outside the container


non destructive was the idea for the test, anyway i think that the wind from the blowtorch would disperse the argon around the sample, maybe it would work in a glovebox filled with argon or by flooding the sample in so much argon that it would be a waste





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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 15:41


You got them for a "pretty good price" so you could try a destructive method on one of your samples (unless you really don't want to). But if you do go along that route eventually, just add some nitric acid to the container, let it dissolve for a short amount of time to leave as little damage as possible (if desired), then use some sample anions (this website has a good list: http://www.marz-kreations.com/Chemistry/Cation-ID/162u-Zirco... I don't recommend trying the ferro/ferricyanide ones in fear of the production of HCN) to test. Of course, it is your choice if you want to or not.



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[*] posted on 25-10-2018 at 22:35


Pure Zr is not attacked by nitric acid, so you could use that. If it is attacked, then it is no Zr and then you don't lose anything valuable. If it is Zr, then nothing happens to your sample.

This of course is not a conclusive test, but it excludes the sample being plain iron, nickel or most of the other cheap first row transition metals.

The magnet test of course also is a good one. It tests for presence of iron and nickel.

[Edited on 26-10-18 by woelen]




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Harristotle
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[*] posted on 26-10-2018 at 04:52


One of Zr isotopes is a beta emitter. You can buy zirconium welding rods, if I recall correctly.

Alfoil, paper, old geiger counter and magnet should help.

You should get a signal above background that doesn't much diminish when the a4 copy paper goes in front of it, but does significantly with the alfoil.

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, however, they may differ. I have not personally conducted the experiment that I have described, but I remember seing it discussed somewhere.

Cheers,
H.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2018 at 05:06


Quote: Originally posted by Harristotle  
One of Zr isotopes is a beta emitter. You can buy zirconium welding rods, if I recall correctly.

Alfoil, paper, old geiger counter and magnet should help.

You should get a signal above background that doesn't much diminish when the a4 copy paper goes in front of it, but does significantly with the alfoil.

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, however, they may differ. I have not personally conducted the experiment that I have described, but I remember seing it discussed somewhere.

Cheers,
H.


Zirconium-96 is only 2.8% of the total naturally occurring zirconium, and has a half life of 2x10^19 years, more than the half life of bismuth (1.9x10^19 years) so I don't think you can detect it with a Geiger counter and AL foil

[Edited on 26-10-2018 by Ubya]





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[*] posted on 28-10-2018 at 05:59


Well well !

A lot of good ideas apparently ;)

First, the little plate weights 107,78 grams
The first shot weights 22,93 grams and the second shot weights 25,94 grams
(weighed 3 times then made an average, results were consistent with a cheap scale)

My shots definitely ressemble the one Professor Martyn Poliakoff has in his own Zirconnium video. Imo mine have had a little bit more surface treatment though. The color of oxides was almost "too much" for me to believe.
https://youtu.be/gNJE2MPktvg


I just tried the HNO3 test with a drop, (that turnout to be a generous drop) of slightly yellowish 90 something % I use for silver.
I left it there for almost a minute but nothing was apparent. Maybe I'll try some mild heat next time.
Oh, no result to magnet test either of course.

I was just thinking about taking out the Oxy-propane torch I bought for my upcoming diamond experiments. Unfortunately I have no Argon.
What's the worst that can happen ? A few colored oxides ?
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[*] posted on 28-10-2018 at 06:07




IMG_2660.JPG - 206kB IMG_2659.JPG - 187kB

Edit 1: 1 again put 1 drop of conc HNO3 on the back of the plate.
This time I put it on the hotplate at 60° in front of the window.
There was a little bit of white fume when I left. The drop was gone and no apparent damage was detected (eyes and fingertips).

[Edited on 28-10-2018 by Herr Haber]
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[*] posted on 28-10-2018 at 07:43


I tried heating the back of the plate with the oxy-torch.
I didnt have to heat very long :)
The metal wasnt meling oh no... I've got a couple of white sparks from where the metal had been slightly scratched that were totally what I expected !
No additional oxide layer though.

Thank you again for your ideas everyone.

My turn to share I guess:
The vendor's name is Zirconiumforall. He even has a Zr domino set !
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[*] posted on 28-10-2018 at 07:49


Is zirconium really that cheap/common/popular?



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[*] posted on 28-10-2018 at 11:24


Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  

The vendor's name is Zirconiumforall. He even has a Zr domino set !


https://www.ebay.com/itm/EXCLUSIVE-METAL-ZIRCONIUM-Domino-se...

ha! That is very cool. I mean, totally useless and unnecessary but how awesome for an element collection?
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[*] posted on 29-10-2018 at 05:40


Ubya, it depend how much of the "trace" of Zr 93 is present. That has a half life of 1.5 million years, and probably contributes most to the radioactivity. It is obviously detectable, because it is reported as being present, but probably needs long-ish counting times. It would be interesting to see how much above background a pure metal sample was!
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[*] posted on 29-10-2018 at 06:44


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by fusso  

If you have Ar then you can try heating it under Ar with propane torch(

[Edited on 181025 by fusso]

If you have a torch that will burn in argon...


Will Zr really burn in Agron? Zr crucibles are used to smelt Iridium.

[Edited on 29-10-2018 by Mr. Rogers]
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[*] posted on 1-11-2018 at 11:30


Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Rogers  

Will Zr really burn in Agron? Zr crucibles are used to smelt Iridium.

[Edited on 29-10-2018 by Mr. Rogers]


That I dont know. But I doubt it. But it would have prevented the formation of oxides.
Nothing of that happened with an oxy torch in air. The bottom of the plate was slighly scratched and I have no doubt now the sparks I saw flying were definitely Zirconium.
Source: https://youtu.be/gNJE2MPktvg

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[*] posted on 2-11-2018 at 03:54


Mr Rogers, perhaps you are thinking of zirconia , ie. ZrO2?
The melting point of Zr (1855 C) is lower than that of iridium (2466 C).

Also, nothing will burn in argon.
I think the idea suggsted was to heat the Zr in Argon. unionized was probably trying to make the point that it will be practically difficult to heat Zr in Ar using a torch, because the torch must be in air.

[Edited on 2-11-2018 by phlogiston]




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