Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Acquiring chemical distillation glassware in Queensland

Hg Wells - 19-12-2010 at 00:07

Welcome to the fascist state of Queensland!

Under section 9 of Queensland's Drug Misuse Act 1986, possession or supply of various pieces of chemical equipment can result in up to 15 years in jail.

The list of these items as given in schedule 8B of the associated regulations includes:

distillation head
heating mantle
reaction vessel
splash head

For the chemical hobbyist, does anyone know how one might obtain chemical distillation glassware in Queensland without risking falling foul of the above legislation?

I want to acquire a simple distillation apparatus consisting of boiling flask, liebig condser, receiving flask and other necessary attachments. A basic distillation kit would probably be ideal.

I can't find anyone within Australia who would supply one to an individual. Does anyone know of one?

I could order from overseas, but given the prescribed nature of the equipment under the above Act, would this be too risky?

hissingnoise - 19-12-2010 at 05:27

What? You're saying that the mere possession of a distillation apparatus in Queensland can land you in jail???
Surely you jest?

bquirky - 19-12-2010 at 05:47

I get my gear from this mob

hkparker - 19-12-2010 at 10:44

First thing that comes to mind is Ebay. If you buy from a person or smaller company I think they will just put it in a box and ship it to you, so customs would have to open it up to actually know whats inside. Another option is a site called Ecrater. Kinda sketchy site thats kinda like ebay, but has a huge selection. One time I ordered 28g of sodium from a seller there and it came in an HDPE bottle in mineral oil wrapped in electrical tape in a box, so...

Hg Wells - 19-12-2010 at 15:28

Thanks for the tips, guys.

bquirky - I'll definitely try ordering from Wiltronics. As it would be Australian internal post, I don't suppose anyone would give it much attention.

Also, I suppose I could phone/email them first about supply of condensers to Queensland. They should really have a view on the matter as in theory they could be up for 15 years' jail for supply of equipment under Queensland's Drug Misuse Act.

hkparker - hadn't heard of ecrater but there looks like there is quite a lot of good distillation stuff on there. Maybe I will start off with a small innocuous order like flasks and see what the packaging looks like.

hissingnoise - yeah, I couldn't believe it either when my attention was first brought to it. However, it's there in black and white:

See schedule 8B of:

and section 9A of:

len1 - 19-12-2010 at 18:28

Yes unfortunately the situation in Australia has changed greatly over the last few years, and any chemical exprimentation in the home is essentially forbiden. Its not only condensers that are illegal, but anything that can act as a condenser, a reaction vessel, a distillation head, heaters and stirrers. I have had to do all my experimentation at work, which is why I have not been posting any more "illustrated practical guides". It also means if I want to do anything extra, like the potassium experiment, its late night work away from my family. These guys are stupid.

Ephoton - 19-12-2010 at 19:22

not true essential oil distillation from australian natives is very very encouraged.

as woolen would say intent is everything.

having said that queensland is a nazi state.

I think its all the party scene they have there that

makes them do this.

NT is very simular to my knowllage.

personaly though if your doing legit work they can screw you

around but it still needs the three essentials for a conviction

to stick.

proof of knowlage

proof of equipment

proof of chemicals.

some chemicals and glass sizes will get you in trouble though

for instance psuedo ephedrine kiss your ass good bye.

20L flasks the same.

other than the two nazi states it is my knowlage that

5L and under is legal purely for essential oil distillation

and extraction.

they dont have tests for if your working potassium only

illicit chemicals.

potassium synthesis traces in your glass is not going

to get you in trouble.

I know of many who get there glass given back in OZ.

[Edited on 20-12-2010 by Ephoton]

hkparker - 19-12-2010 at 20:03

Wow, im sorry to hear its so strict there, you guys face problems I never have here in the states

Hg Wells - 19-12-2010 at 22:10

State legislation in Australia is pitiful. What idiot could possibly have written legislation that says that possession of a ‘reaction vessel’ could be worth 15 years in jail? What constitutes a ‘reaction vessel’? Could it be merely a two-litre fizzy drink bottle in certain circumstances?

I think I know what’s going on. If you watch the state parliaments in action on ABC’s 7.30 Report you will see the abysmally low quality of Australian state legislators. It’s no surprise that these people do not have the wit to draft sensible legislation concerning chemistry.

The states should be abolished. We don’t need a third tier of government in addition to federal and local government. Political 'talent' is stretched desparately thin in Australia and we are stuck with the corrupt and the second rate.

And compulsory voting is a bad thing as it gives the politicians the impression that we actually care about them.

If voting was optional there would probably be a 30% turnout in state elections and maybe the politicians would get the message and just disappear out of the lives of those of us who just want to do a simple chemical reflux.

hkparker - 19-12-2010 at 22:13

Yea, I think thats a problem everywhere, ignorance to our hobby. Hopefully in some time we will see a cultural shift, but were a far way from that. Best of luck to you, I hope you find what you need.

Hg Wells - 19-12-2010 at 22:22

Thanks, hkparker.

I think things in the US (especially California!) are a lot more sensible in this regard (although aren't three-necked flasks illegal in Texas?)

In spite of its laid-back image, Australia is basically an authoritarian country which has never got over its jailer/convict mind-set.

hkparker - 19-12-2010 at 22:27

Im in California! :) And yea things are pretty easy going here, although there are better states (the midwest is the best).

But Texas might as well be the worst place in the world (though I might have to reconsider that based on what Ive heard about Australia). A three neck flask? You cant own a heating mantle, erlenmeyer flask, or filtering equipment without registration or a visit from law enforcement.

But at least they finally stopped all the meth labs right?

Hg Wells - 19-12-2010 at 22:43

Some states in Australia aren't so bad. Queensland is the 'red neck' state maybe a bit like Texas. Victoria and New South Wales are a bit more sensible.

Queensland's problem was that for a long time it was the personal fiefdom of a right-wing nutcase called Joh Bjelke-Peterson. Bit like the Bushes in Texas, maybe.

starman - 20-12-2010 at 16:22
This has been discussed at length before.Ive also made use of wiltronics.Livingstone international has a far larger and more professional range(though more expensive) and I've imported from the US,UK ,Canada, and NZ with out problems.
Best advice for home chemistry in Australia.Keep your head down and your mouth shut.Be aware that many reactions produce strong odours that you don't want wafting over the neighbours fence.

Contrabasso - 24-12-2010 at 10:57

You say it yourself that possession is an offence in your jurisdiction, so wherever you buy it the possession is the problem.

Visiting a state in which it is lawful could be one way of not getting noticed, but getting them to supply to you may not be good or easy if they really know the regs