Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Easy Pt/Al2O3 catalyst for reforming?

FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 09:41

I recently had the idea of making powdered Pt/Al2O3 for a kerosene handwarmer.

Aluminum Deodorant contains AlCl3 H2Ox, which can dissolve Pt metal. Dehydration of deodorant produces Al2O3.

I purchased some fragrance free deodorant and 20 ppm collodial Pt (overpriced just buy a bar). I plan on mixing the two and heating to dryness since most of the other components in deodorant are volatile silicones. After obtaining a powder I plan on heating to 500C to activate it.

Has anyone else ever tried this?



njl - 27-10-2020 at 10:19

Why would you start from deodorant to get AlCl3? That would just introduce a ton of impurities into your substrate right off the bat.

itsallgoodjames - 27-10-2020 at 10:24

It'd also more than likely be cheaper to just use aluminum foil and hydrochloric acid. Unless there's a specific reason why you are using the deodorant, it seems kind of pointless and wasteful.

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FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 11:15

The HCl I have is bright yellow due to metal impurities. The gel deodorant likely contains some standardized AlCl3 and was only $2.75 from amazon. Seems like a better option considering the only other ingredients are dimethicone, which could introduce SiO2 and improve the catalyst properties and increase the surface area of Al2O3. Deodorant is designed to turn into an extremely fine powder of Al2O3. Surface area is key. Also dissolving aluminum foil is extremely wasteful considering the energy required to create aluminum metal.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S15667...

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njl - 27-10-2020 at 12:45

The problem is that deodorant isn't a part of the reaction you're proposing, AlCl3 is. Adding in dimethicone to that experiment means you're no longer testing one variable at a time, so you're results aren't necessarily valid. You can either count on AlCl3 to react a certain way or you can count on impurities reacting a certain way, but doing both at the same time is not as effective.

Also if you're considering the energy needed for your reagent's manufacture, a 2.75 stick of amazon deodorant packaged and delivered to your door is probably pretty wasteful too.

itsallgoodjames - 27-10-2020 at 13:34

Quote: Originally posted by njl  
The problem is that deodorant isn't a part of the reaction you're proposing, AlCl3 is. Adding in dimethicone to that experiment means you're no longer testing one variable at a time, so you're results aren't necessarily valid. You can either count on AlCl3 to react a certain way or you can count on impurities reacting a certain way, but doing both at the same time is not as effective.

Also if you're considering the energy needed for your reagent's manufacture, a 2.75 stick of amazon deodorant packaged and delivered to your door is probably pretty wasteful too.

This exactly ^

FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 13:39

The purity of AlCl3 is irrelevant since I need Al2O3. Deodorant is actually also something some people find useful aside from chemistry. Dimethicone is a silicone which is pretty nonreactive. Instead of being a middle school chemist and wasting resources I would rather have a fine product I can actually use. If you know anything about sci-hub you can probably find a dozen papers on sol gel process of making Al2O3/SiO2 not that it matters.

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itsallgoodjames - 27-10-2020 at 13:46

Quote: Originally posted by FragranceLover89  
Actually whether the AlCl3 is pure or not is entirely irrelevant since I need Al2O3 and deodorant is actually something some people find useful.

Sorry if I'm misinterpreting what you've saying, but the deodorant gets destroyed in the process, rendering it useless as a deodorant. So I don't get how people finding deodorant useful really impacts any of this in any real way.

FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 13:48

If I buy Al foil and HCl it is waste compared to deodorant since I can use the rest of the deodorant. You dont need much catalyst to do a reaction. If I were to heat AlCl3 in the method you described I would get a clumped mess that would be terrible. It needs to be dissolved in a solvent to prevent agglomeration. Sol-gel process uses aluminum butoxide because Al(OH)3 can collapse too easily. I don't really want to spend money. The antiperspirant/deodorant I have has the sesquihydrate of aluminum chloride, propylene glycol, and some dimethicones in it. Dimethicone actually has a very subtle smell which is why despite being considered an antiperspirant I consider it a deodorant as well.

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itsallgoodjames - 27-10-2020 at 13:57

Quote: Originally posted by FragranceLover89  
If I buy Al foil and HCl it is waste compared to deodorant since I can use the rest of the deodorant. You dont need much catalyst to do a reaction.

Ah, that makes sense.

I'm sure you knew this already, but most deodorants don't contain any aluminum salts. It's generally antiperspirants that do. The reason I bring this up is I don't think I've ever seen fragrance free antiperspirant like you were describing, though admittedly I haven't really looked either. Like I said though, I'd imagine you probably controlled for that

FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 14:12

I bought Almay Clear Gel Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women, Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist Tested for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free, 2.25 oz

itsallgoodjames - 27-10-2020 at 14:22

Quote: Originally posted by FragranceLover89  
I bought Almay Clear Gel Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women, Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist Tested for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free, 2.25 oz

Assuming this is the one, it contains aluminum sesquichlorohydrate, more properly known as aluminum chloride hydroxide hydrate. So unless you have a plan to deal with the hydroxide ions, or it won't impact the reaction, it may not work as anticipated.

here's the pubchem page if you care

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Herr Haber - 27-10-2020 at 14:36

So you bought colloidal Pt and now want to complicate things over... aluminium ? :o

FragranceLover89 - 27-10-2020 at 15:41

Boehmite can be heated to 500 C to activate the lewis sites. It involves the removal of hydroxyl groups. I assume the same thing will happen with the Al hydroxide gel formed by antiperspirant. I want to remove the other volatile constituents slowly to preserve as much of the structure as possible. There are no amines or sulfides in deodorant to poison the catalyst. I found something concerning, however, which is that Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane lowers expression of BRCA 2 an important anti cancer gene. I hope this is not relevant to breast cancer risk.

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane#section=Substance-of-Very-High-Concern-(SVHC)

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Antiswat - 29-10-2020 at 08:13

Al2O3 can be made by making Al(OH)3 by reacting AlCl3 with NaHCO3 (it decomposes)
then stir that up with some salt or similar so the material youre getting will be porous (will help you later on)
dry it out and then fry it in oven to decompose Al(OH)3, trickiest part is probably to crush the aluminium oxide

as for platinum, i really wanted to buy 1g seeing it being cheaper than gold, but you have to go through all these asshat companies where you need to sign up 10 times in a row and talk to them on phone and probably join their deathcult - AND ITS 3 TIMES HIGHER PRICED THAN THE ACTUAL METALS WORTH.

as a bonus, theres Al2O3 in dirt, i spoke to one guy on here long ago who planned to extract the aluminium and purify it to 5N, should be doable using NaOH to form sodium aluminate, i vaguely remember one way to turn sodium aluminate into Al2O3 but i cant remember what the problem in that prep was, i tried it and gave it a toss.

Metallophile - 29-10-2020 at 08:28

I bought a 1g Platinum bar for $45 on ebay. That's 50% above the metal value, but at least it's not triple. I thought about using it for experiments, but it's just too cute to destroy. If I really found a need for Pt, I would buy a second one to sacrifice. I have also seen 0.5g bars on there for about $30. As for Al2O3, couldn't you just burn up some Aluminum foil with a propane torch?

Pottery Shop

MadHatter - 29-10-2020 at 14:43

Al2O3 can be purchased as alumina
from many pottery shops. I've purchased
other compounds from them also.


FragranceLover89 - 29-10-2020 at 16:17

After reading your comments I decided I am not going to destroy my deodorant for science. I kinda realized I don't even need Pt/Al2O3 but I am still interested in what you guys think about this proposition. I as well have a tiny 1g bar of Pt that I am tempted to abuse but I also don't want to get platinosis and waste precious metals. Lol

njl - 29-10-2020 at 16:30

I think you're on the right track. Would other solid supports work for your idea? I've seen Pd/C prepared in an amateur setting.

FragranceLover89 - 29-10-2020 at 19:10

Probably any substrate with lewis acid sites. TiO2, SnO2, InO2 (Maybe?), SiO2, etc. I might electroplate the collodial Pt onto some Ti wire I have. I also have what I think is Pt/C from a reversible H2 fuel cell from a kit I took apart. Do you know if the black material from inside a H2 fuel cell is Pt/C? Image attached below. The thing is that catalysts are sensitive to sulfides and amines not silicones. If you own a car you are probably aware of how dirty the catalytic converter gets. I dont see why deodorant that has been heated to 500C could not support a catalyst.

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Fyndium - 30-10-2020 at 00:41

Really? Deodorant for Al2O3? No offense, but this must be the biggest reaching I've seen for a while. It is extremely cheap and widely available in pottery shops, and if you live in any decent continent, you will be able to find some. You can easily buy a kilo or two incl shipping with a cost of one deo stick.

This goes to the category of turning nails into rust with batteries. You can see a thing happening in test tube, but there's no way you're gonna get anything in useful quantities even for experimenting.

FragranceLover89 - 30-10-2020 at 07:01

I don't really need much considering Al2O3 requires 1% loading with Pt and I have 0.002 grams or so of Pt from collodial platinum, which is almost as clear as water.

Herr Haber - 30-10-2020 at 11:39

On second thought... Why not ?!
It totally fits Mad Science in my book. You need minute amounts of a chemical and you are trying to get it from an OTC source.

Your idea may not be the most efficient (see all considerations given above by others) but I like the idea nevertheless because of it's grace.
Should you be perspirant (sorry, had to... :P ) maybe getting your Al through another common deodorant could be tried ? Not that it would be simpler with Alum but... given your name and other posts I'm not sure that would deter you :)
Have you thought of that ? Again, starting from Al foil would be simpler but from a mineral would be much cooler.


To the all of you above looking for Platinum.
I ordered 10 grams last week from UK based Bullion Post. As a first customer I was given a call and a few questions. Nothing out of the ordinary except I ended up taking 15 minutes from his time to talk about precious metals (as I'm having fun with silver and now have enough gold to make a few tests before going in the tens of grams). I received it this week.
Both silver and gold have gained much value. Platinum not so much.
347,76 Euros for 10 grams including VAT & free tracked shipping. That's 34,77 / gram!

If the value goes up, good. If the value goes down, I'll just convert it to something more valuable than a bar to someone.
Me being my first customer of course :)

FragranceLover89 - 31-10-2020 at 18:20

I am afraid of using Alum because it contains sulfates, which might be reduced and poison Pt. BTW in the US you should buy precious metals from coin stores with cash otherwise you have to pay federal tax. I don't know about Europe though.

Antiswat - 1-11-2020 at 02:19

electroplate colloidal Pt? is that possible? i make my own colloidal gold, i might try to electroplate gold onto zinc some day with that.

FragranceLover89 - 1-11-2020 at 10:33

I don't know about that specifically but you can dissolve pt in aqua regia and electroplate from hexachloroplatinic acid. I recently read that Pt electrodes dissolve at potentials of only 1 volt vs rhe. Does not bode well for plating nanoparticles.

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