Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Xylene - Please Help

Hexavalent - 1-3-2012 at 11:12

I have just extracted caffeine from energy drink using xylene isomers, and heated the solution with magnetic stirring on a hotplate set at approx. 150*C to evaporate the xylene. However, as I heated, when the volume reached about 20ml with medium stirring white fumes were evolved and I may have breathed some in.

What are they and can they damage my health? Please help!:)

[Edited on 1-3-2012 by Hexavalent]

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Hexavalent]

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Hexavalent]

Art&Dreams - 1-3-2012 at 11:58

Just type in xylene MSDS ... OR CALL 911 or poison control (411 if you dont know the # ask for poison control) If your worried at all..

*I would not be too worried.. but if you feel sick or throw up, call them... *edit

[Edited on 1-3-2012 by Art&Dreams]

AirCowPeaCock - 1-3-2012 at 12:10

Don't do it again. I've found Xylene oxidizes very easily, but incompletly. For example, when I burned xylene a yellow precipitate floated to the top and extinguished the flame. Similarly your white smoke was probably not xylene vapors.

Hexavalent - 1-3-2012 at 12:12

What was it then. . . .?

AirCowPeaCock - 1-3-2012 at 12:39

Probably lots of things. I know xylene can oxidize into (ortho, meta, para)phthalic acid and I beleive I saw a procedure for oxidizing it into something like phenol (2 or 3 or 4)-propionate. <-- but thinking back that was probably derived from naphthalene.

and god only knows what the yellow stuff I mentioned was.

[Edited on 3-1-2012 by AirCowPeaCock]

[Edited on 3-1-2012 by AirCowPeaCock]

entropy51 - 1-3-2012 at 17:44

You guys are the best entertainment we've had on Science Madness in years. Thanks for the laughs!:D

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 10:41

Is it not right to be concerned about one's health? The only 'wannabee' moderator comments I may appear to make are those where I am trying to help or assist the forum. When I first joined, it was drilled into me, for instance, to use the edit feature as opposed to, say, double posting in a thread. I am now trying to do the same to help others and the forum.

Also, entropy, sending me very critical and slightly rude U2Us will not help matters. I have read Mr Thompson's book and have done a lot of the experiments, understanding what happened and why. The only ones that I have not done are those involving materials that I do not possess.

No offence intended to anybody, I was just concerned regarding my health (yes, I had read the MSDSs) and am trying to help one of the most useful and helpful forums I have ever come across.


[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Hexavalent]

Pulverulescent - 2-3-2012 at 10:56

Yes! Come on, Xylene?

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 10:58


Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 11:10

I would, where necessary, wrongly or rightly. I am only trying to help the SM community by suggesting a more appropriate place for a thread, for example, although perhaps I should only say Beginnings. Sorry for any offence caused to anyone, and, AirCow, I have to agree about your post count bolstering.

Can a moderator please move this to detritus now? We have all learnt our lessons from this thread, and I am still alive after my exposure:)

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Hexavalent]

AirCowPeaCock - 2-3-2012 at 11:18

I understand that, but maybe instead of just being an ass he ment to make you see that you have been a bit critical and rude in the past. I'm guilty to about 15-25 whore posts(?), but they were all in the last 50 posts to National Hazard status. International hazard status is so far away, I couldn't care less. And I'm sorry if I misled you, I noticed you edited the post--so I don't know what it said originally. But I read it a little more like this... "I heated the solution to evaporate the xylene. However, as I heated copious amounts thick opaque white fumes billowed out and I may have breathed some in." <-- so my first thought was, its not just a colloidal suspension of xylene.

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 11:27

I edited my original post to include more details about what happened.

Can you please give me, say, 3 examples of cases where I have been rude? Thankyou. Also, some cases are down to how an individual perceives a comment, and do not necessarily mean that the person was actually nasty/snide/rude.

Finally, AirCow, not to be mean, but the objective of a forum is to offer useful advice that is of benefit to others, not just to pass through the system as quickly as you can. Your objective should not be to reach International Hazard status- many people have taken years to do so - but to take your time and become a valued member along the way.

AirCowPeaCock - 2-3-2012 at 11:36

"Also, some cases are down to how an individual perceives a comment, and do not necessarily mean that the person was actually nasty/snide/rude."

It's all about how an individual perceives a comment, but some comments most people will find it rude/offensive; some comments very few will perceive as rude/offensive. I'm not going to go search around to find 3 examples, but you can't deny simply posting "detritus or beginnings" to any non-spam thread could easily be perceived as offensive. Even a short explanation attached would clear up that you are simply trying to keep SM organized and scientific, and that your reasons for believing the thread belongs in one of these two categories is legitimate.

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 11:40

I have no intention of arguing further. We all make mistakes in life - my occasional posts, your post count rage, gutter's offensiveness against younger members. Why not just accept them and move on? This is ScienceMadness, not ComplaintsMadness.

AirCowPeaCock - 2-3-2012 at 11:43

and I believe you can close the thread by deleting your original post.

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 11:46

I can't seem to access the edit feature on my original post.

Magic Muzzlet - 2-3-2012 at 12:32

And why would you selectively prune the thread SS? Why do you do that, you are just deleting people's posts all over this board.
Move them or something, but outright deleting is immensely unpleasant no matter what the posts said.
And you do not even say you did it, I am mostly annoyed that you only choose certain posts.
I guess there is some elitism going on, by the way I hate your moderating because it is very unfair, you remind me of the US government. I guess you may delete this too?

Care to give the reason you removed my words but not some others?
At the very least, say you have removed some posts and GIVE THE REASON
Mister censorship

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Magic Muzzlet]

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by ScienceSquirrel]

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Magic Muzzlet]

AirCowPeaCock - 2-3-2012 at 12:37

I'm going to guess because your words contained no actual content? About science or the thread/forum.

Magic Muzzlet - 2-3-2012 at 12:39

Well in that case, how about half of your posts on this forum?

The point is, he is deleting people's posts without even saying he did it, they disappear and nobody knows about it. I've talked to others about him doing this and it's extremely aggravating.

And actually, my post was directly about this thread, what else would it be about ?

And another edit to say, read above you and see if there are any comments more useful than what I had, entropy for example. I see no positive influence of that comment, yet it is still there. I told hexavalent to add more information, which he did, yet my post has been deleted.

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Magic Muzzlet]

ScienceSquirrel - 2-3-2012 at 12:57

This thread is supposed to be about xylene.
The posts I deleted had nothing to do with xylene and were mainly personal attacks and insults.
I do allow foul language but keep it appropriate. If you want to insult each other like that then send U2U's.
This board is supposed to be about discussing chemistry, stick to that and I will get on with deleting the advertising spams that turn up everyday.
I do this is in my spare time so I am fitting it in. If sometimes my judgements seem off the cuff. It is because the U2U's have come in complaining about foul language or such like in a thread and I have hopped in and deleted it.

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by ScienceSquirrel]

Magic Muzzlet - 2-3-2012 at 13:00

Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  
You guys are the best entertainment we've had on Science Madness in years. Thanks for the laughs!:D

Using your logic, this comment should also be deleted, amongst the other bickering about comments. I do not care if you delete some of my words, or posts, it is the selectivity that angers me. It should at least be fair.

NOw, to actually input something into this thread. Hexavalent, you had a very hot and concentrated solution of extracted energy drink... Probably all types of organics, sugars, etc in that solution. It may be decomposing, or maybe it was simply xylene vapors. In any case, I would use a different source of caffeine not so impure, and use a lower boiling solvent.

[Edited on 2-3-2012 by Magic Muzzlet]

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 13:42

Thankyou Magic Muzzlet. How about extracting it from coffee or tea? I'd imagine the main problem with that would be such compounds as tannins or polyphenols, although these could probably be removed via the sublimation of the caffeine.

Magic Muzzlet - 2-3-2012 at 13:45

Have a look in prepublications, peach made a big post about how he did it from coffee and CH2Cl2. Tea works, just look around this forum and online because I have seen many procedures around for extracting caffeine from various products.
The caffeine content in some tea is likely low... So choose your starting material wisely.

Hexavalent - 2-3-2012 at 14:02

Thanks for that reference, I unfortunately lack DCM at the present time to I will have to look at doing it with either ethyl acetate or 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene.