Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Druken Aga Challenge (DAC) #3 - Closed (but open to discussion)

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j_sum1 - 3-2-2015 at 01:58

DeltaH, what a great find. That is just fascinating. I have downloaded a pdf version that I can peruse at my leisure.
I noticed that he mentioned addition of CuO improved things even further. I guess if you have access to CuSO4 and NaCO3 then CuO is an easy synthesis from otc products -- that it if it is not otc itself.

I need to read carefully and thoroughly. After a quick skim my first thought was to tumble the beans/peanuts in MnO before starting. That stuff sticks to everything. (Although, in the case of battery gunk it is more the graphite powder that sticks.) I never thought of soaking in KMnO4, but that sounds promising too.

I have done a (mental) redesign of my spray system. I am still mulling over options for my redesigned furnace. Catalysts sound like a great idea and there are a couple of options that can be tried. Sopermarket over the road doesn't stock soy beans but I am sure that I can find some. Failing that, I can re-do the peanuts. Suddenly there are a whole lot of variables to play with.

Suddenly this whole thing jumped up a notch.

deltaH - 3-2-2015 at 02:26

Yeah I got lucky, but it was blogfast's suggestion of MnO2 that got me digging.

Tumbling sounds great, bashing with a propeller internally... even better.

My ten cents worth: I also suggest pre-cooling the flue gas through a water cooled condenser (if you have one) or simply a coiled pipe before feeding to the cold water absorber. I also think this final absorber could simply be a vertical plastic pipe packed with crushed ice! The ice would melt gradually (hence some precooling can economise on the speed of the melting) and would also have a nice big surface area. I'd make it a column if possible and feed the flue gas from the bottom and tap off the acid from the bottom. The top of the column can be left open and fresh ice added constantly as the level dips. This counter-current approach would maximise the concentration of the acid pulled from the bottom.

j_sum1 - 3-2-2015 at 04:57

I think I mentioned before that I have no experience of choosing a catalyst but obviously transition metals are the go and I follow blogfast's reasoning on oxides. MnO2 was always going to be an obvious start point since it is so readily available.

I am not going to bash the beans. I want the air to be able to circulate around them easily during combustion. And I am trying to avoid having to construct a whole lot of pumping and mechanical equipment.
I agree wholeheartedly on cooling the flue has and ideally the water spray too. I am not so sold on the crushed ice. I think it will inhibit gas flow too much. And it won't provide the surface area of a fine spray. However, I can't see a simple way of active cooling with my modified design. What I think I will do instead is go for a high volume of spray for both cooling and absorption and plan on some serious reduction once the dilute acid is collected. It is summer here. My tank of rainwater is sitting at around 24°C and so is not that cold. But I expect some evaporative cooling to occur as well so that is something.

The whole set-up will be ridiculously simple. But I am waiting on a couple of purchases to arrive before I make another attempt.

deltaH - 3-2-2015 at 05:03

Best of luck j_sum1, I'm really looking forward to your results!

blogfast25 - 3-2-2015 at 10:01

j_sum1:

Don't use battery gunge though. It contains lots of graphite, a reducer. At a very minimum use pottery grade MnO2 or decent homemade.

aga - 3-2-2015 at 11:18

Would a bottle of Soy Sauce be of any use ?

http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajb/article/download/92538/81...

Page 4 says ~16.5g/kg Nitrogen.

deltaH - 3-2-2015 at 11:36

Save it for your sushi :) One can also use dry lentils, which I assume is readily available in grocery stores nearly everywhere, if soybeans aren't. Lentils are pretty high in protein, though not as high as soybean. Pound for pound, soybean is the cheapest plant protein source AFAIK. A 100% protein is also not a good idea because it might be harder to combust, so I wouldn't use protein powders like those that bodybuilders do, e.g. whey powder. I think legume beans are optimal for this type of experiment, be it soy or lentil based. I know j_sum is a fan of peanuts, but they're pricey here. I always keep thinking forward in-case one of these crazy things works and one would want to scale-up.

[Edited on 3-2-2015 by deltaH]

Hawkguy - 3-2-2015 at 19:02

Is the challenge still on? If so it wouldn't be a bad idea to just make KNO3 via the french method, and H2SO4 by sulfur (tomato dust) burning [ S8 + 8O2 -> 8SO2, SO2 + H2O -> H2SO3, 2H2SO3 + O2 -> H2SO4]...

Hawkguy - 3-2-2015 at 19:03

Last time I did that I failed, but that wasn't for lack of effort. Has anyone else succeeded through that method?

j_sum1 - 3-2-2015 at 21:15

Quote: Originally posted by Hawkguy  
Is the challenge still on? If so it wouldn't be a bad idea to just make KNO3 via the french method, and H2SO4 by sulfur (tomato dust) burning [ S8 + 8O2 -> 8SO2, SO2 + H2O -> H2SO3, 2H2SO3 + O2 -> H2SO4]...

I don't believe that pathway works.
The commercial process is to oxidise SO2 to SO3 in the presence of a vanadium pentoxide catalyst. Then that is converted to H2SO4 with water.

V2O5 means that it is no longer an otc process.
SO3 more than likely means that it is not a back yard process.

Others more knowledgeable than I am may provide a work around -- perhaps using H2O2. But if there is one, I am not aware of it.

j_sum1 - 3-2-2015 at 21:37

Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
j_sum1:

Don't use battery gunge though. It contains lots of graphite, a reducer. At a very minimum use pottery grade MnO2 or decent homemade.

You're right. I hadn't been thinking of the graphite as a reducer. I do have pottery grade MnO2 so can use that. The thing is, I have also been disassembling cells and attempting to purify the gunk -- with limited success. (Getting the Fe out is a bit of a dog.) Since I have large volumes of the stuff I thought I might use it but I can see that the graphite will get in the way.
Pre-burning of the graphite is not likely to work either. Not unless I can get some kind of furnace with a stirred bed and filtered gas extraction to contain the fines. I am not going there. Pottery grade it is.

deltaH - 3-2-2015 at 22:21

I believe it was stated in that thesis that regular MnO2 doesn't work... you need to prepare it in an active form. His methods involve KMnO4. This is sold in pharmacies in South Africa... though I haven't actually checked in the last 5 years if it's still so.

[Edited on 4-2-2015 by deltaH]

aga - 5-2-2015 at 12:10

Quote: Originally posted by Hawkguy  
Is the challenge still on? If so it wouldn't be a bad idea to just make KNO3 via the french method, and H2SO4 by sulfur (tomato dust) burning [ S8 + 8O2 -> 8SO2, SO2 + H2O -> H2SO3, 2H2SO3 + O2 -> H2SO4]...

Yeah. It's still On - nobody Won it yet !

Shivachemist - 5-2-2015 at 12:24

How about preparing Nitric acid from these compounds? Can you buy these from garden or agricultural supply store or from supermarket?

(i) Calcium nitrate (Norwegian saltpeter)
(iii) Hydrochloric acid (Muriatic acid)
(iii) Potassium or Sodium metabisulfite (Campden tablets)
(iv) Apparatus to dissolve gases (delivery tube)

plante1999 - 5-2-2015 at 12:26

Not the first one.

Shivachemist - 5-2-2015 at 12:34

oh darn, you can make both dilute sulfuric acid and dilute nitric acid by this method. Not sure about the concentration though, did not try to concentrate it when I made it last time.

Pasrules - 10-2-2015 at 21:29

Firstly do not try to make this
Secondly do not try to make this

Any welder suppler will sell Acetylene for braising or cutting steel
Any art supplier will sell Silver nitrate for prints

As the "precipitate" falls out of solution nitric acid will be left behind.
Again do not try to make nitric acid by this method as it is highly dangerous.

Side note: When cleaning welds on stainless steel we use a compound called pickling paste/liquid it is a mixture of HF and HNO3. It doesn't follow the rules of the challenge but try to separate it if you need nitric.


@Hawkguy don't try to burn tomato dust, we make that mixture at my workplace and one of the anti-biologicals ($30K a liter) in it is very dangerous although i doubt you would get near enough of the stuff to cause injury.

[Edited on 11-2-2015 by Pasrules]

blogfast25 - 11-2-2015 at 10:08

Quote: Originally posted by Pasrules  


As the "precipitate" falls out of solution nitric acid will be left behind.
Again do not try to make nitric acid by this method as it is highly dangerous.


Dangerous? Dangerous to your bank account, that's certainly true!

Quote: Originally posted by Pasrules  
Side note: When cleaning welds on stainless steel we use a compound called pickling paste/liquid it is a mixture of HF and HNO3.


You talk about danger but have no problem removing HF from such a solution?


Quote: Originally posted by Pasrules  
@Hawkguy don't try to burn tomato dust, we make that mixture at my workplace and one of the anti-biologicals ($30K a liter) in it is very dangerous although i doubt you would get near enough of the stuff to cause injury.


A slightly contradictory statement, I feel. What is this mystery 'anti-biological' anyway?


Pasrules - 11-2-2015 at 12:45

To retort
I choose the most expensive route to discourage people from trying it.

I am not experienced in dealing with gaseous HF nor do I expect anybody to attempt to separate pickling paste. It is just another source that somebody may not of thought of even tho it is against the rules of the challenge.

The anti-biological is actually an insecticide but the name escaped me at the time.
We use spinosad in Yates tomato dust which by MSDS is harmless but in the quantities I work with a single drop on the skin can take years for the affected area to recover. However for the concentration in the packet the evolving sulfur dioxide is more dangerous.
MSDS: http://msds.orica.com/pdf/shess-en-cds-D010-000000021922.pdf

Loptr - 11-2-2015 at 13:13

Quote: Originally posted by Pasrules  
To retort
I choose the most expensive route to discourage people from trying it.

I am not experienced in dealing with gaseous HF nor do I expect anybody to attempt to separate pickling paste. It is just another source that somebody may not of thought of even tho it is against the rules of the challenge.

The anti-biological is actually an insecticide but the name escaped me at the time.
We use spinosad in Yates tomato dust which by MSDS is harmless but in the quantities I work with a single drop on the skin can take years for the affected area to recover. However for the concentration in the packet the evolving sulfur dioxide is more dangerous.
MSDS: http://msds.orica.com/pdf/shess-en-cds-D010-000000021922.pdf


I have seen tomato dust that is just sulfur. It doesn't necessarily have any of the other compounds mentioned in the MSDS.

j_sum1 - 11-2-2015 at 14:17

And my tomato dust is copper oxychloride. No wonder I was confused.

Romain - 14-2-2015 at 12:38

Hey, I just recently found out where to acquire 55 gallons/210 litres polyethylene drums and I thought they would make a great scrubber/dissolution vessel to produce nitric acid. All you would need to do would be to fill the drum with water (say 10 litres, that's about 3 cm of liquid at the bottom of the drum) and put a ultrasonic fogger inside the drum.

Then, any nitrogen dioxide pumped into the drum via a tube would react with the fog an make nitric acid.
Because the vessel is so large, the nitrogen dioxide spends a lot of time in it and is converted more efficiently to nitric acid. The ultrasonic fogger could be coated in a nitric acid resistant substance, or one could settle with low concentrations.

An drum with a detachable lid is probably more suited for this use, to easily recover the nitric acid at the bottom of the drum.

One disadvantage of this scrubber is that you end up with 200 litres of nitrogen dioxide (even though dilute) which needs to be completely dissolved before retrieving the nitric acid. For this reason the drum should only be opened outside (Or in your fume hood if it's large enough...).

Anyway, just an idea.

aga - 14-2-2015 at 14:46

Ultrasonic Fogger !

Sounds great.

Where on Ebay do i get one ?

j_sum1 - 14-2-2015 at 22:35

Already thunka that one. And I used to have a fogger too... until it broke. What I don't have is a large plastic drum. My next attempt is probably two weeks away and I promise lots of mist.

CuReUS - 15-2-2015 at 04:32

Quote: Originally posted by Romain  

Then, any nitrogen dioxide pumped into the drum via a tube would react with the fog an make nitric acid.

and from where will the NO2 come?

Dead Woodchuck Update

WGTR - 19-2-2015 at 21:01

Here is the first little gem:

Attachment: Rough_arc_prototype.mpeg (5.4MB)
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I shifted away from the previous design that I posted. While the design worked at relatively low voltages, it took a lot of power to keep the arc stable. Overall the design was clever, but fiddly. There is a reason why various arc processes came and went, but the Birkeland process hung around for a few decades. It reaches a good balance between elegance, simplicity, and effectiveness.

This prototype uses 150V across the electrodes, as before, but includes an additional trigger coil to initiate the arc. A high voltage spark ionizes the gap, allowing the lower voltage (at high current) to flow through it. A neodymium magnet placed underneath the arc blows it out almost immediately, switching off the current until the gap is triggered again. High peak power can get dumped into the air gap (about 120W), but since the arc is blown out quickly, the average power is quite low (about 3 to 5W). The average power can be adjusted by adjusting the frequency of the trigger coil, as this controls how often the air gap fires. This enables the use of low-power parts. The electrodes themselves only get slightly warm during operation.

In the video, it can be seen that the magnet blows the arc out into a semi-circular disk. Since the main current is DC, the magnetic force only pushes the arc in one direction. If it was AC, a flat, round, flame disc would be seen between the electrodes.

It would be possible to replace the trigger coil and the high current power supply with a large neon sign transformer. There are some good reasons why I did not do it that way. For one, they can be hard to find, and expensive. They are speciality items, and may not be available everywhere. Second, it is easy to inadvertently kill oneself with one of those things. High voltage, high current, mmm...sizzle, sizzle, pop. I can smell burning flesh from a dead body already. If high voltage was going to be used in the system, I didn't want it to be capable of sustaining a high current arc by itself. I also didn't want to use a TV flyback transformer. Those are available, but are still speciality items, and are a bit complicated to use if one is inexperienced.

I settled on the use of an automotive ignition coil to trigger the spark gap. These coils are available in every salvage yard, and probably even in Walmart. The voltage is high enough from these things that it can reach out and grab you, but there isn't the high current capability that a neon sign transformer has. I managed to get too close to the ignition coil (once), and receive a morning wakeup call. It was not pleasant, but it was also not particularly dangerous.

This is intended to be a general status update. I haven't posted schematics or full details yet, and that probably won't happen until the final report.

I also have a mostly completed prototype design, but I'm trying to figure out how to get the relevant videos to fit within the posting limits. Hopefully I can post those shortly.

WGTR - 19-2-2015 at 22:08

This design uses the same electrodes as before, but they are now installed in a ceramic reaction chamber. A larger neodymium magnet is installed on the bottom, affixed with epoxy. Later in the video, I show how the hoses are hooked between the arc chamber and a glass bottle. If one looks closely, it is noticed that the jar contains NO2. A jar with clean air is placed next to it for comparison.

During the video, I turn the high voltage on and off, and also turn the high current supply on and off, just to show how it looks. During operation, though, the arc is fairly stable. The trigger voltage is applied to the copper outlet tube in the center of the chamber. This arcs over internally to the two electrodes, and provides reliable triggering.

I'm pushing air through the furnace with a small CPU fan mounted on the cardboard box. These fans don't like back pressure, and not much air is moving through the column. However, considering that I'm only running about 5W into the chamber, the amount of airflow I have is probably about right.

The parts are considerably oversized. I just used what I had laying around the lab. For a final go-around, I'll probably optimize the design to fit into a small box.

There are three parts to the video, to keep file sizes manageable. I think I'll have to post them separately to get them to upload. If there is some problem with the way I'm doing this, let me know and I'll figure something else out.

Right now, I am very tired, and have to go. I don't know how much sense I'm making right now. I may be occupied for the next few days as well. Anyway, enjoy the update.

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CuReUS - 20-2-2015 at 02:55

Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  

I'm pushing air through the furnace with a small CPU fan mounted on the cardboard box. These fans don't like back pressure, and not much air is moving through the column. However, considering that I'm only running about 5W into the chamber, the amount of airflow I have is probably about right.

what about using a leaf blower or a hair dryer ?

j_sum1 - 20-2-2015 at 03:05

I haven't viewed the video clips yet. (They do not seem to be downloading properly for me.) But I would guess at this scale even a hair drier might be too vigorous. Spark stability is likely to be affected if the air flow is too turbulent.

On a different note, I came home today with 3.5kg of soy beans given to me for free by a stock-feed company. They were kind enough to look up the chemical tests for the batch of beans. 10.7% moisture and a whopping 43% protein. I am just about to soak them in some catalyst.


[Edited on 20-2-2015 by j_sum1]

deltaH - 20-2-2015 at 03:19

NICE! It don't come no cheaper than free :cool: Excited to see the outcome j_sum1!
What are you planning to use for your soak catalyst, KMnO4 solution or is it a trade secret ;)
Please post a pic of the cat soaked beans post drying, would love to see them.

j_sum1 - 20-2-2015 at 04:21

I just put them in a bucket.
I based my mix on the 60:40 MnO2 CuO in the Charles Snowden Piggot paper. I had 50g of KMnO4 on hand and used 57.5g of copper sulfate pentahydrate which I assume will decompose down to MnO2 and CuO at the right ratios. That is all a bit of a gamble, but it can't hurt. 1.7kg soaking as we speak and it looks very purple.
The plan is to then dry them out with the catalyst diffused right through. Normally we would have 34°C days at this time of year but right now a cyclone is passing through a couple of hundred km north and it is raining steadily with temps in the low 20s. I won't be able to dry under the tin shed roof as planned and so they might have to go on the barbecue.

And I was very pleased with the price! I had spent a few hours scouting around a few local supermarkets with no success. One email to a stock feed company and I had my offer within 20 minutes. All I needed to do was pick them up.

blogfast25 - 20-2-2015 at 05:03

J_sum1:

They're obviously expecting a massive rise in sales due to an anticipated boom in homemade nitrates, from soy beans!

[takes tongue out of cheek]

[Edited on 20-2-2015 by blogfast25]

deltaH - 20-2-2015 at 05:38

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
I just put them in a bucket.
I based my mix on the 60:40 MnO2 CuO in the Charles Snowden Piggot paper. I had 50g of KMnO4 on hand and used 57.5g of copper sulfate pentahydrate which I assume will decompose down to MnO2 and CuO at the right ratios. That is all a bit of a gamble, but it can't hurt. 1.7kg soaking as we speak and it looks very purple.
The plan is to then dry them out with the catalyst diffused right through. Normally we would have 34°C days at this time of year but right now a cyclone is passing through a couple of hundred km north and it is raining steadily with temps in the low 20s. I won't be able to dry under the tin shed roof as planned and so they might have to go on the barbecue.

And I was very pleased with the price! I had spent a few hours scouting around a few local supermarkets with no success. One email to a stock feed company and I had my offer within 20 minutes. All I needed to do was pick them up.


Your catalyst recipe sounds great and I'm happy you've included the copper. Such a pity about the weather :(

Be careful if using heat to dry it... you might cook the beans in which case you could get a mess. At least the copper and manganese should keep the soggy beans from rotting or germinating, hopefully :o

You know, I've gotten so much by way of donations from companies towards my experimenting. The key is to design ideas around readily available low-cost mass commodity materials and then usually they are quite happy to give you some.

Blogfast, the headline shall read "Vegan dynamite!".

"Explosive gas from beans"... how could we not have thought about it sooner, seems so obvious :D

[Edited on 20-2-2015 by deltaH]

deltaH - 20-2-2015 at 06:17

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  


On a different note, I came home today with 3.5kg of soy beans given to me for free by a stock-feed company. They were kind enough to look up the chemical tests for the batch of beans. 10.7% moisture and a whopping 43% protein. I am just about to soak them in some catalyst.

[Edited on 20-2-2015 by j_sum1]


That's a theoretical maximum yield of 0.3 kg HNO3/kg beans at 100% nitrogen selectivity, but again, my gut feeling tells me getting 1/10 of that will be a job well done!

Molecular Manipulations - 20-2-2015 at 06:37

Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  


This prototype uses 150V across the electrodes, as before, but includes an additional trigger coil to initiate the arc. A high voltage spark ionizes the gap, allowing the lower voltage (at high current) to flow through it.

Did you come up with that idea yourself? That's pretty genius.
I can't believe I didn't think of that, it's so simple. I have a 15Kv PSU, with less than 0.001 amps, useless for nitrogen oxidation because of the small current. I'll give this a try sometime! I won't try to win this challenge though, it's your idea. Do you know how many volts your HV PSU is? 15KV makes on a ~.25 inch spark.
Good luck.
I've got an idea for a simpler setup, just have the arc in a conical flask above a solution of water or dilute nitric acid, then have a little bubblier setup to dissolve oxygen and nitrogen tetroxide in the water (you could probably even do without a bubblier, if the nitrogen oxide production is slow. Or use a stir bar).
Something like this:

image.png - 8kB

blogfast25 - 20-2-2015 at 08:25

Quote: Originally posted by deltaH  
That's a theoretical maximum yield of 0.3 kg HNO3/kg beans at 100% nitrogen selectivity, but again, my gut feeling tells me getting 1/10 of that will be a job well done!


I can't wait to see how this will pan out. :cool:

deltaH - 20-2-2015 at 08:38

Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by deltaH  
That's a theoretical maximum yield of 0.3 kg HNO3/kg beans at 100% nitrogen selectivity, but again, my gut feeling tells me getting 1/10 of that will be a job well done!


I can't wait to see how this will pan out. :cool:

My experience with such chemical innovations is that it's going to take a very great many attempts before getting things right. But's it's a bit of a lottery, very rarely, you strike it lucky early on, though I must say, that has happened very seldom in my life. Your making of anhydrous AlCl3 was one of those few concepts that worked relatively early on... very rare that that happens :mad:

Actually this setup reminds me a lot of the 'billy moonshine stills. Ultimately, if proof of concept is established, I envision metal drums with ten's of kg's of soy beans, fans bellowing air in, (a thumper :P) and absorbtion column... all for a few jars of nitric acid hooch ;)

WGTR - 20-2-2015 at 10:00

Quote: Originally posted by CuReUS  
Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  

I'm pushing air through the furnace with a small CPU fan mounted on the cardboard box. These fans don't like back pressure, and not much air is moving through the column. However, considering that I'm only running about 5W into the chamber, the amount of airflow I have is probably about right.

what about using a leaf blower or a hair dryer ?


That's a bit too much, I think. If too much air volume is used, the NO2 is diluted needlessly. The rate at which NO auto-oxidizes depends on its concentration. Very high degrees of dilution in the gas mixture won't work very well in this process, I think. The air flow from the fan is slow enough that I think I can, maybe, perhaps, feel a slight draft on the back of my hand at the outlet from the glass bottle. Then again, it could be my imagination...even at this, in the video one can see that the bottle is filling with NO2. I have to go back later and calculate what the air flow should be. In the commercial Birkeland Process, for a 0.5MW reactor only about 2m^3 was passed through the arc each minute.

Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
Quote: Originally posted by WGTR  


This prototype uses 150V across the electrodes, as before, but includes an additional trigger coil to initiate the arc. A high voltage spark ionizes the gap, allowing the lower voltage (at high current) to flow through it.

Did you come up with that idea yourself? That's pretty genius.
I can't believe I didn't think of that, it's so simple. I have a 15Kv PSU, with less than 0.001 amps, useless for nitrogen oxidation because of the small current. I'll give this a try sometime! I won't try to win this challenge though, it's your idea. Do you know how many volts your HV PSU is? 15KV makes on a ~.25 inch spark.
Good luck.
I've got an idea for a simpler setup, just have the arc in a conical flask above a solution of water or dilute nitric acid, then have a little bubblier setup to dissolve oxygen and nitrogen tetroxide in the water (you could probably even do without a bubblier, if the nitrogen oxide production is slow. Or use a stir bar).
Something like this:

Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I came up with that myself. That's not to say that I'm the first person to do it, just that I figured it out in the lab.

The way the air gap is triggered is not very obvious. One could look at the design, and think that it couldn't possibly work. After all, when the high voltage gap is broken down (from the ignition coil), why does it also jump the secondary gap (low voltage, high current) instead of shorting out through the 150V power supply? The reason is, that when the high voltage gap finally breaks down, it does so very suddenly, even explosively. The voltage rises on the low voltage electrode within nanoseconds. At this rate, the inductance of the lead wires becomes very significant, and blocks the high voltage long enough to force it across the secondary gap, triggering it.

The high voltage gap distance needs to be adjusted carefully, as the arc must decay completely between each high voltage trigger pulse. If it becomes a continuous arc, then the secondary gap will not get triggered, as the 150V supply will short out the high voltage discharge. I'll explain all of this more thoroughly later on.

I think the voltage output is something like 30-50kV. This is an automotive ignition coil (MSD Blaster 2, PN 8202) that is used to fire spark plugs. The main difference between an automotive system and mine, is that instead of points I'm using a MOSFET (IRF740S), driving the gate with a function generator. The condenser is placed in the usual location, across the MOSFET's D-S. The supply voltage is about 6V at 2-3A. A complete automotive electronic ignition system could probably be jury-rigged to give the exact same results.

I don't mind at all if you want to try this yourself. I can't accept prize money for this anyway, so that's not an issue for me. I would certainly be happy to see someone else interested in this.

Your idea is an interesting one, but may have one difficulty. If the sparking system is placed in a closed flask with water vapors, then the electrodes, etc., will be exposed continually to nitric acid vapors. Lifetime of the system would probably be short. The outlet of my reactor uses a copper tube. This is exposed to product gasses right as they come out of the reactor, as well as water vapor from the air. The key thing is that it takes time for the NO produced to oxidize to NO2, and it takes time for this in turn to react with water. By the time any acid can be formed, the gasses have already left the reactor, and are in a glass jar.

For the absorption column, I'm thinking of using a 3' glass tube, and packing it full of broken glass. This tube can be laid down on its side, and filled halfway with water. This way, the gas mixture has to travel the full length of the tube, but doesn't need to bubble through water. Hopefully, the glass chips will break up any laminar gas flow, and force the NO2 into contact with the water.

aga - 21-2-2015 at 11:38

Beans, Gas and Sparks. Hmm.

Be careful out there !

j_sum1 - 21-2-2015 at 20:05

A quick report on the beans.
Soaking overnight in my brew and nearly all the moisture was absorbed. Solution changed from purple to brown indicating a change of oxidation state for the Mn. The beans now kill cockroaches. I saw one that tried to eat them.
It appears that the Mn and Cu have not actually soaked into the beans. The beans have swelled but the interior is not discoloured in any way. It all seems to have been absorbed into the husk of the beans. I am going to blame cellular membranes that are designed to keep the nasties out of the cells.
Now I need to carefully dry the beans out so that they burn. And the catalysts are likely contained only at the surface.
Next batch I will likely just give the dry beans a bit of a dusting in MnO2 and CuO. Maybe tumble them for a bit. That will save on the drying process and likely give the same result in terms of the distribution of the catalyst.

WGTR - 23-2-2015 at 14:36

Creating something that kills cockroaches is an impressive feat all by itself.

As an interesting idea for someone who wants to try it, here are some things that I came across:

Attachment: 11-7-13-10-20_university-of-illinois--nitrates-in-livestock-feed.pdf (101kB)
This file has been downloaded 614 times

Take their suggestions for minimizing nitrate production, and do the opposite. There is even a nitrate test specified for roughly determining concentration.

The basic idea is that there is already nitrate in the soil, whether it originated from urea, ammonia, nitrate, etc. The plants just concentrate the converted nitrate, and use it to create amino acids, etc. in the leaves. If the plant is stressed, then nitrate builds up in the stalks.

Some more information:

http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicati...

http://www.yara.com/doc/33527_Nitrogen_transformations_in_th...

[Edited on 2-23-2015 by WGTR]

aga - 23-2-2015 at 15:01

Amazing finds WGTR and j_sum1

A Nitric Acid Competition, and a Bug Exterminator discovered !

The sheer innovation and imagination you guys are demonstrating is what this is all about.

For those that don't know, bugs tend Not to eat things that kill them, much like us, and most living things.

Finding something they Will eat, yet kills them, is the entire Bug Poison Industry's secret.

Prize fund increases to 350 euros.

Edit:

Anyone Stressing Plants by shouting 'Harvester' or 'Sheep' at them in order to increase their nitrate levels will be disqualified.

[Edited on 23-2-2015 by aga]

j_sum1 - 23-2-2015 at 15:48

To be more accurate, I found a roach crawling off the beans and looking decidedly unwell. (I was going to say, "seedy" but some things just shouldn't be said.) I used my size tens to put an end to the bug. If anyone is retelling this story, I put it out of its misery. The reality however is that I prefer squished roaches to crawling roaches even if they are nearly expired.

deltaH - 24-2-2015 at 05:14

Have the beans dried up yet j_sum1?

Talking about toxicity, one would have to guard against pets and even people accidentally eating those beans. This can be an issue for example if tossing them out in a bin.

Soy is probably used in pet food... I'd hazard a guess that these metal oxides don't taste too bad due to their insolubility. However, they might dissolve back to metal salts at the low pH of gastric juices making it a 'Trojan horse' bait :o

Please mark the catalyst containing beans as TOXIC and store appropriately out of reach of children, pets and disgruntled wives.

*******************************************
aga, your prize money is generous, thank you for this great support towards amateur experimentalism!

[Edited on 24-2-2015 by deltaH]

Zombie - 25-2-2015 at 02:54

Quote: Originally posted by deltaH  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
I just put them in a bucket.
I based my mix on the 60:40 MnO2 CuO in the Charles Snowden Piggot paper. I had 50g of KMnO4 on hand and used 57.5g of copper sulfate pentahydrate which I assume will decompose down to MnO2 and CuO at the right ratios. That is all a bit of a gamble, but it can't hurt. 1.7kg soaking as we speak and it looks very purple.
The plan is to then dry them out with the catalyst diffused right through. Normally we would have 34°C days at this time of year but right now a cyclone is passing through a couple of hundred km north and it is raining steadily with temps in the low 20s. I won't be able to dry under the tin shed roof as planned and so they might have to go on the barbecue.

And I was very pleased with the price! I had spent a few hours scouting around a few local supermarkets with no success. One email to a stock feed company and I had my offer within 20 minutes. All I needed to do was pick them up.


Your catalyst recipe sounds great and I'm happy you've included the copper. Such a pity about the weather :(

Be careful if using heat to dry it... you might cook the beans in which case you could get a mess. At least the copper and manganese should keep the soggy beans from rotting or germinating, hopefully :o

You know, I've gotten so much by way of donations from companies towards my experimenting. The key is to design ideas around readily available low-cost mass commodity materials and then usually they are quite happy to give you some.

Blogfast, the headline shall read "Vegan dynamite!".

"Explosive gas from beans"... how could we not have thought about it sooner, seems so obvious :D

[Edited on 20-2-2015 by deltaH]



Soooo , Ill know who to blame when I have to dip my egg roll in milk.

This thread is still amazing me. you might actually have an easy way to do this (albeit a tough battle) in the end.

deltaH - 25-2-2015 at 04:29

Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  

Soooo , Ill know who to blame when I have to dip my egg roll in milk.

This thread is still amazing me. you might actually have an easy way to do this (albeit a tough battle) in the end.

It would be the nitric acid equivalent of winning the lotto, probably with similar odds to boot :D But still, if there is ANY chance this could work, considering the outcome, it's worth taking!

j_sum1 - 25-2-2015 at 16:59

Ahh the beans.
What I failed to appreciate is that 1.7kg of soy beans soaked to several times their original size and spread out ion a single layer for drying covers a lot of square metres.
I have had my cockroach incident. I believe the mechanism of roach distress is crystallisation of copper salts internally. That's gotta be pleasant! Bt I am not going to do a whole lot more investigation of that. It is outside my field.
I have had problems with germination. Well, some of the seeds have gone green and split. And I don't think it is copper.
I have had problems with mould. The atmosphere has been a bit too damp for effective drying.

I put the beans in shallow boxes on the shed roof in the sun while I went to work yesterday. I can't do the same today -- rain is forecast. The next step will be to dry on the barbecue on Friday evening. Saturday is my next attempt at constructing my equipment and maybe attempting a run.

I mentioned before that the KMnO4 and CuSO4 appears to have not soaked into the beans. Next attempt will be with dry beans tumbled with MnO2 and CuO with maybe enough liquid to make them stick. I'll probably go for either methylated spirits or acetone. But I have another secret ingredient that might be advantageous as well.

Etaoin Shrdlu - 25-2-2015 at 17:05

Why don't you use milled soybeans mixed with powdered catalyst, just out of curiosity? Seems like the simplest way to maximize contact.

j_sum1 - 25-2-2015 at 17:15

Two reasons.
1. I need to use what I have available. It took me a while to locate some beans in the first place.
2. The intention is to combust in a furnace. Pellets are going to allow for better air circulation than a powder -- at least in a simple set-up.

Zombie - 25-2-2015 at 17:31

How about pressure cooking in the liquid?

Perhaps you could eventually reduce the heat, and evaporate off the water.

j_sum1 - 25-2-2015 at 18:59

Pressure cooking retains the water. That's the opposite of what I want to do. I want to convert my soft wet beans to something that is going to combust at a high temperature.

deltaH - 25-2-2015 at 21:51

Blowing warm air through the beans for a couple hours with a hair dryer is probably your best bet in such foul weather. A big coffee tin with a hair dryer-sized hole cut out on the bottom side aught to do the trick? Spousal endorsement may vary.

j_sum1 - 25-2-2015 at 22:04

Biiiiiig coffee tin. The expanded beans come to approx 8 Litres.

I have a hooded BBQ that I can spread the beans out in a single layer and set to 100 degrees and process in a couple of batches. I think that will be fine.

deltaH - 26-2-2015 at 00:20

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Biiiiiig coffee tin. The expanded beans come to approx 8 Litres.

I have a hooded BBQ that I can spread the beans out in a single layer and set to 100 degrees and process in a couple of batches. I think that will be fine.


Sounds great, but i'd try to aim for a lower temperature (~60°C), if the starch begins to cook, you might end up with a right mess :mad:

[Edited on 26-2-2015 by deltaH]

Zombie - 26-2-2015 at 01:34

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Pressure cooking retains the water. That's the opposite of what I want to do. I want to convert my soft wet beans to something that is going to combust at a high temperature.



I understand that.

What I mean is, pressure cook the beans, then remove the pressure valve, lower the heat, and carefully monitor the pot on the heat until the beans are dry.

Pretend it was your turn to cook dinner, and you really wanted to go out to eat...

deltaH - 26-2-2015 at 01:53

Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Pressure cooking retains the water. That's the opposite of what I want to do. I want to convert my soft wet beans to something that is going to combust at a high temperature.



I understand that.

What I mean is, pressure cook the beans, then remove the pressure valve, lower the heat, and carefully monitor the pot on the heat until the beans are dry.

Pretend it was your turn to cook dinner, and you really wanted to go out to eat...


I like the idea of pyrolysing the beans in the absence of air to make soybean char. This should burn much hotter and vigorously than dried soy alone and the fuel nitrogen should remain trapped in the carbon matrix so long as the pyrolysis is not unreasonably hot, which it won't be.

The barbie version would be to wrap the beans in heavy duty foil to make parcels and throw them straight onto the barbie coals... you know, same way as making potatoes. If you leave them on for a long time, they should partially or completely char. The foil should keep air sufficiently out but water vapour and pyrolysis gases should force their way out between the wrapping. Considering the number of time I'm managed to blacken my potatoes, this shouldn't be too hard :D

j_sum perhaps you could try both versions on your barbie simultaneously and see which one (or neither) performs better later in NOx production.

Presumably, the resulting nitrogen content of the char would also be much higher than dry bean due to the loss of all the hydroxyl groups as water (useless constituent calorically speaking anyhow).

Plus, when you light that char up with forced air, I wouldn't be surprised if it burns white hot like a bellowed smithy.

[Edited on 26-2-2015 by deltaH]

deltaH - 26-2-2015 at 05:40

Oh, forgot to say that a soybean char would probably take up a catalyst solution far more effectively... obviously it's not activated charcoal, but nevertheless.

A future bean preprep methodology might be:

(1) Roast dry beans in a tin with small hole on a fire till black.
(2) Impregnate with catalyst solution.
(3) Air dry in the sun (being black helps here).

Sounds like we have the makings of an industrial process. Sustainably produced nitric acid at only *five* times the price :P

Still, fossil fuels aren't going to abound forever...

[Edited on 26-2-2015 by deltaH]

Zombie - 26-2-2015 at 07:10

This got me thinking... Converting the starches in the beans into sugar...

I'm curious if sprouting the beans, allowing the enzymes to develop, Sparging them for an hour to convert the starch, and then soaking in your solution, and drying would be a benefit.

You would have the added caloric value of the sugars. Whether it is worth the extra effort... IDK.

deltaH - 26-2-2015 at 08:28

Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
This got me thinking... Converting the starches in the beans into sugar...

I'm curious if sprouting the beans, allowing the enzymes to develop, Sparging them for an hour to convert the starch, and then soaking in your solution, and drying would be a benefit.

You would have the added caloric value of the sugars. Whether it is worth the extra effort... IDK.


No, I think you would be making things worse.

Hydrolysis of starch introduces water into the molecule (hence the word hydro=water, lysis=splitting) and so drops the calorific value, for example, compare the heat of combustion of glucose (15.6MJ/kg)[1] to that of starch (17.3MJ/kg)[1].

Furthermore, even starch is not that great because it also contains plenty of hydroxyl groups. Pyrolysis eliminates these as water which is why it ups the calorific value of the resulting fuel, compare for example with the heat of combustion of carbon (32.8MJ/kg). The better fuels are rich in just C and H.

References:

[1] Kabo, G.J. et al. (2013). Thermodynamic properties of starch and glucose. J. Chem. Thermodynamics 59, pp. 87-93.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_of_combustion

[Edited on 26-2-2015 by deltaH]

aga - 26-2-2015 at 13:30

Bean pyrolysis. Hmm.

Methinks i got a few Kg of beans and a Pyrolyser capable of about 10Kg ...

blogfast25 - 26-2-2015 at 14:55

Aga:

I hope you're not thinking this is going to be easy. At the very least go back to the document that inspired this idea. The useless murder of beans by burning them alive cannot be condoned. ;)

blogfast25 - 26-2-2015 at 15:00

Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
This got me thinking... Converting the starches in the beans into sugar...



Ferment the sugar, distil off the EtOH to 95 %. Dry the rest of the beans, mix them with catalyst and burn them with the EtOH? :D

[bullshit off]

[Edited on 26-2-2015 by blogfast25]

Zombie - 26-2-2015 at 15:11

You're three steps ahead of me there.

(gazuntite) :P


j_sum1 - 26-2-2015 at 15:14

Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Aga:

I hope you're not thinking this is going to be easy. At the very least go back to the document that inspired this idea. The useless murder of beans by burning them alive cannot be condoned. ;)

A flurry of new ideas. Unfortunately I have to keep this practical. I will get some time this weekend to do a bit but there are limitations. It is unlikely that I will be able to compare different bean processing ideas for effectiveness. I might try processing the beans in different ways but it is likely that I will only have time to do one furnace run and all the gases collected will be mixed.

Which probably means there is plenty of scope for someone else to do some experimenting. Remember, beans were free in my case and should be low cost if they have to be purchased. the equipment I am using is literally junk. There is a multitude of helpful ideas being offered here. Thanks to aga's generosity, the rewards are large. The only real cost is time. There should be other competitors active.

blogfast25 - 26-2-2015 at 16:01

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Remember, beans were free in my case and should be low cost if they have to be purchased.


At such an embryonic state of development cold shouldn't be much of a concern. That's how Big Research usually proceeds. Cost can always be cut later.

j_sum1 - 28-2-2015 at 17:59

"cold" blogfast? I think that's a typo.
_______________________________


For those following this saga; and I admit there are probably better things on TV, here is the latest update.

1.7 kg of soy beans have been soaked in a solution of copper sulfate and potassium permanganate. After a week of "natural drying" in questionable weather conditions, they have been subjected to a few hours of slow drying on the barbecue at a temperature low enough to make them remain touchable by hand. They lost just on10% of their original mass which corresponds nicely to a tested moisture level of 10.7%. They are now slightly larger than they were when I got them. They are dark brown with the appearance of coffee beans. They are quite hard to crush and there is little visible evidence of the manganese and copper compounds having soaked in to any appreciable degree.

Redesigned furnace has been constructed and a preliminary test of the new spray mechanism suggests that it will work well with the water able to be recycled through the system. A method has been devised and tested for boiling down the acid to increase its concentration.

The latest hurdle however is a bit of a critical one. Soy beans do not appear to burn. Heating to high temperature with a propane torch does not result in a self-sustaining flame. Nor does addition of crushed hexamine.

Two possible avenues present themselves from this point:
(a) charring the beans in the absence of O2 to eliminate all hydroxyl groups. I must confess that I have no idea what effect this will have on the protein content and how much of the N will be lost. I accept that a char will have a higher heat of combustion and is more likely to sustain a constant flame than uncharred beans. It is also likely that they will require a high temperature to ignite. Hopefully I won't need a coal fire to get them started.
(b) run a test omitting the Mn or Cu or both. There may be some flame retardation occurring here.
(c) (Ok, so I can't count) Revert to peanuts at least for a proof of concept.

This third option is the least time intensive and will at least give a preliminary result. With that in mind I have purchased another 375g of nuts to toast. I know they at least burn and burn hot.

Zombie - 28-2-2015 at 18:05

I'll buy you the chemicals, and give you 200. bucks.

Without a doubt... The thread has wondered from EASY!

U2U me an address, and win the prize. :cool:

Zyklon-A - 28-2-2015 at 18:07

Why not char about twenty grams of it and see if it burns. No point in waisting it all on something that won't work, but just speculating isn't going to burn the beans either. Might as well give it a spark.

j_sum1 - 28-2-2015 at 18:12

Charring 20 grams will take the same time as charring 200g. (I have got 3.4kg to play with and can get more if needed so I am not worried about using it up.)
Dusting some peanuts with MnO and CuO will take almost no time. But either way, it is not going to happen this weekend.

Etaoin Shrdlu - 28-2-2015 at 18:18

Soybeans are known to undergo spontaneous combustion in storage. I'm very surprised yours won't burn even impregnated with an oxidizer.

Zombie - 28-2-2015 at 18:55

Spontanious combustion sucks...

burning_man_by_leakingtable-d4r6vas.jpg - 245kB

j_sum1 - 28-2-2015 at 19:26

Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Soybeans are known to undergo spontaneous combustion in storage. I'm very surprised yours won't burn even impregnated with an oxidizer.

Most spontaneous combustion scenarios are a result of moisture, the action of bacteria, a resultant increase in temperature and the presence of volatiles. I think I have effectively eliminated all four of these.

Zombie - 28-2-2015 at 20:32

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Soybeans are known to undergo spontaneous combustion in storage. I'm very surprised yours won't burn even impregnated with an oxidizer.

Most spontaneous combustion scenarios are a result of moisture, the action of bacteria, a resultant increase in temperature and the presence of volatiles. I think I have effectively eliminated all four of these.



You forgot Zombie juice. That is important! :(

deltaH - 28-2-2015 at 21:28

j_sum, while I am a fan of mildly pyrolysing the beans (bean charcoal), a quick fix might be to employ a mixture of beans and ordinary charcoal in the furnace.

Oscilllator - 28-2-2015 at 21:46

If you have one, I would suggest using a heat gun of the type used to remove paint. The one I have can heat air up enough to turn wood brown, so I imagine if you used this as a air source instead of a hair dryer you should be able to sustain combustion quite easily.
They can probably be bought fairly cheaply too, since they are essentially a resistor in front of a fan.

deltaH - 28-2-2015 at 21:59

I think he's problem is less sustaining combustion than starting combustion. With a heat of combustion of 19MJ/kg, soybeans MUST be combustible, however, I suspect the initial pyrolysis the bean undergoes is mildly endothermic and I think this is where j_sum is getting undone at the moment.

Zombie - 1-3-2015 at 06:05

How about a small furnace... A pipe set thru a bed of charcoal, and fed hot air thru the bottom via the heat gun idea.

Untitled.jpg - 262kB

Etaoin Shrdlu - 1-3-2015 at 06:17

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Soybeans are known to undergo spontaneous combustion in storage. I'm very surprised yours won't burn even impregnated with an oxidizer.

Most spontaneous combustion scenarios are a result of moisture, the action of bacteria, a resultant increase in temperature and the presence of volatiles. I think I have effectively eliminated all four of these.

Moisture and bacteria only produce the heat necessary to start the reaction. They don't actually aid the combustion themselves that I know of, moisture at least should hinder it. The increase in temperature of course you're providing yourself trying to start the fire. I wasn't aware volatiles were necessary.

DeltaH is probably correct unless you have weird soybeans.

EDIT: Hmm, bought a butane candle-lighter and a pound of soybeans to see for myself. A pile of five of them just charred. About 30 of them the flame spread into pockets and started (apparently) separate fires that burned out within a few seconds when I took the heat away. Confining them more closely with a loose spring of wire had more or less the same effect. Either the lighter's not covering enough area, or it's not hot enough to start anything self-sustaining. I'm going to try to mill some of them and see if increasing the surface area helps.

[Edited on 3-1-2015 by Etaoin Shrdlu]

j_sum1 - 1-3-2015 at 15:01

Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  

Moisture and bacteria only produce the heat necessary to start the reaction. They don't actually aid the combustion themselves that I know of, moisture at least should hinder it. The increase in temperature of course you're providing yourself trying to start the fire. I wasn't aware volatiles were necessary.

DeltaH is probably correct unless you have weird soybeans.

EDIT: Hmm, bought a butane candle-lighter and a pound of soybeans to see for myself. A pile of five of them just charred. About 30 of them the flame spread into pockets and started (apparently) separate fires that burned out within a few seconds when I took the heat away. Confining them more closely with a loose spring of wire had more or less the same effect. Either the lighter's not covering enough area, or it's not hot enough to start anything self-sustaining. I'm going to try to mill some of them and see if increasing the surface area helps.

[Edited on 3-1-2015 by Etaoin Shrdlu]

Yaaay!! I have an accomplice. (As well as numerous consultants.)
What you describe ES is exactly what I observed: both for untreated beans and also for the soaked and dried.

Lighting up a charcoal fire seems like an ok idea but my thought is unless it gets very hot, a handful of beans will smother it easily. And between the charcoal and beans, the overall protein content is likely to dip below 25% This means that peanuts will be my next attempt.
I agree that soy beans should work but finding the exact conditions to get them to ignite is going to take some experimenting.

@deltaH
I read ideashack last night. I understand your interest in this thread. Some really great ideas floated. To my thinking, the plaster is only a small step from marketable. But it would depend on economics of production as well. Anyway, that's for another conversation. I might PM some thoughts as they develop.

aga - 1-3-2015 at 15:48

why are dried beans not igniting ?

Too little Heat, Mass, Surface Area or Oxygen ?

It's Organic : remove the water and It WILL burn.

j_sum1 - 1-3-2015 at 16:10

Well, hitting it with a propane torch should be enough to get it to temperature. But the torch itself probably steals all available oxygen.
Blowing on the fire only served to snuff the flames more quickly. I couldn't get much of a glow out of the beans themselves.
Getting oxygen to pass through the bean pile is probably not the limiting factor at this stage. It might be an issue with some fire configurations but I expect that once the pyre is going, it will suck O2 through without bellows or forcing air.

I think it is mostly a situation of heat dissipation. A high temperature is required and in the initial stages of a fire, especially a small one, the heat dissipates into the environment quickly and the temperature drops. I might play with passing some pure O2 onto the glowing beans to aid the kinetics a bit and get the temp up. But again, that will have to wait until another weekend. Peanuts first. I want to test the collection next.

Oscilllator - 1-3-2015 at 17:04

I'm fairly sure the reason the beans aren't burning is the same reason that coal doesn't burn when you hit it with a blowtorch - the activation energy is to high. Therefore I would suggest starting the soybeans burning the same way I start my forge: by having a bed of easily burnable wood ships or similar underneath the soybeans, then blowing air through the wood past the soybeans.
If you have trouble igniting the wood underneath all those beans, I suggest a judicial application of hydrocarbons.

Etaoin Shrdlu - 4-3-2015 at 19:21

Coarse ground flour charred more quickly but still wouldn't light off the candle lighter. Mixing a small part of it with an approximately equal volume of potassium permanganate started a nice hot fire when lit. Ignited in a few seconds and the rest of the flour burned close to the edges of the pile before stopping. I only tried with a couple tablespoons; I suspect it may work better on a larger scale but it's too dark and cold out to set anything up now.

Zombie - 4-3-2015 at 19:29

Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Coarse ground flour charred more quickly but still wouldn't light off the candle lighter. Mixing a small part of it with an approximately equal volume of potassium permanganate started a nice hot fire when lit. Ignited in a few seconds and the rest of the flour burned close to the edges of the pile before stopping. I only tried with a couple tablespoons; I suspect it may work better on a larger scale but it's too dark and cold out to set anything up now.
\


Didn't you look up three posts...


Make a simple pipe furnace that pre heats the beans.

They will be almost charcoal by the time a heat gun is used for oxygen.

too much over thinking...

Etaoin Shrdlu - 4-3-2015 at 19:37

The fun I get out of this is by not using another fuel. :D

Others can do as they like.

Zombie - 4-3-2015 at 19:42

Dude, I'm talking about your fuel.

Run a pipe thru a bead of coals, and pre carbonize the fuel.

Is that science enough?

Collect the vapor at the head of that pipe.

Etaoin Shrdlu - 4-3-2015 at 19:43

Coal is another fuel.

EDIT: Dear lord. I'm not trying to complete the challenge, I'm trying to burn soybeans.

[Edited on 3-5-2015 by Etaoin Shrdlu]

Zombie - 4-3-2015 at 20:12

What I mean is a pipe full of soy beans run up thru a bed of coal. The pipe is whatever the temp of the coal bed is regulated at, and the beans are fed hot air from the bottom.

The vapors from the beans are separated from the coal bed via the pipe.

Etaoin Shrdlu - 5-3-2015 at 10:46

Yes. That's still using coal. I do not want to use another fuel than soybeans. I already know adding heat from another source will help, no need to test it.

aga - 5-3-2015 at 12:26

A wild thought : powder the beans and blow the dust into some sort of starter flame.

The Air blowing the dust should help with the combustion, although it will be a fine line between blowing Enough to carry the bean dust and blowing it Out.

Perhaps blowing vertically Upwards through a cylinder containing an amount of bean dust would create an area in the cylinder where combustion is favourable.

[Edited on 5-3-2015 by aga]

Zombie - 5-3-2015 at 14:24

Quote: Originally posted by aga  
A wild thought : powder the beans and blow the dust into some sort of starter flame.

The Air blowing the dust should help with the combustion, although it will be a fine line between blowing Enough to carry the bean dust and blowing it Out.

Perhaps blowing vertically Upwards through a cylinder containing an amount of bean dust would create an area in the cylinder where combustion is favourable.

[Edited on 5-3-2015 by aga]



There is also a risk of an explosion or an uncontrolled combustion.

I've seen what happens when you mix a flammable dust (epoxy resin / carbon fiber) with a propane turbo heater.

A kid sweeping the shop pushed a broom full of dust behind the intake, and the short blast blew the deflector cone out of the heater.

aga - 5-3-2015 at 14:33

Grain Silo explosions were what gave me the idea.

Zombie - 5-3-2015 at 14:38

You're BAD!!!

Time out Mister. :(

aga - 5-3-2015 at 14:42

Huh ? Sounds workable to me.

Bean dust & Air, set fire to it.

Zombie - 5-3-2015 at 14:53

How about de-constructing a Microwave oven, and using the magnatron?

aga - 5-3-2015 at 15:01

For what purpose, exactly ?

Zombie - 5-3-2015 at 16:56

Perhaps you could mix the powdered beans with a metallic compound, and convert the magnatron into a furnace...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft8of6ZeFNM


deltaH - 5-3-2015 at 21:46

This is much of a muchness. Just pyrolyse the beans in a tin on the coals of a barbie and be done with it. Simple, no mess, no fuss. Don't forget to punch a small hole in the top of the tin for the volatiles to escape. You can then impregnate the charred beans with catalyst to your heart's content without anything going awry.

Need to scale up? No problem, use a 25l paint drum, build a fire around it, make lots of 'charoya' :)

[Edited on 6-3-2015 by deltaH]

deltaH - 5-3-2015 at 21:51

Yay, that was my 1000th post!

I am now an 'extremely dangerous source of unreferenced speculation' :D

[Edited on 6-3-2015 by deltaH]

Amos - 5-3-2015 at 21:55

Quote: Originally posted by deltaH  
Yay, that was my 1000th post!

I am now an 'extremely dangerous source of unreferenced speculation' :D

[Edited on 6-3-2015 by deltaH]


Sweet! Congratulations!

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