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Author: Subject: Obtaining Hexane (Down-under)
Halcyon
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 00:47
Obtaining Hexane (Down-under)


Can anyone give me a lead on finding Hexane in Australia (or any non-regional info, like what sort of places might use it)?

I've tried paint and fibreglass places, but no-one seems to have even heard of it, and I'm at a loss for other places to look.

[Edited on 13-10-2010 by Halcyon]
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woelen
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 01:23


Do you really need hexane? For many applications one also can use petroleum ether (ligroin), which is available with different boiling trajectories. The most common ones are 40 ... 60, 60 ... 90, 100 ... 140. I think that the 40 ... 60 boiling range (in degrees C) is closest to hexane. This is a mix of alkanes and cycloalkanes and usually is very pure with respect to non-volatile residues and non-saturated hydrocarbons.



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Halcyon
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 03:52


I don't need hexane, but I do want a non-polar solvent that is liquid at room temp, reasonably safe (so not diethyl ether), but that can be distilled off at as little above room temp as possible (or at/below room temp with the vacuum pump I have).

Right now, the purpose is to isolate capsaicinoids from chilli oil previously soxhlet-extracted using methanol.

In the future, I might try something that possibly has something to do with why I can't find hexane around the place, but that's not so important.

The reason I'm looking at hexane is because I want to pull off the solvent without burning/damaging the extract or changing the flavours.

Where would I go about sourcing petroleum ether? Is the best way simply to buy some Shellite (naptha) and distill off the most volatile fraction with a vigereaux column?

*EDIT* I also notice that shellite, when burned, leaves a slight residue - if that's what you suggest, what might I do to purify the resulting solvent so that I didn't contaminate my extract? (Admittedly I probably won't be adding pure capsaicinoids to my ramen, but it's still relevant)

[Edited on 13-10-2010 by Halcyon]
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Panache
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 04:43


if heptane is fine then it can be purchased very pure and very easily as nail gun cleaner, pascode (theres an 'l' in there somewhere). Bunnings has it its a large aerosol can, freeze, drill, decant boil off butane, distill.



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Halcyon
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 05:23


The bp of Heptane is higher than I would prefer (given that I've gotta get rid of every last bit of solvent), but it should be very workable if I can't find hexane. Thanks, Panache.

P.S. "Paslode" :D

[Edited on 13-10-2010 by Halcyon]
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Eclectic
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 05:32


Fractionally distill gasoline?
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watson.fawkes
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 06:40


Quote: Originally posted by Halcyon  
The bp of Heptane is higher than I would prefer (given that I've gotta get rid of every last bit of solvent), but it should be very workable if I can't find hexane.
Heptane is also available as Bestine rubber cement thinner.
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 07:23


Petroleum ether is inexpensive and may be redistilled with minimal fractionation to achieve more useful boiling ranges.

Camping stove fuel is essentially petroleum naptha/ether/whatever and is sold as Shellite in Australia (if the wikipedia entry on Naptha is remotely correct).

Distilling petrol would be more problematic since it is a very complicated mix of alkanes, alkenes, and cyclizations thereof.
It contains polar as well as non-polar compounds, ethanol particularly, and might compete with some processes if you used it unknowingly.

[Edited on 13-10-2010 by arsphenamine]
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 10:15


The solvent used as "lighter fluid" for both lighters and as cleaner in graphic art places was reputedly hexane or heptane. In the UK Coleman's fluid as sold by camping and outdoor shops for camp stoves seems to be about a similar petroleum fraction too.
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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 13:14


Chewing gum remover has n-hexane in it, or at least an old bottle of it I have does. You'd probably want to redistill that, as I haven't so I'm not sure if there's other stuff in there.

Failing hexane and cyclohexane, use xylene or toluene - they're sold as glossy paint thinners or for watering down and cleaning up with epoxies and things. They're pretty much the same thing. Those two will come pretty much pure, but both boil over 100C from memory.

Solution, use the dark power of a fully operation fridge pump and remove it under vacuum.




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[*] posted on 13-10-2010 at 21:35


n hexane is easy available here in australia i dont no what
your uses are but toluene would be a cheep alternative although i would much rather be smelling n'hexane than toluene


regards azo
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[*] posted on 14-10-2010 at 17:01



Hexane, heptane, MEK, toluene, xylene from....

http://www.oilchem.com.au/products/solvents

20L containers.
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[*] posted on 14-10-2010 at 22:56


Smaller quantities almost certainly can be purchased at drugstores (e.g. 100 ml, 1 liter). At least, where I am we can easily buy 40...60 petroleum ether and 100 ... 140 petroleum ether. Other boiling ranges I never have seen OTC.
The ligroin we can buy here is a completely clear liquid, which is completely saturated (no double C-bonds in it) and completely aliphatic (no aromatic compounds in it). It does not leave a residue on evaporation. It is one of the least toxic and least reactive organic solvents and that is why it is used quite a lot over here. Only problem is its high flammability.




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[*] posted on 14-10-2010 at 23:05


if you are in sydney you can get almost anything from consolidated chemicals or redox
only large amounts available 200l or more
I buy chemicals for my business there good people to deal with.

regards azo
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[*] posted on 15-10-2010 at 03:41


Do you need to show a company account for VAT code to deal with those guys though? I doubt he'll have those.

I've been onto Customs and Revenue about VAT codes, in depth, and it's basically impossible to get one if you're not turning over what they literally term a 'significant' amount of money; e.g. no specific value. There's a specific figure of £70k for a business VAT code. Which is somewhat painful for the smaller businesses who export.

Toluene seems to be disappearing OTC in the UK from the hardware places. I think that may due to the ease with which it can be transformed to TNT over xylene, and they're now ultra bothered about any potential bomb making components.

So, I'd still recommend xylene. It's cheap, comes clean(ish), can be bought in 500 or 1l packs and boils not much over toluene. Under vacuum from a fridge pump, it'll be boiling not that far over room temperature.

[Edited on 15-10-2010 by peach]




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[*] posted on 16-11-2010 at 06:18


Beware that commercial hexane has heavy ends in it.

There is a company that uses it for extraction of flower essences not far from me. But they pre-distill it to remove the heavy ends, so as to keep it smelling sweet.

At a chemical plant I worked at once, the Plant Manager pointed to a drum of hexane and asked me "Is that flammable?" I replied "You could compare it with petrol"

He was a little take aback. But what would he know; he was just the plant manager. Seriously, it was a joke. The remains of that plant remain the single biggest toxic site in the country.




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[*] posted on 9-12-2010 at 03:17


Cheers guys (especially frankmartin -might see if they'll sell to me).

Morrie, when you say heavy ends, do you mean higher-bp fractions?
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[*] posted on 16-12-2010 at 04:09


Spong mentioned that there might be issues with ordering from oilchem if you do a "walk-in". Best to have a company name to go with that order.
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[*] posted on 18-12-2010 at 00:11


drugs stores and OZ are a little different than the EU :)

shell depo has some nice solvents.

thanx for the heptane source Panache ripper I love bunnings.

again you come to my rescue :)

try a vacuum then most solvents will distill at low temps :P




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Halcyon
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[*] posted on 15-2-2012 at 17:29


Finally found a place to source a whole bunch of solvents PM me if anyone needs a lead.
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[*] posted on 15-2-2012 at 18:31


If your source dries up you could try lighter fluid for Zippos.

Also rubber cement thinner, book binding glue not contact cement.
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[*] posted on 15-2-2012 at 18:36


non-chlorinated electronics part cleaners for car work are often just hexanes and propellant. As this is oz, I sort of expect a complete lack of halogenated stuff. I cover workup of this sort of material here: http://youtu.be/NDUd4CWU1tA



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[*] posted on 15-2-2012 at 18:39


Thanks for the info guys. Should take me a while to go through twenty litres, though :P
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[*] posted on 15-2-2012 at 20:03


There is a rubber cement solvent used for thinning the cement. It is called Bestine, and it contains n-Heptane. I thought it contained Hexane, but may I was remembering wrong. It is available in art supply stores here in the US. If you need hexane specifically this won't help.
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