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Author: Subject: Bismuth from its Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®)
phangue
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Check a large farm-supply store in your area for gallon-size jugs of bismuth-type preparations.
NeutralIon
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Why go to so much trouble to get Bi? Just get some Bi fishing sinkers [sold as an environmental friendly alternative to Pb]. I got some 3/4 oz [about 20 gms] for $1 each. Knowledge is Good guy International Hazard Posts: 982 Registered: 14-4-2004 Location: California, USA Member Is Offline Mood: Catalytic!  Quote: Originally posted by NeutralIon Why go to so much trouble to get Bi? Just get some Bi fishing sinkers [sold as an environmental friendly alternative to Pb]. I got some 3/4 oz [about 20 gms] for$1 each.

Where do you find those...I can never find them in wal mart of sports stores.

kaviaari
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 Quote: Originally posted by NeutralIon Why go to so much trouble to get Bi? Just get some Bi fishing sinkers [sold as an environmental friendly alternative to Pb]. I got some 3/4 oz [about 20 gms] for $1 each. Just for the fun of it . I wanted to try out if I can do it. If I would need large ammounts of bismuth for some experiment it would of course be more reasonable to buy it then. [Edited on 28-12-2006 by kaviaari] Waffles Hazard to Others Posts: 196 Registered: 1-10-2006 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by NeutralIon Why go to so much trouble to get Bi? Just get some Bi fishing sinkers [sold as an environmental friendly alternative to Pb]. I got some 3/4 oz [about 20 gms] for$1 each.

Bismuth is basically the only non-toxic heavy metal (relatively 'non-toxic,' everything is toxic in sufficient doses). Therefore, any bismuth extracted from drug-grade chemicals, such as those used in the medicines we are discussing, is likely to be extremely pure- the purity is most dependent on your method of reduction, likely, but theoretically it should be very very pure and free of any other heavy metal.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, bismuth sinkers and bismuth shotgun shot are meant to be CHEAP alternatives to lead. Even the brands that say "pure" or whatever, I wouldn't trust to be any purer than 97 or 98 percent, very optimistically. For making bismuth crystals especially, you need purity several factors of ten greater than this.

Summary: For 'quick and dirty' preparations, you could indeed go the sinker/ammo route, but that is certainly not the be-all, end-all of OTC bismuth.
Also, buying a pound of bismuth at a time from United Nuclear or various eBay sources is cheaper than your sinkers, and >99.99% purity rather than 97% ...

\"…\'tis man\'s perdition to be safe, when for the truth he ought to die.\"
neutrino
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To illustrate this point, I bought several pounds of 99.99% Bi off eBay not too long ago for $8.50 / lb. That's a lot cheaper than those$1 / 20g sinkers.

Gobstopper
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Obtain bismuth from the subsalicylate?

What would be the best way to obtain elemental bismuth from bismuth subsalicylate? I know that bismuth chloride and other simpler salts can be electrolyzed to yield the element but would that work with this compound?
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According to Wiki, it is not an ionic compound.
Therefore it would not be easy to electrolyze.

But you should be able to extract the bismuth into hydrochloric acid if you shake it up with dilute HCl and an organic solvent such as hexane, ether, chloroform, etc.

The bismuth will go into the water phase as the chloride, which you can electrolyze, and the salicylic acid will go into the organic phase.

That is ... according to theory.

As for the electrolysis ... look up Bismuth's position on the electrolytic series. Maybe you can displace it from solution with zinc or magnesium. Thats gotta be easier than electrolysis.
GoatRider
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Bismuth is pretty cheap on United Nuclear. Extracting it from pepto bismol seems like an expensive way of going about it.
Gobstopper
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Alright, well GoatRider I know that I can just order it from unitednuclear but that would defeat the purpose of my weekend project (one of em anyways)

Paddywhacker it appears that you are right about the electrolysis - the pink liquid does not conduct electricity. I tried an electrolysis last night by adding saltwater to the mix but I didn't see any evidence that this would send electrical current through any of the bismuth subsalicylate.

I'll try using HCl and a nonpolar organic solvent - unfortunately at the moment I don't have any nonpolar solvent so I'll probably have to synth up some chloroform (or buy hexane/ether somewhere)
kclo4
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Why couldn't you just dissolve the subsalicylate in HCl and then perform electrolysis on that? I don't think salicylic acid would react with the bismuth very fast. Alternative why not just add Al foil, or Zinc powder to reduce the chloride to bismuth?

Gobstopper
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Alright thanks kclo4 I'll give that a shot
Gobstopper
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K so I added some HCl to the pink mixture and relatively quickly the solution lost most of its pinkish color so there is obviously a reaction that has taken place. The mixture is much easier to send an electric current through it and surely if I were to electrolyze it, elemental bismuth would result. However that will have to be done later.

For now I'll take 1/2 of it and put it in a container with pieces of aluminum foil (I like the zinc powder idea better but I don't have any atm) and see if any notable traces of bismuth evolve. Will keep posted

Interestingly, there is quite a bit of bismuth contained within pepto-bismol. 30ml of liquid contains more than a gram of the stuff.
kclo4
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Make sure there isn't a significant excess of HCl otherwise it might take a while for the Al to start producing Bismuth.
Also don't let it get to hot - Aluminum chloride is a Lewis acid and will hydrolyze into its hydroxide and HCl. If HCl reacts with bismuth in solution, the bismuth will redissolve.

I'm excited to see how this turns out, Its been something I've been wanting to do but haven't got the motivation to do it.

Gobstopper
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After a little while of letting the reaction take place, a white emulsion appeared surrounding the aluminum foil pieces. Not long after, a whitish powder which isn't very soluble in the mixture (consisting of HCl, water and pepto :p) is seen floating around.

I might have added too much HCl though so we'll see. it's not hard for me to redo this experiment if I mess it up lol
kclo4
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I see. Well I'd guess the white stuff is aluminium hydroxide or something like that.
Hmm might it also be salicylic acid? I know that isn't very soluble in water so perhaps if it cooled off, it may have precipitated. I don't know.

Gobstopper
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That would seem to make sense, if the reaction is going as planned then salicylic acid would indeed precipitate, and since it is pretty much insoluble in water, it fits.

I can't yet tell if any bismuth metal is in there as of yet as it's kinda hard to see through all that but it seems like if things are going the way they seem to be, there should be the metal in there.
not_important
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I did this once, just for fun when a local store's closing resulted in some extreme markdown on a bismuth salicylate product (yes, it's bismuth subsalicylate but the main label doesn't state it that way)

First I added enough saturated NaHCO3 solution to be in excess of all the subsalicylate and salicylic acid in the product, then gently boiled it for some minutes. Decant/filter off the sodium salicylate solution, treat the precipitate with strong HCl to dissolve the bismuth away from the silicates used for product appearance reasons. I then reprecipitated the bismuth with NaHCO3 (I had a 25 kilo sack ot it), washed, dried, and reduced the ppt with carbon. You could try reducing the HCl solution with excess Al or Fe.
Gobstopper
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K so after the filtration, a white solid appeared on the top of the filter paper while the liquid (which is clear but acidic from the HCl) went through. I'm almost sure that the solid is a salicylate but unfortunately I don't see much sign of the bismuth.

I'm going to try and basify the liquid which went through but think I'm going to have to wind up redoing this experiment, which is no big deal. I think I used too much HCl versus not enough Al, so this time around I'll limit the HCl and adding more Al, and also I'll start by basifying it (something I should've thought to do originally but didn't for some reason :p)

"I didn't fail - I just learned 9,000 ways not to make a light bulb" - Thomas Edison

[Edited on 9-3-2009 by Gobstopper]
kclo4
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If you over base, you can precipitate a carbonate, or a hydroxide.
This might be a way to go about it.. I think you may be able to form an oxalate and then decompose that. Some of the nonreactive metal oxalates decompose leaving the metal in its pure state. Another possibility to get the metal may be to reduce the oxides with hydrogen. The oxides could probably be produced by heating the carbonate or hydroxide to decomposition.

Tacho
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I remember at least two other threads here about obtaining bismuth from peptobismol. I failed in my crude attempt. I remember someone succeeded using HCl and some reduction, like not_important mentioned.
Magpie
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For the qualitative analysis of Bi+++, it is first precipitated as Bi(OH)3, a white ppt, using ammonium hydroxide. This is then reduced immediately to fine black elemental bismuth by addition of freshly made sodium stannite solution. However, I think it would be more satisfying to do the reduction with carbon as indicated by not_important.
DJF90
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Found this whilst browsing online, figured it might be of use to some here: http://www.popsci.com/diy/gallery/2012-07/gallery-extracting...
triplepoint
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 Quote: Originally posted by DJF90 Found this whilst browsing online, figured it might be of use to some here: http://www.popsci.com/diy/gallery/2012-07/gallery-extracting...

Thanks djf90. Those instructions make it look easy. I already have a pound of bi, but I'm going to have to try this synthesis as a point of non-professional pride
Random
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I think I saw extraction of bismuth, you can just heat bismuth salilicylate until it decomposes to metal

oh yeah here is the video