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Gammatron
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[*] posted on 30-8-2022 at 15:52
Uses for NaF


Years ago I purchased 500g of NaF for making HF, I put the project away and have recently started working on it again and I'm not sure why I went with NaF instead of CaF2 which I now have. Are there any cool or useful reactions I can use it for?

*I am well aware of the dangers of Fluorine compounds
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[*] posted on 30-8-2022 at 23:10


Fluorine compounds are not really interesting. For the home amateur, there is no redox chemistry you can do with it, just F(-) is possible, F2 and fluorine in positive oxidation states are way beyond what a home chemist can do.

I have done a few interesting things. One of them is formation of the FeF6(3-) complex. You can nicely demonstrate formation of that complex by adding some NaF to a solution of FeCl3 in dilute HCl. This deep yellow solution (due to the complex FeCl4(-)) becomes colorless at once on addition of NaF.

Another interesting thing is the dissolving of titanium metal in dilute HCl. If you add titanium powder to dilute HCl, then it hardly dissolves. It takes ages. In concentrated HCl it does dissolve somewhat quicker, with formation of the deep purple Ti(3+) ion. If some NaF is added to the HCl, then the titanium metal quickly dissolves, giving a lot of hydrogen. The difference is really remarkable. The result is a green solution, probably the complex TiF6(3-), but I am not 100% sure of that. On standing in contact with air, the solution becomes colorless, due to formation of the colorless complex TiF6(2-).

Another interesting (but more dangerous) experiment is adding NaF to conc. H2SO4 and then adding a little amount of KMnO4. You get a deep green compound MnO3F, which on addition of water turns to purple permanganate again. MnO3F is volatile, it stains the glass above the liquid. Inhaling this vapor is intensely dangerous, keep in mind that it hydrolyses to HF and HMnO4. Especially the HF is really dangerous. Avoid inhaling any of the fumes.




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Gammatron
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[*] posted on 31-8-2022 at 06:15


Thanks for the response. Yeah it doesn't seem like a very useful thing to have around. Maybe a purer source for HF if I ever need it since the CaF2 I got isnt lab grade it probably has SiO2 and other things in it.

That last reaction you mentioned sounded pretty cool so I gave it a try. I dropped a piece of paper towel in it and it instantly burst into flames!

20220831_100712.jpg - 2.8MB
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[*] posted on 31-8-2022 at 06:32


you can add fluorides to the thermite mixture to melt easily. and make some fluoride complexes. make other fluorine reagents that are useful in organic chemistry. if it was ammonium fluoride that would be better, from it you can even make fluorine at home, just need some things, Teflon tubes, Mendeleev's paste...
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[*] posted on 31-8-2022 at 06:57


I was looking into getting some ammonium bifluoride but it was right after I had purchased a bunch of CaF2 and it's kind of pricey. I wonder if there's a way to make it from NaF.
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[*] posted on 31-8-2022 at 09:45


You can use NaF+HNO3 mixture for dissolving Nb and Ta. They both form coloured precipitates with quercetin (Hf and Zr also form coloured preciptiates). Nb(V) can be reduced to blue Nb(IV), but Ta don't have anything exciting in aqueous chemistry beside that quercetin precipitate.
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[*] posted on 31-8-2022 at 22:30


Quote: Originally posted by Gammatron  
I was looking into getting some ammonium bifluoride but it was right after I had purchased a bunch of CaF2 and it's kind of pricey. I wonder if there's a way to make it from NaF.


That's a much better fluoride reagent, it can dissolve many inert oxides. Making ammonium bifluoride from sodium fluoride is complicated, it much easier when you have ammonium fluoride.

as bedlasky said about the mixture, this is also good idea weeks ago I made the same but I used acid instead of fluoride. you can see my post here:
https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/viewthread.php?tid=15...

[Edited on 1-9-2022 by vano]

[Edited on 1-9-2022 by vano]
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 05:58


That's pretty cool, what would one need Nb for? I've never really studied it at all. Also you mentioned Mendeleev's paste in your first comment, what is this? nothing came up with a google search.
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 06:07


Quote: Originally posted by Gammatron  
That's pretty cool, what would one need Nb for? I've never really studied it at all. Also, you mentioned Mendeleev's paste in your first comment, what is this? nothing came up with a google search.


Mendeleev's paste is a mixture of some compounds resistant to fluorine. it was made in the soviet union that is why nothing is in English. I have no idea where you can buy it. for example, my university has large amounts of this paste. this is a video, just turn on automatic translation in English, he made fluorine according to a Romanian book:
https://youtu.be/ZgVlsZZ5Y8Y?t=488

[Edited on 1-9-2022 by vano]
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 06:34


Man I love Russian's! I can't believed he sniffed it at the end lol but then again he is Russian. Unfortunately he doesn't give many details about his apparatus but I don't imagine it would be too difficult to recreate, it does look like a pretty fun project.
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 08:13


Quote: Originally posted by Gammatron  
Man I love Russian's!

I wish I could say the same.
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 08:59


Understandable. They have contributed a whole lot to science though.
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 09:44


Quote: Originally posted by Gammatron  
Understandable. They have contributed a whole lot to science though.


I have seen hundreds of Soviet books, and many of them refer to old German books as sources. Many authors are not even Russian.

On the other hand, this opinion is wrong, since there were more than 200 ethnic groups in the Soviet Union. They attribute everything to the Russians, that was always the goal. Anyone who has read the books will know the role of Georgians in this empire, their contribution to science is no less, for example, it was a Georgian who created the first dry galvanic cell. Similarly, it was the same in the case of other ethnic groups, I just gave the example of my people.
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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 10:33


So what you're saying is they're not much different than the Chinese. Imitators not innovators. I've never really enjoyed reading books honestly but being in America I probably would have never come to that realization even if I did. I feel your pain though, I am a big fan of Tesla but most people don't even know who he is and they all think Edison was the hero.



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[*] posted on 1-9-2022 at 10:37


Yes, you are right!
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[*] posted on 10-9-2022 at 16:23


Quote: Originally posted by Gammatron  
So what you're saying is they're not much different than the Chinese. Imitators not innovators. I've never really enjoyed reading books honestly but being in America I probably would have never come to that realization even if I did. I feel your pain though, I am a big fan of Tesla but most people don't even know who he is and they all think Edison was the hero.


Nah, Russia as a whole is definetely in the Top10, if not Top5 of chemistry contributors historically. Mendelev and Lomonossow for example are genuine and accepted by all standards.
Out of the hip:
1) Germany
2) France
3) UK/Scotland
4) USA
5) Russia
6) Nordic countries
7) Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Italy etc.

Something to that extend, one can argue about "places" here and there, that is not "scientific" and rough. But Russia is definetely quite high up in the league historically.
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[*] posted on 10-9-2022 at 17:36


That's what I thought just because of how many times I've heard Russian scientists and institutions mentioned while watching videos or researching things.



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[*] posted on 10-9-2022 at 21:19


Anhydrous KF in acetonitrile can do some interesting stuff, like catalytic etherification. NaF not so much, its solubility is negligible. Salt metathesis with potassium oxalate will precipitate sodium oxalate, but KF is a real pain to dry.



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[*] posted on 13-9-2022 at 23:23


You can use it for glass etching, with a weak acid e.g. oxalic or citric acid see for example https://patents.justia.com/patent/4921626 and other patents.

If you obtain Positiv 20 from Kontakt-Chemie https://www.tme.eu/Document/b7a6a16ed14d2aa6149ed9a14fb1b03d... you can transfer pictures (made as digital positive instead of a digital negative see https://www.photo-historica.com )to the glass....I tried it with other chemicals see https://illumina-chemie.de/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=4577&... (in German).

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