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Author: Subject: Distillation Newbie (my 2nd post ever!)
WMChem
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[*] posted on 3-11-2023 at 19:49
Distillation Newbie (my 2nd post ever!)


Hey guys!
I wouldn't say I am new to chemistry.. I have a decent amount of labs under my belt (mostly inorganic chemistry), and I have a solid base level of knowledge. Soon, I will be aquiring my first distillation apparatus. Now, I am not a complete moron, so I am not gonna try to mess with bromine or sulfuric acid right off the bat....lol

Anyone have ideas for some less dangerous, relatively cheap, simple distillations. I want to get some practice under my belt!

Thanks guys! Cheers!
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Parakeet
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[*] posted on 3-11-2023 at 20:39


One of my first experiments was distilation of ethanol from wine. Just be careful about legality.

If you want something more useful, how about making nitric acid from nitrate salts and sulfuric acid or sodium bisulfate? Nitric acid can be dangereous, but the distilation should be fairly manageable since it has a moderate boiling point.
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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 4-11-2023 at 06:20


When I get new distillation kit, the first thing I distill is water,
that gives me more confidence in the kit, at least to 100oC,
with no risk of fumes/fire/explosion etc.
and after the first part of the distillate has cleaned the glassware and been discarded,
the rest of the distillate is useful.

I think that there are two main types of distillate: aqueous or flammable,
so prepare for fire.

Brewing and distilling alcohol is educational,

- the biology of yeast,
Keeping your pet yeast happy and productive is a hobby in itself.

- distillation,
Single, double or fractional?

- Analysis
I believe that relatively accurate analysis can be performed on samples orally,
the greater the number of test subjects the better.

Good info at homedistiller.org

Seriously, the chemistry, biology and fractional distillation learning curves are steeper than you might think.

Everything else potentially raises fears of drugs or explosives,
.. quite a lot of chemophobia around.

[Edited on 4-11-2023 by Sulaiman]




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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Achilles
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[*] posted on 6-11-2023 at 01:49


one of my first distillation was of fuming nitric acid and i dont suggest do to it aswell..
try ethanol/water or distilling acetic acid but the boiling points are too close…
if u dont mind smell or flammable stuff u can try distillation of gasoline and obtain several fraction and solvents! there are many videos about it
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Rainwater
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[*] posted on 6-11-2023 at 07:24


not really a distillation but requires the use of a distillation appratus
And is kid friendly
Decomposition of sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate
$$2NaHCO_3 + Heat \rightarrow Na_2CO_3 + H_2O + CO_2$$

To test the results and prove a different products were formed
Code:
During the decomposition, pipe the exaust gas into a solution of calcium hydroxide to show the presents of CO2 gas After the distillation. Create a saturated solution of epson salt, MgSO4 Create a saturated solution of baking soda. NaHCO3 Create a saturated solution of sodium carbonate. Na2CO3 Add to the epson salt solution, a few drops of baking soda solution. A small amount of percipitate should form. Add to the epson salt solution a few drops of sodium carbonate solution. The percipitate should be much stronger, appearing as drops of milk


[Edited on 6-11-2023 by Rainwater]




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Sir_Gawain
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[*] posted on 6-11-2023 at 11:24


Distill ethanol from hand sanitizer. If you use the 80% liquid stuff it’s very easy and you get a useful chemical out of it.



“Alchemy is trying to turn things yellow; chemistry is trying to avoid things turning yellow.” -Tom deP.
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RU_KLO
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[*] posted on 7-11-2023 at 09:02


I will go first with Water destillation. - nice way to learn that destillation takes a lot of time and to use destilled water as economically as possible)

Another is Urea + Sodium hidroxide to ger Ammonia (you could check NurdRage video on youtube). To learn technics for avoiding suckback.

Acetone from nail polisher. - or maybe acetone-water solution (acetone is flamable, but it easily distilles at around 55° - 60°) Try using a water bath.




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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 7-11-2023 at 10:37


Making an ester from the acid and alcohol is always fun, or cleaving ethyl acetate into ethanol with base and distilling that are two fun ways to distill things. Trying to separate E85 into usable fractions or separate starter fluid into ether and heptane might also be a good test. I often just recycle solvent by distilling it as well.
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6dthjd1
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[*] posted on 8-11-2023 at 09:40


you can distill methylene chloride mixtures from some paint strippers in some countries. The cleanup process is quite involved however depending on your starting materials
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Texium
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[*] posted on 8-11-2023 at 11:20


Quote: Originally posted by 6dthjd1  
you can distill methylene chloride mixtures from some paint strippers in some countries. The cleanup process is quite involved however depending on your starting materials
Probably not advisable for a first distillation, given the toxicity of DCM. Better to stick to water or ethanol first, and move on to more hazardous things once the techniques have been practiced a few times.

I say this despite my first distillation being elemental bromine in a really sketchy apparatus... I managed to not hurt myself, but I certainly wouldn't advise taking that path. I pivoted to much more benign things after that, and it was easier to learn properly while not also trying to juggle a very hazardous substance. Then I was able to do a much safer, more successful, and larger scale bromine distillation later on. Patience pays off.




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Sir_Gawain
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[*] posted on 13-11-2023 at 16:54


Try making trimethyl borate. Methanol is easily available as a gas additive, and boric acid as roach killer.



“Alchemy is trying to turn things yellow; chemistry is trying to avoid things turning yellow.” -Tom deP.
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