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Author: Subject: Buying chemicals in Western Australia
weiming1998
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Because the chemical suppliers don't sell to individuals, I often look around in the hardware shop. One of the things that I can't find, not only in the hardware shop, but anywhere is nitrate salts. The only thing I found which might contain some are filled with urea, potassium hydroxide, phosphorus salts and gunk. I tried asking for stump remover, but only got a tree killer, with the chemicals in there abbreviated so it is incomprehensible. Another is sulfuric acid. I tried drain openers and they are only sodium hydroxide ones (impure) or enzyme ones. Also, there is no low-fume pool acid, in fact, I've only found hydrochloric acid in one pool shop! The rest is sodium bisulfate, which might work for some reactions, but some requires concentrated sulfuric acid. There is not even sodium metabisulfite if I want to make sulfuric acid using the oxidizer method! Is this the results of stopping drug makers/bomb makers from making their drugs/bombs? Also, where would you get nitrate salts/sulfuric acid from?
weiming1998
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I think this should be in a different section, but I don't know how to move it. Sorry moderators.

[Edited on 14-1-2012 by weiming1998]
Halcyon
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What nitrate are you after? Nitrates have become persona non grata due to their ability to be use in explosives.

That said, if you go to an agricultural supplier/importer, you should be able to get a 20kg bag of "Multi-K" for ~$50, which is 99.something% pure KNO3. Sulphuric acid is another one that is best bought in bulk from your local wholesale cleaning supply company. ~$100 for twenty litres.

HCl 30% should be available as an etchant from Bunnings or other hardware stores. Bunnings also sells a drain cleaner that is 98% H2SO4 with some horrible brown shite in it. It is able to be removed via fractional distillation.

I know that it's a pain (not to mention looks dodgy) buying 20L/Kg of stuff like this, but unfortunately it's the only way I've managed to source a lot of reagents without intentionally-added impurities.

[Edited on 21-2-2012 by Halcyon]
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Chemicals in West Oz

I've found 98% H2SO4 at places like Mitre 10 and Banner Hardware. Look for the Momar brand, about $45 a litre. Has brown crap in it. Likewise, just a few days ago I found Momar 10% H2O2 at Mitre 10 for about the same price. Mitre 10 will also have HCl as "Muriatic Acid". You'll want to purify it for some purposes because it has some kind of Titanium contamination in it (drop some Pb solder in it and the HCl soln. will turn purple). For nitrate you'll need to go to a country Ag chemical supply place to get a bag of KNO3. You'll have to show your driver's license, and they write down your address and everything; you could be paranoid about it, but it's not a big deal. -B weiming1998 International Hazard Posts: 616 Registered: 13-1-2012 Location: Western Australia Member Is Offline Mood: Amphoteric  Quote: Originally posted by Halcyon What nitrate are you after? Nitrates have become persona non grata due to their ability to be use in explosives. That said, if you go to an agricultural supplier/importer, you should be able to get a 20kg bag of "Multi-K" for ~$50, which is 99.something% pure KNO3. Sulphuric acid is another one that is best bought in bulk from your local wholesale cleaning supply company. ~$100 for twenty litres. HCl 30% should be available as an etchant from Bunnings or other hardware stores. Bunnings also sells a drain cleaner that is 98% H2SO4 with some horrible brown shite in it. It is able to be removed via fractional distillation. I know that it's a pain (not to mention looks dodgy) buying 20L/Kg of stuff like this, but unfortunately it's the only way I've managed to source a lot of reagents without intentionally-added impurities. [Edited on 21-2-2012 by Halcyon] Don't worry about nitrates now, I have found a source for them (in Chinese food shops, 500g/1Kg/2Kg bags) As for drain cleaner sulfuric acid, I guess it depends on areas, but no, my local Bunning supplier does not sell acid drain cleaners. Even the sodium hydroxide cleaners deliberately has aluminium and other impurities that stains the water a sickly brown colour. There also seems to be more enzyme drain cleaners than ever. I have a source for 30% HCl, in a local pool shop. It seems to have no added impurities. But Bunnings does not have HCl anywhere, so I guess my local Bunnings is a bit less stocked than yours. The thing is that both my family and I are worried about whether shipping sulfuric acid (eBay) is legal or not, because it is a corrosive chemical. If it is illegal, I could potentially get tracked/arrested. I will try and look in the cleaning supplies, though 20Ls is a bit too much for my purposes. Also, these companies often won't sell to individuals, and will persistently ask questions, which is very annoying and could potentially get me tracked/arrested (again) H2O2 can be brought from a local pharmacy as 6% and 100mls for 7 dollars (rip off!). The hair H2O2 is 12%, but is more expensive and has so many surfactants added in that it is rendered unusable. weiming1998 International Hazard Posts: 616 Registered: 13-1-2012 Location: Western Australia Member Is Offline Mood: Amphoteric  Quote: Originally posted by Gearhead_Shem_Tov I've found 98% H2SO4 at places like Mitre 10 and Banner Hardware. Look for the Momar brand, about$45 a litre. Has brown crap in it. Likewise, just a few days ago I found Momar 10% H2O2 at Mitre 10 for about the same price. Mitre 10 will also have HCl as "Muriatic Acid". You'll want to purify it for some purposes because it has some kind of Titanium contamination in it (drop some Pb solder in it and the HCl soln. will turn purple). For nitrate you'll need to go to a country Ag chemical supply place to get a bag of KNO3. You'll have to show your driver's license, and they write down your address and everything; you could be paranoid about it, but it's not a big deal. -B

Thanks for the advice, but a chemical supplier absolutely rejects individual customers. The section selling other chemicals are not even open to individuals at Sigma Chemicals, only pool chemicals can be even looked at by individuals. I guess shipping glassware from China and somehow thinking of a way to buy chemicals from eBay is my best options.
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Quote: Originally posted by weiming1998
 Quote: Originally posted by Gearhead_Shem_Tov ... For nitrate you'll need to go to a country Ag chemical supply place to get a bag of KNO3. You'll have to show your driver's license, and they write down your address and everything; you could be paranoid about it, but it's not a big deal. -B

Thanks for the advice, but a chemical supplier absolutely rejects individual customers....

I don't mean a laboratory or industrial chemical supplier, I mean an Agriculture chemical supply store. Farm chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, etc. You usually need to go to one at least half an hour outside metropolitan areas in farming country. These outfits will sell to individuals. You want KNO3? Urea? Formaldehyde? They have those things. Just know your intended use inside and out. I bought a 25Kg bag of agricultural potassium nitrate from a local Ag chem supply house about four years ago, and I was told it had been classified as Dangerous Goods. The clerk recorded my name and address (which they would have had in any case since I used my bank card for the purchase).

-B
weiming1998
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Quote: Originally posted by weiming1998
 Quote: Originally posted by Gearhead_Shem_Tov ... For nitrate you'll need to go to a country Ag chemical supply place to get a bag of KNO3. You'll have to show your driver's license, and they write down your address and everything; you could be paranoid about it, but it's not a big deal. -B

Thanks for the advice, but a chemical supplier absolutely rejects individual customers....

I don't mean a laboratory or industrial chemical supplier, I mean an Agriculture chemical supply store. Farm chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, etc. You usually need to go to one at least half an hour outside metropolitan areas in farming country. These outfits will sell to individuals. You want KNO3? Urea? Formaldehyde? They have those things. Just know your intended use inside and out. I bought a 25Kg bag of agricultural potassium nitrate from a local Ag chem supply house about four years ago, and I was told it had been classified as Dangerous Goods. The clerk recorded my name and address (which they would have had in any case since I used my bank card for the purchase).

-B

Ephoton
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Mood: trying to figure out why I need a dark room retreat when I live in a forest of wattle.

I still prefered the days of no sources it was a lot safer for the source in the long run.

with the chemphobia that is around these days the more we let people know how to get things the more we
can count on them taking them off us.

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 Quote: Originally posted by Ephoton I still prefered the days of no sources it was a lot safer for the source in the long run. with the chemphobia that is around these days the more we let people know how to get things the more we can count on them taking them off us.

Possibly. But, to play Beelzebub's Barrister, perhaps if amateur chemists weren't so shy/nervous/evasive then local sources would get more business -- and thus become accustomed to and comfortable with -- the sorts of things small quantity buyers like us purchase, the more of us the better. And the only way they will know is if we tell them what we want the chemicals for; if we don't tell them we can be sure they will assume whatever lowest-common-denominator-up-to-no-good use individual non-farmer types might have (i.e. blowing shit up).

Of course, when I buy nitrates I don't say I wanna blow shit up (in truth, I don't), but neither will I say I will be using it to make nitric acid -- that sounds nearly as alarming to some folks. At least not unless the clerk expresses genuine interest or sympathy for my aims as an amateur chemist. I will cheerfully admit I use it to make silver nitrate or for whatever other product or reaction that requires NO3 cations.

-B
Lithium
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yes, i too understand how hard it is to obtain chemicals in australia, you just have to look for ages and you'll eventually find something

the most annoying thing is when you read a label of something and it says "100% alkaline salts", i don't care if their alkaline, i want to know EXACTLY what it is!

i have been able to get

KMnO4 from the local chemist $9 for 50g 6% H2O2 from the chemist also,$14 for 400ml

31% HCl from the pool store in 5L Quantities

sodium metabisulfite at big W in the home brewing section, along with sodium percarbonate

iodine from a specialist brewing shop, it is called "iodophos" sold in 500 ml bottles for $10, 20g I2 per L of fluid that shop also sells diammonium phosphate, phosphoric acid, calcium sulfate/ chloride and some other specialist things. my NaOH says it can be used for making soap and is very pure i would say, got it from woolies,$3 for 500g
the one next to it was 1L of a 46% solution and was $11 though the hardest thing IMO to come across is nitrate salts and sulfuric acid, i too am a bit worried about buying H2SO4/ KNO3 over ebay and then 2 weeks later getting raided by the cops. what is the nitrate salt used for by the chinese, i may be able to get some at my chinese specialty shop. i live out of town, though i still cannot find these mystical 25kg bags of nitrates at any of these shops out here! also Mg, in any form, is hard to source for some reason btw i live in nsw i have rung all the local chem suppliers and they immediately say " we don't sell to individuals, only companies, businesses and high school / college labs". what is the difference in price of ebay glassware VS chinese imported, i only have a few beakers, and my dog smashed my 250ml one, it was my favourite! Li [Edited on 27-2-2012 by Lithium] [Edited on 27-2-2012 by Lithium] weiming1998 International Hazard Posts: 616 Registered: 13-1-2012 Location: Western Australia Member Is Offline Mood: Amphoteric  Quote: Originally posted by Lithium yes, i too understand how hard it is to obtain chemicals in australia, you just have to look for ages and you'll eventually find something the most annoying thing is when you read a label of something and it says "100% alkaline salts", i don't care if their alkaline, i want to know EXACTLY what it is! i have been able to get KMnO4 from the local chemist$9 for 50g 6% H2O2 from the chemist also, $14 for 400ml 31% HCl from the pool store in 5L Quantities sodium metabisulfite at big W in the home brewing section, along with sodium percarbonate iodine from a specialist brewing shop, it is called "iodophos" sold in 500 ml bottles for$10, 20g I2 per L of fluid that shop also sells diammonium phosphate, phosphoric acid, calcium sulfate/ chloride and some other specialist things. my NaOH says it can be used for making soap and is very pure i would say, got it from woolies, $3 for 500g the one next to it was 1L of a 46% solution and was$11 though the hardest thing IMO to come across is nitrate salts and sulfuric acid, i too am a bit worried about buying H2SO4/ KNO3 over ebay and then 2 weeks later getting raided by the cops. what is the nitrate salt used for by the chinese, i may be able to get some at my chinese specialty shop. i live out of town, though i still cannot find these mystical 25kg bags of nitrates at any of these shops out here! also Mg, in any form, is hard to source for some reason btw i live in nsw i have rung all the local chem suppliers and they immediately say " we don't sell to individuals, only companies, businesses and high school / college labs". what is the difference in price of ebay glassware VS chinese imported, i only have a few beakers, and my dog smashed my 250ml one, it was my favourite! Li [Edited on 27-2-2012 by Lithium] [Edited on 27-2-2012 by Lithium]

My mum trusts buying, then importing more than directly buying off eBay. I also only have one beaker for heating that I have used countless times. But for non-corrosives or alkalines, I prefer to heat using an empty tomato can. More convenient, higher temperature, and disposable.

That alkaline salt thing really is very annoying. Also, it is more annoying when the manufacturers don't write up the ingredient list at all!

For the nitrates, first go to your Chinese speciality store. I believe they sell that as an additive to flour for various Chinese recipes.

The sodium metabisulfite I cannot find, as I cannot find home-brewing sections in a supermarket at all!

I am also lost with the sulfuric acid. So far, I have not found one product that has even dilute sulfuric acid. I believe Sigma Chemicals sell it in 15L drums, but they ask for a lot of details and you probably have to own a commercial pool-spa and have a sample of your pool water taken. Sodium bisulfate can
be an alternative for some purposes, but for purposes like making different acids, dehydrating and specific reactions, the liquid is essential. Mg metal or any metal with a reactivity above Al cannot be find either.
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dont trust a government that dont trust its people.just boil down battery acid,get the batteries off the cars with plates that read "exempt".
weiming1998
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 Quote: Originally posted by cyanureeves dont trust a government that dont trust its people.just boil down battery acid,get the batteries off the cars with plates that read "exempt".

I have not ever found a car like that.

[Edited on 27-2-2012 by weiming1998]
Lithium
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do you have CuSO4? of you electrolize it with carbon electrodes from lantern batteries the Cu metal ppts and H2SO4 is left over

i have done this once and you don't get much

i also found this:

At just over 100 C you get the following:

2NaHSO4 ---> Na2S2O7 + H2O

At a MUCH higher temperature (near 1000 C) the following happens:

Na2S2O7 ---> Na2SO4 + SO3

-science forums

so, if you have NaHSO4, you could distill it to obtain SO3

i also read somewhere else( sorry, no reference ) that a if you heat some NaHSO4 to NaS2O7, then distill that with some B2O3, you get SO3.

Li

[Edited on 28-2-2012 by Lithium]
weiming1998
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 Quote: Originally posted by Lithium do you have CuSO4? of you electrolize it with carbon electrodes from lantern batteries the Cu metal ppts and H2SO4 is left over i have done this once and you don't get much i also found this: At just over 100 C you get the following: 2NaHSO4 ---> Na2S2O7 + H2O At a MUCH higher temperature (near 1000 C) the following happens: Na2S2O7 ---> Na2SO4 + SO3 -science forums so, if you have NaHSO4, you could distill it to obtain SO3 i also read somewhere else( sorry, no reference ) that a if you heat some NaHSO4 to NaS2O7, then distill that with some B2O3, you get SO3. there is also a thread some where about the lead chamber process on experimental scale. Li [Edited on 28-2-2012 by Lithium]

Tried electrolysis of CuSO4, it gave me barely anything
The bubbling SO2 through water, then oxidize method gave me lots of dilute acid that can attack iron easily, but when you boil it down, you only get about 25mls of not even concentrated acid.

The decomposition of NaHSO4 is not applicable because SO3 is so dangerous. It forms a mist of concentrated H2SO4 on contact with water, which is very harmful and according to sources, even carcinogenic. SO3 can also corrode, or should we say carbonize, flesh very, very easily. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqFj8xuaH7M
this is what happens to a chicken leg, and it will do the same to my hand, my arm or my face. Also, I have no complete glass distillation set and condenser(quartz!), a heat source that hot, nor the adequate protection for handling SO3.

So far, my only choice now is to ask my science teacher where to buy it, that is, if he will tell me.

Edit: Tried lead chamber, gave me a more conc acid than usual, but still too dilute to be of any use that cannot be substituted by NaHSO4. Also, it wastes a lot of sulfur and KNO3.

[Edited on 28-2-2012 by weiming1998]
Lithium
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maybe you could ring up an ore mining company ( if any are around ) and ask if you could buy a few L of H2SO4 from them as a last resort?

if youre really desperate, you could buy some V2O5 and go in small-scale industrial style

i will be buying a few L of 98% H2SO4 over ebay soon ( when my lab is finished, don't wan't any in my room! ), i'll let you now how it goes down

i have made SO3 before by accidentally boiling down my CuSO4 method H2SO4 too far, and i can tell you, when a large plume of white, lachrymatory gas is filling your immediate space and your family are choking all over the place, it's horrible.

apparently distilling FeSO4.9H2O yields dilute H2SO4, though you would need glassware.

how much do you need exactly? and what for?

i will be using mine for esters and the odd nitration, not to mention making nitric acid and maybe even chloric

i've spent the last year trying to find a viable route to H2SO4 for the home chemist, but have only yielded a small amount of high conc. , low purity product.

a good idea, though i've never tried it, is mixing SO2 and Cl2 together in a flask and then mixing that liquid with stoichiometric amounts of water:

SO2 + CL2 ---> SO2CL2 ( liquid )

SO2CL2 + 2H2O ---> H2SO4 + 2HCl

Li
weiming1998
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 Quote: Originally posted by Lithium maybe you could ring up an ore mining company ( if any are around ) and ask if you could buy a few L of H2SO4 from them as a last resort? if youre really desperate, you could buy some V2O5 and go in small-scale industrial style i will be buying a few L of 98% H2SO4 over ebay soon ( when my lab is finished, don't wan't any in my room! ), i'll let you now how it goes down i have made SO3 before by accidentally boiling down my CuSO4 method H2SO4 too far, and i can tell you, when a large plume of white, lachrymatory gas is filling your immediate space and your family are choking all over the place, it's horrible. apparently distilling FeSO4.9H2O yields dilute H2SO4, though you would need glassware. how much do you need exactly? and what for? i will be using mine for esters and the odd nitration, not to mention making nitric acid and maybe even chloric i've spent the last year trying to find a viable route to H2SO4 for the home chemist, but have only yielded a small amount of high conc. , low purity product. a good idea, though i've never tried it, is mixing SO2 and Cl2 together in a flask and then mixing that liquid with stoichiometric amounts of water: SO2 + CL2 ---> SO2CL2 ( liquid ) SO2CL2 + 2H2O ---> H2SO4 + 2HCl Li

Mixing SO2 and Cl2 together while anhydrous requires a massive tank, which I don't have, to produce something like 5mls of SO2Cl2. Activated carbon is needed also. If you mix it in a solution, then You cannot concentrate the H2SO4, because when you heat it, it will decompose back to SO2 and Cl2.

Sulfuric acid is needed for a vast amount of things. Making acids, catalyst for the creation of esters, sulfate salts(no Na2SO4 contamination), dehydrating agent, specific reactions (mix with dilute H2O2, then the solution can be used to oxidize carbon/organic matter contamination in certain insolubles), making acid anhydrides, etc. Those are just some of the things that needs sulfuric acid.
Lithium
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it's a bit like trying to make gold from lead, you're not going to make a lot of H2SO4 unless you go industrial or think up some ingenious new route.

it's very annoying!

Li
starch
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nitrate in Australia aint to hard, potassium nitrate any way

you have to extract it from another product but that aint to hard

pm me
weiming1998
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 Quote: Originally posted by Lithium it's a bit like trying to make gold from lead, you're not going to make a lot of H2SO4 unless you go industrial or think up some ingenious new route. it's very annoying! Li

Taking someone else's idea, maybe I can just pour oxalic acid into a saturated FeSO4 solution. Iron oxalate will precipate, which can be decanted or filtered out, and the solution boiled down. Still not very convenient, but cheaper and easier than all the previous attempts to create sulfuric acid.

Edit: Going industrial is hardly an option for the home chemist. Huge tank and pipe systems(with own oxygen supplies!) are needed to combust the sulfur, which the sulfur dioxide formed will then need to be led into a giant pipeline with iron wires inlaid with V2O5, heated by about something 100 times bigger than a bunsen burner. Then the sulfur trioxide formed needs to be cooled, collected and dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid, then diluted, to make 2X the amount of concentrated sulfuric acid. If you have access to so many resources, then why can't you just buy sulfuric acid?

[Edited on 29-2-2012 by weiming1998]
Lithium
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the oxalic acid idea is very good, and much safer than the rest.

@ industrial idea:
was being sarcastic

Li
weiming1998
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I will try the oxalic acid method when I can go to Bunnings to buy some FeSO4.
Nevertheless, FeSO4 costs $9 for 500g/1kg for$12 where I live. 2kgs of Oxalic acid is got from Sigma pool supplies, a place where I don't want to go ever again. Also, it costs something like \$20-30 for 2kgs. There might be a good method to generate FeSO4 though.
The Fe oxalate can also be heated in aluminum foil to generate black iron powder, which can be used for a variety of things, but can't be stored, because it oxidizes quickly to Fe2O3.
Lithium
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could ammonium sulfate be oxidised to sulfuric acid?

my dad is a builder and i caught him trying to throw away 20 L of wood bleacher (strong oxalic acid) solution

now i just need to find a source of iron sulfate.

i have 5kg of ammonium sulfate, any ideas?

i also have 2kg of K2SO4 and 10kg of CaSO4, and an endless supply of iron metal. ( we live on a farm )

perhaps electrolysis of ammonium sulfate with iron electrodes will yield iron sulfate? or would it get reduced to Fe(OH)2?

if you don't mind me being nosey, what happened at the pool supply shop?

Li

[Edited on 1-3-2012 by Lithium]

[Edited on 1-3-2012 by Lithium]
weiming1998
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 Quote: Originally posted by Lithium could ammonium sulfate be oxidised to sulfuric acid? my dad is a builder and i caught him trying to throw away 20 L of wood bleacher (strong oxalic acid) solution now i just need to find a source of iron sulfate. i have 5kg of ammonium sulfate, any ideas? i also have 2kg of K2SO4 and 10kg of CaSO4, and an endless supply of iron metal. ( we live on a farm ) perhaps electrolysis of ammonium sulfate with iron electrodes will yield iron sulfate? or would it get reduced to Fe(OH)2? if you don't mind me being nosey, what happened at the pool supply shop? Li [Edited on 1-3-2012 by Lithium] [Edited on 1-3-2012 by Lithium]

Electrolysis is inconvenient, wastes electricity and takes a long time. So, you could put your supply of iron metal in use here; just boil the metal/iron oxide with vinegar. The iron acetate solution can be then mixed with ammonium sulfate and refrigerated to form iron sulfate crystals, which can be filtered out. Ammonium acetate will stay in solution (because it is much more soluble than FeSO4. FeSO4 of this purity can be used for this purpose, but if you are really picky about the purity, you can recrystallize it once.