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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 3-11-2012 at 13:19
Survivalist's Chemistry


OK, I think it would be timely to put together a home chemistry guide to survival in the event of the whatever which is coming next. Below I would put together an outline on possible main areas and subtopics (need more) which are preparatory guides. Please comment as perhaps all our survival could be on the line.

Suggested Book Title: Survivalist's Home Chemistry Manual

Main Topics:

1. Prevention against Diseases
1.1 Preparation of NaClO for water purification
1.2 Preparation of Disinfectant Sprays from H2O2 & Vinegar
1.3 Preparation of FeCl3 for water treatment
1.4 Preparation colloidal silver nanoparticles for the prevention of bacterial infections
......

2. Self Defense Measures
2.1 Making KNO3 for use in firearms,...
2.2 Making chlorates
.....

3. Making Laundry and other general Cleaning products
3.1 How to make Soap
3.2 Fermentation to produce cleaning alcohol
....

4. Food Preservation
4.1 Use of NaCl as a preservative
4.2 Preparing Sulphites for food preservation
4.3 Preparing Nitrites for food preservation
...

5. Food Products
5.1 Fermentation to produce portable wine
.....

6. Heat Producing/Storing Products
6.1 Using stones to store heat
.....

7. Fumigants for pest control
7.1 Preparing Copper ammonium carbonate
....

8. Construction related material
8.1 Blasting Explosive (Methyl ammonium nitrate)
8.2 Formula for making cement
....

9. Light Source
9.1 Practical chemical luminescence

10. Skin Care
10.1 Moistures


[Edited on 3-11-2012 by AJKOER]
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kristofvagyok
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[*] posted on 3-11-2012 at 14:05


Quote: Originally posted by AJKOER  
OK, I think it would be timely to put together a home chemistry guide to survival in the event of the whatever which is coming next.

I would like to suggest for every survivor to get a large amount of salicylic acid.
Why? It is a perfect fungicide and bartericide (or how they call it...) afterall it is good to preserve everything what is not so acidic.

Second: benzene could be easily made from it what is also a perfect substance for a lot survival things, like murder your neighbor, use instead petrol to move your car, make some heat while burning it ect.

Also phenol could be made from salicylic acid what is a perfect sterilizing compound and also it is easy to make some plastic from it, or if you want to demolish a few things just mix with some nitric acid to get every kid's most fav. picrates :D

Some lead picrate:


And if I think a bit with basic chemistry from salicylic acid all you have mentioned could be made easily from the water purification to the light source.

BTW if the world will end, I think that you won't save yourself with some home chemistry;)




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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 3-11-2012 at 14:58


kristofvagyok:

Your suggested Salicylic acid appears to be able to make a contribution to several categories.

An interesting excellent addition.

On the end of the world comment, actually the world is apparently is very fragile. I live in New Jersey, USA and have witnessed many of the dire near end of world suspicions I had. And, to the surprise of many, it was all from just a little wind and water (Sandy to be exact and not a meteorite impact or volcanic eruption or a solar flare frying the electric grid ...) plus a little warmer ocean temperature (global warming?) plus a lot of arrogant stupid people.

[Edited on 3-11-2012 by AJKOER]
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hyfalcon
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[*] posted on 3-11-2012 at 17:27


I've wanted to know the extraction train you would have to follow to derive salicylic acid from nature, willow to be exact. My organic chemistry is non-existent though.
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UnintentionalChaos
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[*] posted on 3-11-2012 at 18:27


Quote: Originally posted by hyfalcon  
I've wanted to know the extraction train you would have to follow to derive salicylic acid from nature, willow to be exact. My organic chemistry is non-existent though.


Willow bark contains the glycoside of o-hydroxybenzyl alcohol. From what I've read, tea made from the bark needs to be taken several times a day and it takes a considerable amount of time for the pain killing effect to set in, as it needs to pass through the liver and be metabolized to salicylic acid first.

A better approach would be to steam distill black birch bark and isolate the methyl salicylate and heat with an alkali to cleave the ester. Methyl salicylate itself has a very narrow therapeutic index...the toxic dose is very close to the therapeutic dose and dosing is variable on the individual and a host of other factors. A salicylate salt solution is probably a stomach irritant, but a painkiller nonetheless with a much wider therapeutic index.

[Edited on 11-4-12 by UnintentionalChaos]




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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 04:22


If, somewhere along the line, you happen to discover fire, then you address quite a lot of those things (I realise it doesn't get you nanoparticulate silver but then again, how often do you need to turn into a smurf?)*
Boil water and cook food. It's not rocket science.

Seriously, in the circumstances you need food and shelter. If you think how long mankind got by without practically all the things you are talking about you will realise just how low priority ferric chloride and methylammonium nitrate are.


*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyria
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Vargouille
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 08:20


Water can also be treated with iodine, and then with ascorbic acid to remove the taste, to render it safe. Iodine is simple enough to make if you have peroxide and an acid.
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plante1999
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 08:34


Hydrogen peroxide is not an easy chemical to make especially in survival situation and iodine is not common, better to boil the water.



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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 09:14


Of course not, and you would know how difficult, I'm sure, but having peroxide is presumed from the table of contents in the first post which talks about a disinfectant spray with peroxide and vinegar. Moreover, it is implied that the scenario involves at least some access to relatively uncommon chemicals, as from the chemical luminescence section, which would lead one to believe that an iodide salt is available. If that is an incorrect assumption, impure iodide can be gotten by burning seaweed, which, of course, is ever so slightly difficult for those in land-locked territories.

But of course, boiling water is easier and works just as well with the exception of a few pathogens which can survive temperatures of 100C.

EDIT: If you live by a farm, iodide salts can be taken from feed supplements like ethylenediammonium diiodide (EDDI) and some others.

[Edited on 4-11-2012 by Vargouille]
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 10:48


You guys do know that iodide is toxic too, don't you?
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Vargouille
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 12:47


Iodide is not that toxic in the quantities in which it is used. Acute oral LD50 is 4340 mg/kg for a rat. I have not managed to find the LD50 for humans, mind you, but it is unlikely that it would be drastically different. Moreover, there won't be enough iodine to be lethal from the tiny amount of iodine used to purify water. To know just how little iodine is needed, think about the iodine-based water purification tablets. One brand, Potable Aqua, recommends two tablets (about 0.24 g) per liter of water. Those two tablets release 16 mg of iodine into the water, much less than toxic amounts (the LDLo of iodine is 28 mg/kg for humans).
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 13:47


"Subjects with a normal functioning thyroid (9 men and 23 women) between the ages of 26 and 56 were
given doses of 0.25, 0.5 or 1.5 mg supplemental iodine/day for 14 days. There were small but significant
decreases in serum T3 and T4 concentrations following the administration of 1.5 mg/day as well as a
small compensatory increase in serum TSH levels and in TSH response to TRH. No effects were
observed in the subjects given the lower levels of iodine"
from
http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/evm_iodine.pdf
suggests potential toxicity from 1.5 mg/day
That's 10 fold less than a litre of treated water.

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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 14:11


Dont forget about ClO2

Can be formed from a number of different reactions

vastly superior to normal forms cholrination, no chloro organics formed

can be tolerated in high doses so over addtion to drinking water is not a big issue

It also has uses as a preservitive for fish and other food items

Can be used as a antiseptic and mouthwash.

and most importantly

it is good for quackary :D (joke)

[Edited on 4-11-2012 by feacetech]
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[*] posted on 4-11-2012 at 15:39


In chronic usage, I'm certainly not qualified to judge the toxicity of iodide, especially not when the document says that "the threshold level of iodine necessary to induce thyrotoxicosis is uncertain and appears to vary depending on previous iodine exposure. The available data are inadequate to establish a dose-response relationship." and "Changes in thyroid parameters that represent normal compensating mechanisms are difficult to distinguish from those which indicate the onset of adverse or toxic effects in human studies as iodine exposure increases." To be perfectly frank, while I stand by the usage of iodine for water treatment, I will concede that a consultation with an endocrinologist is almost certainly more constructive than with two home-chemists learning up on the subject.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2012 at 15:51


Add to "8. Construction Related"
8.3 Preparing Water-proofing agents

New Categories:

11. Making Fire
11.1 Using Mg as a flint fire starter.
11.2 Soaking Organic material in hot NaOCl and drying to increase flammability
.....

12. Food Related
12.1 Making/gathering natural fertilizers
12.2 Making Vinegar
......
--------------------------------

Now, on the question of what chemicals are and are not available, I think it is pragmatic to assume that as we identity key important compounds so one can have a supply of these key life savers stockpiled. That is, we need not assume that every compound is made from scratch, and a limited number of hard to prepare and important compounds are acquired in advance.


[Edited on 6-11-2012 by AJKOER]




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[*] posted on 8-11-2012 at 19:08


If anything were to happen, you'd run out of food and water before you even get close to using explosives and detergents. I'm sorry to say that most of the time, you would have no food left over to preserve, unless you were a skilled farmer and you owned arable land; or if you were a skilled hunter. Chemiluminescence is grossly superfluous, as are many of the other cursory items.

I would lean more towards stockpiling SALT, not for preservation, but for culinary use. In survival conditions, salt seems to run out very quickly and is very difficult to come by (unless you live in a coastal region). The one food I would stockpile would be peanuts. No preservation needed, nutritious, and calorific.

Heh, no one mentioned vitamin C. You'll run out of vitamin C far before you develop an iodine deficiency.
Treating water with iodine or any other halogen is just crazy talk, boiling gets the job done just as well.
These are just some of my thoughts. Methinks you have been watching too many post-apocalyptic movies^^




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[*] posted on 8-11-2012 at 19:49


I've heard that dandelions have Vitamin C in them but as I have not tried it I can't say if this is a practical idea.The Fox Fire book series might be useful here though.
Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti  
If anything were to happen, you'd run out of food and water before you even get close to using explosives and detergents. I'm sorry to say that most of the time, you would have no food left over to preserve, unless you were a skilled farmer and you owned arable land; or if you were a skilled hunter. Chemiluminescence is grossly superfluous, as are many of the other cursory items.

I would lean more towards stockpiling SALT, not for preservation, but for culinary use. In survival conditions, salt seems to run out very quickly and is very difficult to come by (unless you live in a coastal region). The one food I would stockpile would be peanuts. No preservation needed, nutritious, and calorific.

Heh, no one mentioned vitamin C. You'll run out of vitamin C far before you develop an iodine deficiency.
Treating water with iodine or any other halogen is just crazy talk, boiling gets the job done just as well.
These are just some of my thoughts. Methinks you have been watching too many post-apocalyptic movies^^




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[*] posted on 9-11-2012 at 08:05


For water purification, I highly recommend stocking sodium chlorite. Its very potent, storage stable, doesn't taste like bleach water, doesn't make trihalomethane byproducts. It has its limits, but very good stuff. A pounds treats quite a few thousand gallons as I remember it.

This is a highly interesting idea for a thread, I've been meaning to bring it up.. I think its a subject very ripe for innovation, simply because so few people have even put much thought into it. Will post more when time allows.

[Edited on 9-11-2012 by 497]




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[*] posted on 9-11-2012 at 12:02


6.2 insulating materials for clothing, bedding, housing, and kilns
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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 9-11-2012 at 14:22


Yes, I agree food and shelter are important. In fact, having once subjected myself to a fruit juice fast (my wife's idea) which includes vitamins, water and air for several days, let me tell you it is a wonder that mankind has lasted so long. After 4 days, I was a complete vegetable/walking zombie even with all the juices, teas, minerals, and vitamins I wanted together with the psychological support from knowing that I could end this when I wanted. It was an eye opener to the fragility of man.

So, after a real 'event', if you do not have your food source under control in a week or two after your stockpile has been exhausted, you won't have to worry about anything else. In other words, having access to farming, fishing, plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables is a must.

So perhaps we should move on to other comfort/survival topics, after sharing knowledge sources on farming, fishing, hunting, non-poisonous vegetables, etc., and some accessible places to wait out the 'event'.

Also, I am pretty opened minded, but for now, please no reference guides on how to turned your neighbor into a meal (not on the table, at least not on the dinner table yet!).


[Edited on 9-11-2012 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 9-11-2012 at 17:24


We have nothing to fear, FEMA will save us! :D

Seriously now, depending on location, severity and duration of the 'event':

In most cases, neighbors will coalesce and each would ideally pitch in a unique skill and/or items for the common good. After the initial shock wears off, instincts will kick in and one group of men will hunt small game (depends on location). Others will be focused on gathering wood and other materials that can be burned for heat, cooking and boiling water. Yet another group of men will be employed to provide 'camp' security. Women will be charged with rearing the children as well as most camp duties like cooking, maintaining food stores, etc. A landfill is a mighty good place in such events. Junk becomes desirable and there's always a good supply of birds to boot.

If conditions are too harsh (scarcity of food, insufficient natural resources), the 'clan' will migrate in search of a better supply of food and water - foremost. Only after the clan settles down semi-permanently will they begin to upgrade their shelter and start producing useful chemicals and the like from the resources available.

Many will perish - particularly the weak and ill. The resilient will obviously reproduce and repopulate. War and conflict aren't too far down the road...

Enter weaponry

@AJOKER:

Every so often I subject myself to a (limited) water-only fast. The longest I've gone (so far) is 3 days. The weakness and HEADACHES suck but a fast isn't supposed to be easy. I do it for spiritual purposes as well as to test myself.

[EDIT]:
I intended to mention smoking meats for preservation. I've accidentally left pieces of meat in the smoker at the end of a Q. Even in the hot weather and exposure to flies, the meat is preserved even weeks later. I'm not quite crazy enough to taste those leftovers to check the flavor but the stray cats and my neighbor's dog don't seem to complain one bit. The meat doesn't smell rotten and looks 'good'. I should mention that the meat is slow-smoked with mesquite wood. Now I've made myself hungry.. :D

Tank

[Edited on 11-10-2012 by m1tanker78]




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White Yeti
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[*] posted on 10-11-2012 at 07:03


Tanker is right, depending on the area, it's favourable for people to coalesce. This is especially true in areas where one would expect to hunt big game, it's easier to divide up a large animal amongst a large group of hungry people rather than worry about preserving the leftovers because there are not enough people to eat the animal. I'm not saying preservation is useless, but optimisation is far more valuable.

Since the two previous posts deal with eating habits, I will share my own experience, since it follows the same lines. Last year, I tried calorie restriction, just to see what would happen. I would eat one meal a day, and a small sandwich sometime midmorning. I ate some meat, but minimally enough to say that I got most of my energy from vegetables. And it was not a bad experience overall. I didn't turn into a 'vegetable zombie', on the contrary, I felt just fine, even sharper than normal at times. I'm not the kind of person who looks forward to losing weight by counting Calories/Joules, but I was consuming less Calories than normal, around 1300 and I lost a substantial amount of body mass.

I can't generalise too much, but I think this shows that the benefits lie somewhere in the middle. I admit, I never tried a fast of air and water for longer than a day, nor have I tried a vegetable juice fast either. These are for practical reasons; attempting this kind of stunt could prove downright harmful in my case, as I am already very underweight.




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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 10-11-2012 at 10:32


Well I am impress by the general view that we all settle down to peaceful community lives. However, isn't there a limit on the efficient size of these communities?

I had this nightmare where a very decent honorable man is looking at his starving children and his wife says; "What are you going to do about it?" If he has a gun or knives or ..., and you happen to meet him, he may have developed some new concepts on how to share what you have with his family.

I would expect that the more densely populated areas to be the worst.

My idea, take a sailboat to an island that is currently pretty much self-sufficient. The tropics would be best in terms of weather and access to fresh fruits,vegetable, coconuts for various uses, clean mountain water, fish and small wild life and not too many people. Having a boat (and things that you brought with you for living) means you have something to share. I think the air would also be a lot fresher than a garbage dump.
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[*] posted on 13-11-2012 at 13:05


the scenarios that make the most sense, to me, are: (a) an isolated 2-week winter power failure during which water pipes freeze and burst, making homes unlivable; or (b) a widespread, 3+ year catastrophic failure of infrastructure (electric power, phone, radio, roads), in which no help whatsoever will be coming. lack of warmth will kill you before anything else; then access to clean water; then food. theoretical maximum size of a tribe is around 250 people. we should assume lots of people are dead or injured.

what seems, to me, relevant to chemistry, is: water treatment, fuel production, and medical supplies; and some aspects of agriculture and basic manufacturing, rebuilding roads and bridges, repairing/rebuilding electric generators or transformers,...
it would be good to know how to make, from junk/scrap collected,
* a large quantity of insulated copper wire, or cast ingots of steel to machine parts.
* building materials like concrete, insulation, pipes, bricks, mortar, asphalt
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[*] posted on 9-7-2015 at 02:51


What about ferrates (VI)? I, as a survivalist, am very interested in them as water purification agents. That is also the reason behind my interest in obscure ferrates such as magnesium ferrate. If MgFeO4 exists and is water-soluble, it is a better alternative to K2FeO4 as water purifying chemical. K2FeO4 decomposes to Fe2O3 (safe) and KOH (not something you would want in your drinking water). MgFeO4 will decompose to harmless milk of magnesia.
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