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Author: Subject: Have at it.. whats your coolest reactions/experiment in the home lab?
binaryclock
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[*] posted on 27-5-2013 at 19:58
Have at it.. whats your coolest reactions/experiment in the home lab?


Figured we'd have a bit of fun here...

What reaction do you find the most fun, or awe inducing? Let's hear about reactions that can be reproduced in the home lab so no shooting flourine at various things and watching them burn.

If you can, please include a link to a video showing the reaction, or a write up or report on the reaction. Although a simple description will suffice :)



[Edited on 28-5-2013 by binaryclock]




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[*] posted on 27-5-2013 at 21:02


Well, if you're willing to grab a chair and some popcorn, isolating potassium metal can be satisfying to watch.
Aside from that, I think watching electrolysis is my favorite. Especially electrolysis of a bromine salt - watching elemental bromine drip off of the anode and pool on the bottom of the container is somehow very satisfying.




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[*] posted on 27-5-2013 at 21:28


I love watching the visually stunning runaway reaction of synthesizing mercury fulminate. It bubbles, foams, boils, thick white smoke fading to NO2 then fading back to white. I have a very good HD video of it but YouTube deleted it so I don't want to put it back. Some people on here I'm sure have seen it though, before it was deleted.



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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 00:13


the rapid polymerization of para-nitroaniline is spectacular and a nice change from the nice but common big bangs and color changes.

not my video, but it shows the reaction well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4pNXAtPJp8




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 01:04


Perhaps it is not the easiest experiment to repeat in the home lab, but the thermal decomposition of mercury thiocyanate is incredible to watch; it expands, grows, almost as though it were alive. Many great YouTube videos demonstrate this phenomenon.



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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 01:06


Catalytic burning of hexamine - put some Cr2O3 (worse with Fe2O3) onto the tablet, ignite it, wait some seconds to heat up catalyst then blow the flame with your hand. Something beautiful can be observed!
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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 02:12


I just had some idea in creating a rain bow or multi-colored jacob's ladder. Simply by coating the spark gap rods with the color of rainbow but for flame color.

Lithium compound for red. Strongtium for red-orangetable Salt for orange-yellow. Copper compound for green. Its already blue it self, and potassium for purple. I saw a youtube video where someone coated his metal rod with lithium chloride and the whole jacob's ladder was reddd, interesting.

Can someone try my idea ? I don't like experimenting with high voltage experiments on my own.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 09:16


I have colored Jacob's ladders yellow with sodium, but haven't been able to succeed with lithium or copper. It's probably because sodium is so strong that it only takes a little bit.



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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 10:34


This is one of my favorites. It makes a light-emitting gas (a special form of oxygen).

http://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/exps/chemlum/inde...

The chemicals needed for this experiment are not very special, most people over here should be able to obtain them.

Another really favorite experiment is this one:

http://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/exps/cro2cl2/inde...

An orange/red gas, poured on a colorless liquid, gives blue schlieren, sinking to the bottom.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 11:57


Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
the rapid polymerization of para-nitroaniline is spectacular and a nice change from the nice but common big bangs and color changes.

not my video, but it shows the reaction well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4pNXAtPJp8

I didn't expect that!!! Wow. I only knew the conc. H2SO4 + sucrose (or most sugars and similar compounds) to form graphite like that, but not nearly as fast. That was surprising.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 12:50


I like the Briggs-Rauscher reaction. The only thing is that you almost have to do it with malonic acid: I tried it with acetone twice, never got it to give the intensity I wanted, and ran out of iodate. This short video does it well enough to demonstrate it.
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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 15:52


Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
the rapid polymerization of para-nitroaniline is spectacular and a nice change from the nice but common big bangs and color changes.

not my video, but it shows the reaction well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4pNXAtPJp8


HAHA! Awesome! It's...erm... chemical erection magic! :P

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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 18:42


Well my favorite reaction i accidentally discovered myself is that mixing bleach and hydrochloric acid makes chlorine gas. I love how chlorine reacts with all metals, and then you can make sodium chloride and put it on your food, so you can say that you made all the salt yourself.
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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 18:50


Oh geez, I hope youre not truly eating your chemistry experiments. If you are using anything but food grade chemicals I can guarantee there is going to be some heavy metal contamination along with who knows what else. If you plan to ingest compounds you make you should invest in glassware specifically for ingestables so there is no cross contamination of poisons.



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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 19:12


I didn't actually do it, but theoretically you could. I don't see how there could be heavy metal contamination though because when chlorine reacts with sodium, the sodium chloride settles on the sides of the flask
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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 19:14


Hardware store HCl is riddled with impurities. May be small PPM but its still there and could come over with the Cl gas.

Edit: also, what is the source of sodium? If made from NaOH that will have crap in it as well. If it was purchased from gallium source their website states 99.7% Na, ever wonder what that .3% is?

[Edited on 5-29-2013 by chemcam]




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 19:32


So many great experiments! Thanks for all of these and I'll be trying them over the course of the next weeks/months! woelen, that is a really neat reaction with the glowing red... I think I'll try that one first :)

chemcam, isn't HgCNO2 pretty dangerous to work with? I'd like to try making some of it at one point in time, but I need more experience first before attempting such a volatile compound.




[Edited on 29-5-2013 by binaryclock]




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 20:33


Oh yes, not only it is a primary energetic but it also releases mercury vapor. I still believe it is safer than the organic peroxides. Mercury Fulminate Reaction

This was mentioned above so I thought I'd post my video of it even though it is smaller. Mercury(II) Thiocyanate




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[*] posted on 28-5-2013 at 20:52


Well I have had fun with ozone and NO2 produced with high voltage, who doesnt like caged lightning right? but fun to watch was electrolysis of pure chromium in strong NaOH sol, its mesmerizing. It makes a verry attractive deep and clear red gel on the chrome metal. It's more dense and falls off/drips, to the bottom. The interface between the gel and solution is bright orange on the gel side, fading through yellow to clear sol. Currents caused by bubbles rising causes the drops to drag in a circle across the bottom and spread into sol.

The catalytic oxidation of acetone by hot copper wire is interesting and easy to try at home. I had one going ten min after seeing it on YouTube with ~10-15 inches of copper wire from an inductor on some e-scrap.

Electricity + chemistry is almost always fun in my book

Edited- accidentally typed NO3 instead of NO2. Was talkn about O3 in the same sentance, lol

[Edited on 29-5-2013 by violet sin]
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[*] posted on 29-5-2013 at 06:18


mine must be watching shittonnes of NO2 being poured into concentrated ammonia..
perhaps precipitating white stuff like something dissolved in ethanol then added to water.. looks pretty neat too (:
others than that nearly anything involving CuCl2, even hydrogen made from CuCl2 + HCl + Al.. ohyes..




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[*] posted on 29-5-2013 at 07:22


Snakes and sparklers.
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[*] posted on 29-5-2013 at 07:30


Quote: Originally posted by Vargouille  
I like the Briggs-Rauscher reaction. The only thing is that you almost have to do it with malonic acid: I tried it with acetone twice, never got it to give the intensity I wanted, and ran out of iodate. This short video does it well enough to demonstrate it.


The Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillating reaction is also awesome to watch happen in a Petri dish, you can make all kinds of chaotic patterns by disturbing the solution! The chemicals are a little tricky to find though. An easy classic that is always fun is nitrocellulose, nitrating string, toilet paper, normal paper, cotton, never fails to impress :P

[Edited on 29-5-2013 by Mailinmypocket]
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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 03:04


The thermal decomposition of ammonium dichromate or simply the precipitation of lead iodide from aqueous solution.



Attachment: Dichromate.wmv (1.8MB)
This file has been downloaded 434 times

I have also added a video of singlet oxygen as per Woelen's post.



Attachment: Singlet.wmv (263kB)
This file has been downloaded 442 times

[Edited on 1-6-2013 by nezza]
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