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Author: Subject: Little things that surprised you in chemistry
mr.crow
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[*] posted on 17-2-2014 at 09:34


Quote: Originally posted by elementcollector1  
Gonna agree on the density of mercury - just ampouled some, and a drop hitting the side feels less like a drop and more like a very small hammer.


Agreed. I have a Pyrex media bottle with 120g of Hg and its only ~10mL. So fun to slosh around.




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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 27-2-2014 at 08:16


The fact that stainless steel can withstand nitric-sulfuric acid mixed, almost nothing can survive such a corrosive mixture.
Also, I'm amazed at reactions where two (or more) gasses react on contact, to produce a solid. Eg: 2 NH3(g) + 4 O3(g) → NH4NO3(s) + 4 O2(g) + H2O(l). Also: NH3(g) + HCl(g) → NH4Cl.(s)

[Edited on 27-2-2014 by Zyklonb]




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[*] posted on 27-2-2014 at 16:58


It's too easy to make batteries at home. I made a 5V stack from pennies, nickels, and acetic acid-soaked paper. I think it would be quite interesting to make one with aluminum replacing pennies and permanganate replacing the acetic acid.
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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 20:38


The incredible decongestant ability of ammonia for people like me with allergic rhinitis. Believe me, it works - 15% is sufficient.



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alexleyenda
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 12:59


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
The incredible decongestant ability of ammonia for people like me with allergic rhinitis. Believe me, it works - 15% is sufficient.

HAHA this one is a good one. However I wanna puke every time I smell ammonia... This smell...
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NexusDNA
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 13:04


Brain&Force, hahaha, I have exactly the opposite experience! :D After making hexamine from formaldehyde and ammonia, I spent almost 2 weeks with a runny nose.

[Edited on 13-6-2014 by NexusDNA]




Bromine, definitely bromine.
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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 13:28


Am I seriously the only person who LOVES the smell of ammonia? Everyone else gives me weird looks - even the chemistry teachers and professors!



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alexleyenda
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 14:31


Yep, that smell is terrible. It feels like i'm dead and rotting from the inside every time I smell it. Honestly there is very few smells I like. I even hate isoamyl acetate and methyl salicylate.

On the subject, the density of bismuth metal is quite surprising, and how volatile acetone is too.
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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 14:37


I like the smell of ammonia in rather low concentration.
The volatility of nitrogen tetroxide is really surprising, boils at about RT, but the liquid is fun to work with.

[Edited on 13-6-2014 by Zyklonb]




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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 19:33


To me, ammonia smells like death incarnate.
That's one thing that really surprised me. I didn't know ammonia HAD a smell, till I made it a few weeks ago.




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bismuthate
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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 02:54


Ammonia can be good or bad depending on the circumstances, but I really love the smell of NO2.



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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 05:29


Funny, I've never smelled NO2, but I've never made nitric acid, let alone owned sulfuric acid to make it.



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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 05:56


Quote: Originally posted by bismuthate  
I really love the smell of NO2.

Umm, really? I hate that smell.
In low concentrations I'm guessing. Still, it's such a bad smell.




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Mailinmypocket
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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 06:07


NO2 is disgusting. At least bromine and chlorine, HCl etc have a pungent smell, but NO2 has a heavy almost rich, creamy aspect that I find is offensive. Yuck!

Another surprising thing is how the odor of TCCA manages to escape almost any container and the same goes for diethyl ether. It's almost as bad as bromine(which is great stored in the freezer by the way).
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alexleyenda
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[*] posted on 18-6-2014 at 08:33


The volume of sulfuric acid increases so much with heat. From 20°C to 300°C, it can go up by around 20% from what I've seen.
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 18-6-2014 at 09:28


@alexleyenda ...and that does not help things when one is trying to push the capacity of glassware for HNO3 distillations, as my younger self would learn.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/cubical-expansion-coeffici...

15.4% from 20°C to 300°C, in fact.




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[*] posted on 18-6-2014 at 14:15


Yeah I was telling it by eyes, I didn't look for the exact value :p
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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 20-7-2014 at 12:47


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
I once turned on a magnetic stirrer with a neodymium magnet in the vicinity and the magnet did the shimmy n' shake, which conveniently entertained a group of chem students.


I uploaded that footage to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khbYIBTQaz4

<iframe sandbox width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/khbYIBTQaz4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>




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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 23-7-2014 at 06:02


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
I once turned on a magnetic stirrer with a neodymium magnet in the vicinity and the magnet did the shimmy n' shake, which conveniently entertained a group of chem students.


I uploaded that footage to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khbYIBTQaz4


LOL that's hilarious! What's your channel?

I just got some sulfuric acid (FINALLY!) and I'm shocked at it's strength (even at ~8 mol/L). But then again, the only other acid I've worked with is vinegar.....




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sasan
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[*] posted on 23-7-2014 at 07:26



This little thing surprised me!!
The smallest beaker you've ever seen.1 mL


beaker.jpg - 28kB
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Brain&Force
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[*] posted on 11-8-2014 at 09:43


Forgot about this thread: my channel is in my signature for anyone who's curious.

A weird thing I've seen is the ability of citric acid to bleach concrete in solid form and, when dilute, get infested with bacteria.

What exactly is the volume of that beaker?




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[*] posted on 11-8-2014 at 11:15


Quote: Originally posted by Zyklon-A  
I still don't know how silver acetylide can make such a big bang, when no gasses are evolved. It just makes silver and carbon.


I believe it is really the double salt:
Ag2C2.AgNO3

When it explodes the nitrogen and oxygen form some sort of gaseous product, maybe the oxygen oxidizes some/all of the carbon as well?

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/1963/tf10.1039...
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[*] posted on 15-8-2014 at 06:17


What surprised me recently was when I placed an old nail in salt sea and 3% H2O2. No reaction, zip. Then, in a microwave for 30 seconds, and wow! Bubbles up like super strong acid from sea salt and dilute H2O2? Actually, constructed an Iron-Oxygen galvanic cell with an NaCl electrolyte.

Cool way to Fe2O3.xH2O (see pictures at http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=153&am... ).

[Edited on 15-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 15-8-2014 at 14:48


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
I just got some sulfuric acid (FINALLY!) and I'm shocked at it's strength (even at ~8 mol/L). But then again, the only other acid I've worked with is vinegar.....

Boil it until it fumes. Outside ! (or fume hood)
You will know when it's Fumes and not just steam.
[~18] M results.
Dilute, or not, to suit requirement.
Add some 3% H2O2 then boil if it's Brown.
Pihranas Remove the brown fast.

If you get 18[M] H2SO4 and have any pure nitrate salt, distill HNO3, again Outside.
Ice chill condenser and receiver.

Awesome distillation. Orange gas !

I know you're not stupid, and would use appropriate protective gear/procedures when dealing with hot concentrated sulphuric acid, almost pure nitric acid and toxic NOx vapours.




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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 18-8-2014 at 09:26


And yet... My only dist. rig isn't ground glass, it's of the older style. I wouldn't want uncondensed fumes coming out the end of the condenser. I'll wait till I have a better (Or at least more sealed) setup.



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