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Author: Subject: Druken Aga Challenge (DAC) #3 - Closed (but open to discussion)
Jstuyfzand
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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 10:42


So..... we are well past 6 months later.....
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PHILOU Zrealone
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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 12:26


There is this idea from Laboratory of Liptakov to use Pb and NH4NO3 to produce NxOy and further HNO3; I have proposed from PbO for recycling.
HNO3 from Pb or PbO and NH4NO3 thermolysis

And this from Nux vomica to use NaNO3 and H3BO3 to dry distilate HNO3
HNO3 from NaNO3 and H3BO3 (boric acid)




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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 12:59


Blue vitriol (I can get that in shop, pool section) + potassium nitrate (from fertilizer) + KAl(SO4)2 (also available in shops here, many sources). And heat it afterwards. I think i read this route in chemistry magazine in article about discovering HNO3.
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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 15:21


Guys, the rules for this competition explicitly state no direct use of nitrate ion....

And either way, aga left sciencemadness about a month ago, so even if you managed a working route to nitric acid I strongly doubt you will get any of that prize money.
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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 16:09


Who won?



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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 16:57


Who won?

There was no clear winner. No one actually achieved the desired goal.
That said, there were a few ideas out there of some merit which could potentially have got there eventually.
What mostly happened is that it came down to a matter of time investment, engineering and motivation. No one constructed a functioning unit that actually met the brief.

wg48 IIRC put together a Birkland Eade reactor of sorts. But his was several engineering steps away from producing any product. At last report (and there is a nice video somewhere here) he was having difficulty organising a stable spark in the presence of airflow.

I put together a unit to combust soy beans that had been soaked in Cu(II) and permanganate solutions as a catalyst. For this effort I was given some prize money. I had significant issues with airflow and so had nothing that I could test for nitrates. I came up with a conceptual design that I think will work better but life took over and I never got to work on it. I still have the beans but it is not likely at this stage that I will be able to do the construction that I intended. If I am realistic I'd give myself a 30% chance of making (very dilute) nitric acid with my intended setup.


What was really good about this competition is the number of different ideas that were floated and discussed. It was a good introduction for me to a non-trivial problem and I learned a lot through it.




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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 17:19


I believe it's time for new one!



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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 17:25


A new competition?
Yeah. Great idea.
Getting participation is the key thing. The one I ran had just one formal entry. The copper carnival that was run before that had I think six or eight entries. There have been others.

Let me recommend looking up the few competitions that we have had and see what worked. Then run with it. I don't think the prize needs to be huge for people to have fun taking on the challenge.




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[*] posted on 28-8-2016 at 08:39


Quote: Originally posted by PHILOU Zrealone  
There is this idea from Laboratory of Liptakov to use Pb and NH4NO3 to produce NxOy and further HNO3; I have proposed from PbO for recycling.
HNO3 from Pb or PbO and NH4NO3 thermolysis

And this from Nux vomica to use NaNO3 and H3BO3 to dry distilate HNO3
HNO3 from NaNO3 and H3BO3 (boric acid)


Nux vomica has made a test and it works!
Illustrated test for HNO3 from H3BO3 and NaNO3

I have done the maths for improvements and proposed recycling of boric acid from borax:
Maths for H3BO3/NaNO3 process to HNO3

Also possible increase of HNO3 concentration was proposed from dehydrated H3BO3 (easily accessed B2O3)
concentrated HNO3 or N2O5 from diluted HNO3/B2O3 or NaNO3/B2O3

[Edited on 28-8-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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[*] posted on 31-8-2016 at 21:17


Quote: Originally posted by Cryolite.  
Guys, the rules for this competition explicitly state no direct use of nitrate ion....

And either way, aga left sciencemadness about a month ago, so even if you managed a working route to nitric acid I strongly doubt you will get any of that prize money.


aga ain't gone. And his money so to speak, was always good. He might be pithy at times but he has been pretty daggum generous over the last few years. If DAC 3 was actually completed I imagine he would probably be HAPPY to award the prize.




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[*] posted on 31-8-2016 at 23:03


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
Quote: Originally posted by Cryolite.  
Guys, the rules for this competition explicitly state no direct use of nitrate ion....

And either way, aga left sciencemadness about a month ago, so even if you managed a working route to nitric acid I strongly doubt you will get any of that prize money.


aga ain't gone. And his money so to speak, was always good. He might be pithy at times but he has been pretty daggum generous over the last few years. If DAC 3 was actually completed I imagine he would probably be HAPPY to award the prize.


When I posted that, aga hadnt logged on in about a month and a half. However, the day after he started posting again. Talk about bad timing;)
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[*] posted on 7-10-2016 at 13:58


Time's Up.

No $ here for anyone anymore.

What i found was a reference which was posted on some unknown, vague, slightly crazy website back in 2008.

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=10511

Basically you electrolyse a peat bog with a plant-pot and get nitric acid.

Next Challenge coming soon to a screen near you.




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[*] posted on 7-10-2016 at 15:08


I must also be "druk". I would have sworn an off-topic post by aga to my Amazon thread led me here, but it's gone! Anyway...
Quote: Originally posted by aga  
The Ideal is to make a useful quantity of Nitric Acid in a way that we all could make it, and be shown/described in a way that others could copy.
I read the thread you just linked, but I can't find the part where they demonstrate how they successfully made their own nitrate-containing peat bog from commonly available items. Did I miss it, or am I the only one here who doesn't own a peat bog?
I also must have missed the part where they actually made and photographed some nitric acid.

In theory, a niter bed could produce nitrates from urine/urea, which could then be electrolyzed, and while that thread hints at a similar concept, nobody has posted a detailed procedure that they themselves have used to produce nitrates, in this way, anywhere on this website, and that's not even considering the second step of making the nitric acid through electrolysis.

It seems that, like this thread, that one has some ideas that might work, but no evidence anyone here has actually done it. Those old articles often leave out important information - electrolysis of nitrates in a divided cell also gives side products, this is what woelen has said on the topic:
Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
This is not a practical method of making nitric acid.


[Edited on 7-10-2016 by zwt]
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[*] posted on 7-10-2016 at 18:32


I have to say that the official closure of this competition has been some time coming. I assumed that it had defacto closed around the time aga took his hiatus. My aspirations for this competition went into permanent recession at the time i shifted house and, because of a different location, have had to graduate from junk-yard chemistry to something a bit more professional-looking. My furnace ideas are just not going to be practical here. I have some permanganate and copper sulfate-soaked soy beans if anyone wants them. (Secret santa anyone? :))


Anyway, a huge thanks to aga for organising this competition. There have been a number of different ideas floated and discussed and it has been very educational. It promoted me from someone with little knowledge of HNO3 (Conc NA was the one acid that scared me) to someone comfortable to work with it and aware of its properties and uses.

Interesting also that, from the start, opinions were divided on the practicality of this exercise. There were experienced and knowledgeable chemists who were a bit dismissive (or even derisive) of the idea stating that it was not going to be doable within the constraints. And there were the newbies with ambitious and imaginative ideas. I think that the verdict has to be that OTC nitric acid from non-nitrate sources is theoretically possible, but in practice, awkward, problematic and time-consuming -- to the level that every other possible source is more convenient. If push came to shove (and we are talking post-apocalyptic conditions here) I am confident that I could make my own hydrochloric, sulfuric and nitric acids from garden sulfur, salt, batteries, pee, heat, electricity and time. That is a good thing to know but It does not mean I will be doing it any time soon.


Anyway, big thanks to aga. This exercise has been very valuable and I hope that the thread continues to attract readership and comments into the future.

J.




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[*] posted on 7-10-2016 at 18:33


I gotta ask, aga. Were you aware of the peat bog electrolysis method when you proposed this competition?



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[*] posted on 7-10-2016 at 23:45


No, i didn't know about that before proposing the challange.

Whilst looking for a possible solution i stumbled across that SM thread purely by luck.

When i read it i laughed long and hard.

I mean, where else could a possible answer be !




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[*] posted on 8-10-2016 at 06:52


So you're ending the competition now because you feel like it's already been solved by that thread?
Bit anticlimactic if you ask me.




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[*] posted on 8-10-2016 at 09:00


I feel it's too long since it started to leave it open any longer.

Tidying up basically, so maybe a new, more do-able Challenge can begin.

A couple of years should have been enough for anyone to reach a climax ;)

[Edited on 8-10-2016 by aga]




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