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Author: Subject: Quest for the elements
j_sum1

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Watch nurdrage's videos on manganese sulfate purification. I have tried some of the same techniques with manganese chloride but that seems to be more difficult.

As always, ferrocyanide and ferricyanide will test for iron (III) and (II) respectively. You could do something with a colormetric test to get quantitative. In the absence of a detector, you could get a ballpark figure by mixing a solution for comparing with. TheHomeScientist on YT has a technique using a spotting tray that works well. Search for boron on his channel.

But really, if the iron is not colouring too much, then it is likely low. Therefore not going to affect things much.
Upsilon
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Yeah the color really isn't bad at all, I'll upload a picture tomorrow.

Right now I'm wondering about how to get a scandium sample. I really should just buy it, but I can also get scandium oxide for not a whole lot more expensive than regular scandium metal. Still though, it is risky - 2.5g is $40, and that is not nearly enough to experiment with so I would have to use it up all at once. And if it fails, that's$40 down the drain.
MrHomeScientist
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 Quote: Originally posted by Upsilon Right now I'm wondering about how to get a scandium sample. I really should just buy it, but I can also get scandium oxide for not a whole lot more expensive than regular scandium metal. Still though, it is risky - 2.5g is $40, and that is not nearly enough to experiment with so I would have to use it up all at once. And if it fails, that's$40 down the drain.

I've done a bit of reading on separating rare earth metals from monazite ore, and I get the sense that reducing the compounds to the pure metals is not a simple task. Probably requires inert atmosphere at least. You may be better off buying it. However you get the metal, be sure to store it under oil or inert gas - my sample has developed a thick white coating of oxide over a few years of storage in a little Ziploc bag.

 Quote: Originally posted by Upsilon Good luck with the SiO2 thermite Agari, I couldn't get anything worth saving from it. The metal(loid) always failed to coalesce effectively. I got blobs of it but they were actually just tiny grit-like pieces clumped together, and they weathered very quickly.

Again, my experience differs. I made some reasonable sized pieces of silicon from sand thermite. My second attempt is on my channel, which resulted in somewhat less pretty grain-of-rice-sized shards. Still, entirely possible to obtain display-worthy samples from thermite.

 Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1 I watched your thermite compilation with my class yesterday, MHS. I provided my own voice-over.

That's awesome! I'm glad to hear my work is being used in the classroom. I haven't done anything on YouTube in a long time; seems like I should get back to it.
kemster90
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extracting elements from everyday sources

for note i dont own any of these videos

hydrogen
source:from HCl acid

lithium
source:energizer battery

sodium
source:solid lye drain cleaner

potassium
source:KCl
no video

magnesium
source:magnesium firestarter

calcium
source:calcium chloride
electrolysis under argon environment
no video

titanium
source: titanium pigment

manganese
source:non rechargeable battery

iron
source:steel wool

cobalt
source:NiMH rechargeable battery

nickel
source: nickel US coin or rechargeable batterty

copper
source: copper pipe or react aluminum with copper sulfate

zinc
source:

Boron
source:Boric acid roach killer

Carbon
source:non rechargeable battery

Nitrogen
source:

Oxygen
source: peroxide

aluminum
source:aluminum foil

silicon
source:sand

chlorine
source: HCl

Bromine
source: bromation

iodine
source:

bismuth
source:pepmo bismo

tungsten
source:welding rod

Sulfur
source: matches

Phosphorus
source: matches

silver
source: silver solder

cerium
source:ferrocerium rod from a lighter

neodymium
source:neodymium magnets

thorium
source:tungsten tig welding rod

americium
source:smoke detector

helium
source:helium tank

argon
source: welding supply for mig welding

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solder
to extract metals from here

[Edited on 28-1-2016 by kemster90]
Texium
27-1-2016 at 16:53
symboom
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making phosphorus
Herr Haber
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Last year I was going out with a girl who's father is one of the top 2 chemists in his specialty (Chirality) in our country.
Since she had asked him some advice (she's herself on her way to a PHD in Physics) about books for my Xmas present he was a bit worried as the books they settled on where
1) One on explosives and propellants (very boring after reading Urbansky
2 The other one was about crystals, the naming, what could catalyse crystallization. I learned a lot there.

Of course, since his daughter was spending a lot of time at my place he had some concerns about my "lab" even though his daugher explained to him how paranoid I was with cleaning before, after, myself, using solvents to remove any trace from contaminents on glassware.
Seeing where the interrogation was going (and quite expecting it!) I "reassured" him by promising I would never try to collect any element beyond 94 and didnt plan to add chlorine trifluoride to my inventory either.
He paused for a second and laughed. Too bad I'm not with his daughter anymore. He would have been a great father in law.

I did spoil the mood though a little afterwards when I mentioned I planed to distill some SO3 from a persulfate (details in the Library)...
crystal grower
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Elements collection

Hello,
I want to make my own collection of elements, but buying complete ptable from internet is NOT my goal.
I want to collect elements mainly from easily affordable sources (for example tungsten from lightbulb etc.)
Buying some of them would be the last option.
Could anyone help me to expand my collection by advising sources?
Thanks a lot.
Hydrogen
Oxygen
Nitrogen
Sulfur
Iron
Copper
Tungsten
Tin
Bismuth
Antimony
Zinc
Magnesium
Mercury
Gold
Silver
Nickel
Fluorine (as CaF2)
Aluminium
Carbon
(Sorry that they aren't in order).

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
szuko03
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A few days ago I opened a Lithium battery to remove the elemental lithium sheet contained with in. I can also attest to the fact without storage available the instant you liberate it from the steel housing the shiny luster of lithium will quickly be a memory for you.

I am also working on Red Phosphorus from match book strikers in an effort to obtain some elemental P for my collection as well. Those are too not too hard or expensive projects for you, the warning being they take time so be sure to set aside time for the work.

Also you can always try to get the iodine out of povidone iodine, using some common chemicals and thats really just mixing, filtering and subliming the iodine... I havent actually completed one though.

[Edited on 5-2-2016 by szuko03]

Chemistry is a natural drive, not an interest.
j_sum1

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Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again.

There are already a number of threads on element collecting. Lots of us do it.

Seems like you have a good start. Some (many) can't eaily be isolated by home chemist.

I recommend boron as a good project. Look up the youtube by mrhomescientist.

10 new (short) videos on sum_lab. Junior science physical and chemical change series.
crystal grower
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Do anyone knows whch halogen is used in osram 64210 headlights bulb or in some other atomotive halogen lightbulbs?

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
Texium
5-2-2016 at 15:16
IrC
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 Quote: Originally posted by crystal grower Thanks for answers. Do anyone knows whch halogen is used in osram 64210 headlights bulb or in some other atomotive halogen lightbulbs?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen_lamp

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
E-Hunter
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I need help with an element...

I am an element collector,as you can probably tell from my name. I currently seek to collect Arsenic as part of my collection. I currently have 14 elements in my collection,they are:
Lithium (From Batteries)
Hydrogen (From lithium and water reaction)
Helium (From balloon,most likely very impure)
Carbon (From Batteries)
Oxygen (From bleach and hydrogen peroxide)
Sulfur (Bought,I would like a method of extracting it from a sulfur-containing compound though)
Sodium and potassium (Would also like a method of extraction from a sodium/potassium compound).
Chlorine (From pool acid and hydrochloric acid)
Bromine (From sodium bromide)
Iron (from a few grams grams of thermite)
Zinc (Bought)
Tin (Bought)
Aluminum (Bought)

I would like to know practical methods of extracting the elements that I listed as "Bought" from compounds containing those elements. Back to my original question: How would one extract Arsenic from Orpiment (Bought online)?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpiment

So far,I have only been able to come up with essentially placing the orpiment in a metal container and lighting gasoline under it,but have little idea as to what to do after isolating the Arsenic Trioxide. Arsenic is probably the most dangerous element I will try to collect. Speaking of danger,what would be a good way to deal with the Arsenic Trioxide once it has been isolated from Orpiment? What about isolating the other bought elements that I mentioned from compounds containing them?

Thanks!

[Edited on 6-2-2016 by E-Hunter]
Texium
5-2-2016 at 21:51
j_sum1

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Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again.

I would suggest that arsenic is off limits for amateur extraction until you have a really good understanding of what you are doing, all the relevant chemistry and have some good lab skills (including waste disposal procedures.) Until then, buy a sample. Preferaby ampouled. If you must persist with this idea, search everything you can on arsenic and orpiment on these board and read every word before doing anything. The topic has come up before. As compounds have a history of killing people and are not to be trifled with.

Sodium and potassium are good projects. There is a lengthy thread on reduction of potassium hydroxide using magnesium and a tertiary alcohol catalyst. Worth a read. Very doable by the amateur but also a challenge. An easier method is a thermite-style reaction using magnesium powder. Losses will be high, but it is quick and simple. Search on youtube for an example. Sodium is also obtainable by the same route. Better production of Na can be done by electrolysis of a molten salt. Again, read threads on the subject.

Aluminium -- just buy it. Extraction from an oxide is just not worth the effort.

Zinc can be extracted from a carbon zinc battery or an alkaline battery.

Sulfur can be obtained by acidifying a thiosulfate solution and filtering. I think you would be better to buy gardening grade sulfur and purify by recrystallising using xylene (or toluene.)

Silicon can be got from sand via a thermite reaction. Titanium can be gotten also from pottery grade TiO2. Neither of these are exactly straightforward but they are a good challenge. They are not on your list but I think are candidates for what you say you are attempting to do.

You don't mention copper. I get mine from stripping electrical wires. If you want to extract it however you could perform electrolysis on copper sulfate. The spin-off of sulfuric acid might also be useful.

Electrolysis of solutions will also give you chromium, tin, nickel and others.

For other elements, a read of this thread will give you some options.

Good luck. Element collecting is fun!

10 new (short) videos on sum_lab. Junior science physical and chemical change series.
crystal grower
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Thanks for advices, I've successfully obtained Lithium from battery and molybden, tungsten and some argon from light bulb.

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
Herr Haber
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 Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1 I would suggest that arsenic is off limits for amateur extraction until you have a really good understanding of what you are doing, all the relevant chemistry and have some good lab skills (including waste disposal procedures.) Until then, buy a sample. Preferaby ampouled. If you must persist with this idea, search everything you can on arsenic and orpiment on these board and read every word before doing anything. The topic has come up before. As compounds have a history of killing people and are not to be trifled with.

Arsenic metal is ok if you already have it in metal form. It's commonly used in metallurgy and in the making of Calcium Carbide. This is where I got my first lump from: I use CaC2 for caving and we always sift through the remains to check for leftovers CaC2 that might be usable. From the little I remember (and to keep the explanation short) it acts a little bit like the butter you put at the bottom of your mould for making a cake when you want to get your Calcium Carbide from the mould it has been formed into the arc furnace. (A bit over simplistic, I hope no metallurgy specalist will throw me hot slag )

Arsenic salts on the other hand are an enterily other matter. As the user above implies it they have been commonly used to get rid of unwanted family members.
So I'd be very weary of extracting Arsenic from one of it's salts.
Texium

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This page might be useful to those of you interested in collecting elements:

(it's still a work in progress)

Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
elementcollector1
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Arsenic is most definitely off-limits until you have more experience. At the very least, you'll need some experience with sublimating compounds in closed, sealed tubes. Of metal. If you wish to use orpiment, simply powder it (very, very carefully) and mix with something like excess carbon and sublimate.

Personally, I recommend Skutterudite for As extraction, as it is relatively safe even when powdered.

Zinc can be precipitated from single displacement, or from electrolysis (under the right conditions, because zinc can mildly react with water), etc, etc.

Tin can be found in solder, and extracted by dissolution with excess HCl, filtering off the insoluble lead chloride (careful), and either subject this to electrolysis or single displacement (aluminum should work well).

Sulfur can also be obtained via bubbling H2S into bleach. H2S can be made by mixing a sulfide and HCl (careful, this stuff's toxic too).

Elements Collected:52/87
Latest Acquired: Cl
Next in Line: Nd
E-Hunter
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Thank you to all of the above posters for your advice, for now,the Orpiment sample which I bought will be my Arsenic sample. I am going to work on getting Sulfur for now.
woelen

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Last weekend I have been busy making element samples for permanent display.

I have ampouled the following elements which I had as chemical, but now I set aside part of them as beautiful element sample:

Boron (99.7% crystalline)
Indium shot (very shiny, 3N grade)
Violet phosphorus (made this myself: appr. 500 mg made from 25 grams of red P, it looks grey like graphite)

I also ordered a few samples, which I cannot make myself:
- iron 99.995%, electrolytic flakes, under argon
- manganese 99.99%, electrolytic flakes, under argon
- vanadium feather-like crystals, 99.9%, under argon
- samarium 99.99%, oxide-free, in quartz ampoule, vacuum-sealed.
- lithium 99.5%, oxide-free, under argon
- calcium 99.9%, oxide-free, under argon

I now am in the process of getting really beautiful samples of all the elements, free of oxide-layers, shiny and durable in sealed ampoules. At the moment I have almost 40 elements in the form of ampouled samples or perfectly sealed glass vials.

These ordered samples were quite expensive, between EUR 15 and EUR 20 per sample.

[Edited on 8-2-16 by woelen]

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crystal grower
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Congratulations Woelen, great hunt.
Maybe you could send me some Indium just joking but I'd be glad for Indium sample, do you know any cheap source ??

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
woelen

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A good source for indium is onyxmet.com. They sell ampouled indium in the form of small shiny spheres, which can nicely be ampouled. My indium is from them, and I made two ampoules of this (one with appr. 9 grams and one with appr. 1 gram).

-----------------------------------------

I now made a new chlorine sample, which very well demonstrates the color of Cl2. I made appr. 200 ml of gas, dried this with a 1 : 5 mix of P4O10 and CaCl2 and then dissolved this in appr. 5 ml of reagent grade CCl4. More than half of the Cl2 dissolved in the small amount of CCl4, it is amazing to see how well Cl2 dissolves in this. The resulting solution is deep yellow and above the solution, there is a faint color of gaseous Cl2. I ampouled this 5 ml of liquid and now I have a sample of Cl2 with a very strong color.

I also ampouled a solution of a single drop of Br2 in CCl4 (which is a nice deep red/brown solution) and a solution of a small granule of I2 in CCl4 (which has a purple color). Now I have three additional samples of halogens, which are quite unique. I used CCl4, because this does not react with halogens and can be stored indefinitely, also when displayed in full daylight.

Soon, I will make pictures of all my samples.

Edit: I made another ampoule of iodine, now with iodine, dissolved in (Et)2O. This solution is brown and is archetypal for the appearance of solutions of iodine in many oxygen-containing solvents. The deep purple color in the other ampoule is archetypal for the color of iodine in aliphatic hydrocarbons and halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons. Now my set for the halogens is complete, the elements, and representative solutions in solvents which can be stored indefinitely.

[Edited on 8-2-16 by woelen]

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
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crystal grower
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Today I have expanded my small collection with red phosphorus from match boxes.
Now I want to make some borium ( from b2o3).
Is there some other way of extraction but thermite reaction?
For example electrolysis or something else....

And second question, how do I recognise what metal is used in various types of spark plugs ??

And by the way , shouldn't be this topic sticky and maybe moved to miscellaneous?

[Edited on 9-2-2016 by crystal grower]

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
blogfast25
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 Quote: Originally posted by crystal grower Today I have expanded my small collection with red phosphorus from match boxes. Now I want to make some borium ( from b2o3). Is there some other way of extraction but thermite reaction? For example electrolysis or something else....

Magnesiothermy reportedly gives better results than aluminothermy but the product will still be quite contaminated (with borides). Brauer (library) may give a procedure.

Dissolving NdFeB magnets in acid leaves a residue of B but not much, of course.

[Edited on 9-2-2016 by blogfast25]

The Volatile Chemist
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I always forget about the solder source for tin. I have ~2.5 spools of solder from the now-gone Radio Shack (RIP), and my iron went out a year ago. I'll
have to get some PbCl2 and tin out of some of it.
I tried to get some lithium out of a lithium-polymer battery the other day. I thought the lithium was in solid form, and went through a whole collection process, only to find my 'lithium' was aluminum...

crystal grower
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Maybe its a stupid idea but would it be possible to make elemental boron by putting Al rod into molten Boron trioxide ?? (It doesnt matter how pure it will be).

Elements collected:31/92
Last acquired: Co