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Author: Subject: Chemicals that are expensive to buy but easy to make
symboom
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 02:02
Chemicals that are expensive to buy but easy to make


Creating a sort of list here
Some are expensive because of hazmat though
Are are expensive to buy
Bromine
Chlorine
Iodine
Phosphourous
Nitric acid
Hydrazine Sulfate
Sodium
Ceasium
Potassium

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PirateDocBrown
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 02:35


I wouldn't call making phosphorus or alkali metals "easy" for a home chemist.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 02:55


Chloroform?
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Melgar
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 03:55


Methylamine? Diethylamine? Benzaldehyde? Benzyl chloride? Hydrobromic acid? Propionic acid? All the alkali cyanides?

Does that count things that are easy to buy the precursors to, but are either expensive to buy or nearly impossible to find? In that case, there are at least half a dozen derivatives I can come up with for n-butanol alone.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 08:12


Quote: Originally posted by PirateDocBrown  
I wouldn't call making phosphorus or alkali metals "easy" for a home chemist.

I know how to make it, and though I have never tried, it seems easy enough.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 08:14


Nitroglycrin, sodium cyanide?

Nitroglycrin is not sold online, for obvious reasons.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 09:24


Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
Methylamine? Diethylamine? Benzaldehyde? Benzyl chloride? Hydrobromic acid? Propionic acid? All the alkali cyanides?

Does that count things that are easy to buy the precursors to, but are either expensive to buy or nearly impossible to find? In that case, there are at least half a dozen derivatives I can come up with for n-butanol alone.


A lot of those are restricted, but not expensive though.

How is making alkali metals easy? I do not know any standard procedures to do it, but I'm imagining heating up some alkali salts in a crucible or something. Not necessarily difficult, but who has a crucible?
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 10:35


Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
but who has a crucible?


They're not exactly a rarity to me:

https://www.homesciencetools.com/50-ml-crucible-and-lid-low-...

You can always use a can from canned food as well.
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 11:02


few minutes with some sch80 black iron pipe makes a nice fast one! going to make an SO3 crucible that way and use steel break line for the condenser. Material compatibility charts lead me to think it will survive for a couple dozen runs.

So add "SO3" to the list

[Edited on 29-3-2017 by XeonTheMGPony]
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 11:26


Quote: Originally posted by A Halogenated Substance  
Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
but who has a crucible?


They're not exactly a rarity to me:

https://www.homesciencetools.com/50-ml-crucible-and-lid-low-...

You can always use a can from canned food as well.

I really don't recommend cans. They tend to become weak and flimsy after the first or second use. I highly recommend clay graphite crucibles, they work wonders and can be used many, many times.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 11:43


I guess cans were suggested because they are so cheap/easy to get you can use them ones without feeling bad.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 13:02


ICl3, NI3, Cu2C2, (Me2CH)3O6, N2O4, PH3, C3O2, Ag3N, IN3, SF4, COBr2, H2Se, H3As, AgCNO...
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 13:24


I purchase mostly when a compound isnĀ“t that rewarding to make in concern of the practical work or sometimes because of some danger associated with.

That occurs rarely, but when it does, it concerns mostly unusual organic molecules, or very reactive and hard to make anorganics.
For example, some alkylphenylketones were purchased rather than made, the reason being lazyness and other things needing my attention.
But I would otherwise still prefer to buy such things instead of making them myself(which would anyway require access to big suppliers).
Also, things like

As for anorganics, things like mercury or phosphorous compounds are something I rather purchase than make.
Cyanides are harmless to handle compared.

Also anything of with a(real) lachrymatory potency coupled with vesicant activity, is something I would like to avoid if possible. Sadly this is not always possible.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 13:38


I guess I wasn't thinking crucibles are hard to come by so much as I figured you'd need a specialized heat source to use them. Maybe not though, can you just throw one in a wood fire or what? I didn't really consider that, not sure how hot wood burns. Maybe coal if wood isn't hot enough?
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 15:49


forced induction of air to a charcoal fire melts steel to give you an idea
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 20:47


Quote: Originally posted by alking  
I guess I wasn't thinking crucibles are hard to come by so much as I figured you'd need a specialized heat source to use them. Maybe not though, can you just throw one in a wood fire or what? I didn't really consider that, not sure how hot wood burns. Maybe coal if wood isn't hot enough?

I use charcoal from Kingsford and a hair dryer. My first crucible was a sawed off empty propane canister, but I bought a graphite one since then.

Also why are we talking about crucibles? What does that have to do with easy compounds to make but are hard to buy?
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[*] posted on 29-3-2017 at 20:50


What is a good mercury source? I don't want to buy some for hundreds of dollars or break open a thousand tilt switches.
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[*] posted on 30-3-2017 at 01:17


Ask your dentist if he has any old mercury he hasn't got rid of yet.

But seriously, if you guys hit on any easy way to isolate elemental Na, K or P, let the rest of us know.

[Edited on 3/30/17 by PirateDocBrown]

[Edited on 3/30/17 by PirateDocBrown]
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[*] posted on 30-3-2017 at 06:19


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Chloroform?
Actually I've done the math and doing the haloform even on a relatively large scale isn't really worthwhile if you need chloroform as a solvent for anything but small scale stuff. Doesn't cost much less than buying it, though admittedly it is kind of hard to find and tends to be overpriced anyway.

Quote: Originally posted by Booze  
Quote: Originally posted by PirateDocBrown  
I wouldn't call making phosphorus or alkali metals "easy" for a home chemist.

I know how to make it, and though I have never tried, it seems easy enough.
"Knowing how" and actually having done it are two different things. If it's so easy, why haven't you already done it? By all means, make some phosphorus tomorrow and tell us how it goes!



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[*] posted on 30-3-2017 at 06:26


Silver nitrate, aluminum bromide, palladium chloride....



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[*] posted on 30-3-2017 at 13:04


Ethanol.
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[*] posted on 31-3-2017 at 08:56


Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Chloroform?
Actually I've done the math and doing the haloform even on a relatively large scale isn't really worthwhile if you need chloroform as a solvent for anything but small scale stuff. Doesn't cost much less than buying it, though admittedly it is kind of hard to find and tends to be overpriced anyway.

Quote: Originally posted by Booze  
Quote: Originally posted by PirateDocBrown  
I wouldn't call making phosphorus or alkali metals "easy" for a home chemist.

I know how to make it, and though I have never tried, it seems easy enough.
"Knowing how" and actually having done it are two different things. If it's so easy, why haven't you already done it? By all means, make some phosphorus tomorrow and tell us how it goes!


I don't want to make phosphorus, but I could make alkeli metals. I have not done it yet because I need to buy some metal piping, and I don't plan on doing that soon. I would also need a source of sodium and kcl to make elemental potassium, but really it would be a hassle for me to do right now.
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[*] posted on 31-3-2017 at 08:57


Quote: Originally posted by CaCl2  
Ethanol.

I'd say it is easier to buy. A place near where I live sells 95% ethanol, and making some takes weeks.
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[*] posted on 31-3-2017 at 09:47


Definitely, I hate purifying ethanol. My state only sells up to 75% and it costs 2-3x as much as the 40% so I normally just get the bottom of the shelf vodka. Depending how patient I am I will distill that anywhere from 72% to maybe 92%, it takes about 12+ hours to get 92% and to get azeotropic, or most likely slightly below that, it takes about 2x as long as it does to get the 92%. That's with about 700mm of an insulated and bead packed fractionating column too. From there I still have to dry it and re-distill yet again. Even then, while it works for most purposes, the bp is always 1-4C lower than EtOH indicating various impurities, ketones, aldehydes, methanol, I don't know. That's to turn a 1500ml 40% into about 700ml of anyhdrous. For maybe 2.5x the cost of the vodka I could just order some lab grade online.
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[*] posted on 2-4-2017 at 16:57


Quote: Originally posted by A Halogenated Substance  
Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
but who has a crucible?


They're not exactly a rarity to me:

https://www.homesciencetools.com/50-ml-crucible-and-lid-low-...

You can always use a can from canned food as well.

Hey, why'd you quote me as saying that? I have plenty of crucibles, and can get them from the jewelry supply store in many different shapes and sizes. But then, I can get potassium cyanide for $20 / lb OTC there too, so that may not be a good comparison.

@altking: that's where desiccants are your friend. You just need to find one that's inert to ethanol but sucks up any water that comes near it. You tend to need to leave it overnight though. I've heard that potassium carbonate works well for this, but that's kind of expensive and reacts easily with anything acidic. Silica gel would probably be a good bet though.

[Edited on 4/3/17 by Melgar]
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