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Yttrium2
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 18:51
Starting from scratch


If one wanted to start doing chemistry from scratch, making hcl from a Hoffman apparatus would be the best first starting material right?

[Edited on 3/23/2018 by Yttrium2]
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 19:29


Do you mean making CHLORINE from Hydrochloric acid solution in a Hoffman apparatus?
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 23:14


Depends on what you want to do, generally if you’re starting out you want safe reactions and what interests you do would depend on whether you leaned towards organic or in organic chemistry. Electrolysis of HCl might be a good start but why not the electrolysis of water? You collect the two gases in balloons and can quite clearly see that one is half the size of the other. Then, you test each gas to work out the composition - yeah it doesn’t need number crunching to figure out the formula of water but it gives some insight into practical procedure and subsequent analysis.

For organic chemistry, the oxidation of alcohols is a good starting point, using permanganate or dichromate. The latter may be a better option as it is a tad more gentle, and using the right conditions, you can produce sweet smelling aldehydes or sour carboxylic acids followed by distillation. Also, the Cr+6 (yellow) will be reduced to Cr3+ (green), which is also useful for post reaction analysis and figuring out the equations.

Just my ideas on good first experiments.




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[*] posted on 23-3-2018 at 08:36


Quote: Originally posted by Yttrium2  
If one wanted to start doing chemistry from scratch, making hcl from a Hoffman apparatus would be the best first starting material right?

[Edited on 3/23/2018 by Yttrium2]


well a Hoffman apparatus doesn't seem to me the definition of "scratch".
if someone wants to start from 0 i would recommend making metal salts, you really just need any acid, any (mostly any) metals and sometimes an oxidiser (H2O2 from a pharmacy). transition metals salts have beautiful colors





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Yttrium2
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 10:39


I guess the Hoffman does need the metal electrodes and a "current"?

How was the current supplied without the precursor acids in the olden days for the battery?

Which chemical is the most versatile, also.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 10:53


Quote: Originally posted by Yttrium2  

How was the current supplied without the precursor acids in the olden days for the battery?

Which chemical is the most versatile, also.


1836: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniell_cell
1866: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofmann_voltameter

The most versatile chemical is water.




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 11:04


Pretty sure that minerals were stuffed into a retort and distilled back in the day.

Hence names like 'Oil of Vitriol' for sulphuric acid etc.

Edit:

The 'vitriol' in that case appears to have been 'Green vitriol' or iron(II) sulfate heptahydrate.

[Edited on 26-3-2018 by aga]




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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 11:26


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
Quote: Originally posted by Yttrium2  

How was the current supplied without the precursor acids in the olden days for the battery?

Which chemical is the most versatile, also.


1836: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniell_cell
1866: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofmann_voltameter

The most versatile chemical is water.


I mean versatile in the sense of precursor. Whater requires the least amount of chemicals to make it.

Which dont' and which can in turn make allot of chemicals?

[Edited on 3/26/2018 by Yttrium2]
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 11:40


Distilling iron(II)sulphate to get sulphuric acid kinda leads to All other chemicals, in a way.

Use the acid and sea salt to make HCl.

Distill 'nitre' with it to make HNO3, then take it from there.




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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 12:24


I wanted to start life from scratch/raw, but realized it's not so much about chemicals or elements or materials...
But about energy. When you have energy you can do everything. Energy is problem according to the law of minimum.
Either solve energy problem or prepare to waste huge money. Luckily I live in area with lots of free resources like stone, wood, grass, air, soil, water...unlike in center of some cities where each tree or square meter is strictly controlled and can lead to jail in a second. Also to work with chemicals, and anything loud, dangerous, toxic, you will need some privacy, space, insurance, protection.

So focus on something before chemicals. First survive, then live, then succeed!

I could easily make half a litre bottle filled with anode, cathode and electrolyte which can power my smartphone for a year (calculated), but to make that I need energy or money, however you look at it. Although water in electrolyte is free and anode can last forever.

[Edited on 26-3-2018 by RawWork]
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 12:38


Quote: Originally posted by RawWork  
I wanted to start life from scratch/raw, but realized it's not so much about chemicals or elements or materials...
But about energy. When you have energy you can do everything. Energy is problem according to the law of minimum.
Either solve energy problem or prepare to waste huge money. Luckily I live in area with lots of free resources like stone, wood, grass, air, soil, water...unlike in center of some cities where each tree or square meter is strictly controlled and can lead to jail in a second. Also to work with chemicals, and anything loud, dangerous, toxic, you will need some privacy, space, insurance, protection.

So focus on something before chemicals. First survive, then live, then succeed!
That sounds much more idealistic than actually useful. There are many common things, such as NaOH, HCl, and H2SO4, that will always be cheaper to buy than make since they are produced cheaply and effectively on an industrial scale and are largely available to everyone.

Yttrium2: I think you need to establish a more exact goal. You can't just "start chemistry," especially if you have little formal background in the subject. You generally need to have something in mind that you can use chemistry to accomplish. Element collecting, plant extractions, and dye/pigment making are examples of possible motivations, though there are many others. Judging from your other posts, you also need to read more, or even better, actually be taught by someone.




Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 12:46


Well, there's Us !

Get teaching !

OK.

First off we'd need to have a clue what chemicals you got.




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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 13:15


This reply is slightly off topic. Back in 2009, I basically
started from scratch learning how to duplicate Edison's
formula for the brown wax he used when he started
making his first commercially available cylinder records.

I had worked for years beforehand making the mold to
cast them, and also had to take that time learning how to record and play back sound on these old cylinders.

Finally the day came when I had to start making my own
wax from scratch to be able to cast my own recording blanks.

The journey from knowing nothing about that formula
to being able to duplicate it accurately took several more
years to perfect.

For starters, it's not really wax. It has a small amount of
wax added, but the majority of it is made up of metallic
soap. Basically it consists of saponified stearic acid
with a trace of aluminum in it, to which about 17% to 19%
by weight of ceresin wax gets added after the main
reaction completes.

I am not much of a chemist. I did, however, have to brush
up as much as possible on what little chemistry that I am
familiar with.

So, that is an example of starting from scratch.







[Edited on 26-3-2018 by sodium_stearate]




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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 13:58


Well, yes it is, but how about an outline of what you actually did, in a way that someone like me could copy ?

What is the point of saying 'I made Kryptonite when i was a kid" without detailing the full process of how you did it ?




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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 15:12


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Distilling iron(II)sulphate to get sulphuric acid kinda leads to All other chemicals, in a way.

Use the acid and sea salt to make HCl.

Distill 'nitre' with it to make HNO3, then take it from there.




thanks, thats the answer I was looking for ;)
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 15:21


I think its because he figured it out himself, and the point was more to do with picking a subject and self teaching. With some skills like the one above i kind of get why the reluctance to share.

Its not my thing not to share, but i understand why some give so much of themselves to learn something they feel reluctant to share it in detail.

Talking of hoffman, in feb ed of JCE is a fab demo using old platinum coated HDD as electrodes and using Hydroxide to make the gas.

But dosnt look like enough platinum for the sacred chlorate
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[*] posted on 26-3-2018 at 16:36


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Well, yes it is, but how about an outline of what you actually did, in a way that someone like me could copy ?

What is the point of saying 'I made Kryptonite when i was a kid" without detailing the full process of how you did it ?


For anyone interested in knowing more about this,
I did post quite a detailed description of it in my very first
post here on 4/22/11. In a later post I made here on 4/19/14 there's a link to a youtube video of the process.

I still would like somehow, some day to be able to
seriously refine this process into a closed, sealed system.
However, the same crude process detailed in the
description, and shown in the video does produce a
very high-quality product. As of the present time, I'm now
getting close to the 400 mark as to total units made.

I've only kept roughly 20 of those for myself, the remainder
having all been sold to collectors and museums. :D



[Edited on 27-3-2018 by sodium_stearate]

[Edited on 27-3-2018 by sodium_stearate]




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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 03:56


I totally missed the point of this thread with my reply at the top, I thought you meant learning chemistry from scratch, as you could probably glean from what I wrote. Time to propose some actual on topic ideas:

NaOH from sea salt and battery electrolytic cell,
Ethanol solvent from table sugar fermentation,
Making soap from the NaOH in experiment 1 or from washing soda, and a household triglyceride oil (bonus: test the physical properties of soaps made from different oils),
Extract phosphorus and/or urea from your urine.

These are just off the top of my head, from what I consider scratch - stuff you can just find lying around in any home and/or naturally occurring.




In chemistry, sometimes the solution is the problem.

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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 04:17


Quote: Originally posted by LearnedAmateur  
Extract phosphorus and/or urea from your urine.


And phosphorous from bones, and ammonia from urine (urine + NaOH = ammonia).
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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 05:54


Here's a book with many fun possibilities: https://archive.org/details/manualofchemical00wagnuoft
Manual of chemical technology; Publication date 1897




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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 05:59


And make chlorates and nitrates from urine by electrolysis: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/197100...

[Edited on 27-3-2018 by RawWork]
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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 07:43


Quote: Originally posted by LearnedAmateur  
I totally missed the point of this thread with my reply at the top, I thought you meant learning chemistry from scratch, as you could probably glean from what I wrote. Time to propose some actual on topic ideas:

NaOH from sea salt and battery electrolytic cell,
Ethanol solvent from table sugar fermentation,
Making soap from the NaOH in experiment 1 or from washing soda, and a household triglyceride oil (bonus: test the physical properties of soaps made from different oils),
Extract phosphorus and/or urea from your urine.

These are just off the top of my head, from what I consider scratch - stuff you can just find lying around in any home and/or naturally occurring.



I am very open to the idea of learning chemistry from scratch too

How can I make something sweet smelling

I'd like to learn more about soaps, but not by becoming a master in them and not in chemistry. Perhaps they are one in the same. What does washing soda do when added to laundry? I'm thinking, to solve the problem of wanting to learn chemistry, I should focus more on college, and getting a degree vs following recipes.


I need help learning chemistry

[Edited on 3/27/2018 by Yttrium2]

[Edited on 3/27/2018 by Yttrium2]

[Edited on 3/27/2018 by Yttrium2]
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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 09:06


Quote: Originally posted by Yttrium2  

I am very open to the idea of learning chemistry from scratch too

How can I make something sweet smelling

I'd like to learn more about soaps, but not by becoming a master in them and not in chemistry. Perhaps they are one in the same. What does washing soda do when added to laundry? I'm thinking, to solve the problem of wanting to learn chemistry, I should focus more on college, and getting a degree vs following recipes.


I need help learning chemistry


‘Sweet smelling’ in chemistry usually means aldehydes or carboxylate esters, try the partial oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde for one example (smells a bit like marzipan) or a simple ester by reaction of an alcohol and carboxylic acid using sulphuric or phosphoric acid as a catalyst (5 drops for 20mL volume should suffice) - check out the infographic at the end for a broad range which is quite an interesting subset of OC by itself.

Soaps are just made by the saponification (ester hydrolysis) of triglycerides, giving you three equivalents of a sodium carboxylate/fatty acid salts and one equivalent of glycerol. This is done with NaOH, which can be made by heating sodium carbonate to decomposition. 3 NaOH + CH2(RCOO)CH(RCOO)CH2(RCOO) -> CH2(OH)CH(OH)CH2(OH) + 3 RCOONa. Of course, the final make up of the soap will depend on the oil used. I don’t know what triglycerides are in oils but you could have a mixture of several types which will create a blend of sodium carboxylates, and they can either be saturated (higher M.P like butter) or unsaturated (lower M.P like olive oil) hence why you get differences in soaps. One common one is stearate, derived from stearin (the triple stearate triglyceride) found in tallow and palm oil.

I believe Na2CO3 does what you call ‘softening’ the water by removing ‘hard’ ions like magnesium and calcium. Not quite sure how it works but it’s basically just an ion exchange process and results in less soap required to create a lather since there won’t be much Ca2+ or Mg2+ to react with the soap molecules.

Yes, it would be a better idea to get the theoretical chemistry behind you first, not only will you not have experimental problems clouding your knowledge (everyone knows that practical chemistry rarely follows exactly what happens on paper), but once you have a thorough understanding of the chemistry, you will be able to better apply that knowledge to the practical side. Don’t let it dissuade you from doing experiments though, I’d say carry out procedures that you can adequately plan out first, writing equations and predicting what will happen but don’t wade in too far and get confused. Stick to the straightforward and simple stuff for now, maybe not too low like baking soda + vinegar level but chemistry that you’re already familiar with.

C38D2FF8-A74A-4383-AE68-4E9EBE75FC80.jpeg - 1018kB

[Edited on 27-3-2018 by LearnedAmateur]




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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 09:28


thank you
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[*] posted on 27-3-2018 at 11:39


Soap is easy and fun, loads of vids on it. Take one maybe two oils and add lye, get a feel for what each oil does, rather than just copy recipes.

Warning some of those charts with smells were written by people with no nose :D.
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