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Antwain
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[*] posted on 20-10-2007 at 23:21
Cheap acetone


Does anyone know any sources of cheap acetone for washing?

Obviously it doesnt need to be reagent grade or anything, but even in hardware stores here it is $15/750mL which is pretty bad for acetone that will just be used for cleaning.

The only other option I know of involves buying it at whatever price and washing into a winchester, then when it is full distilling it for reuse. This is what one of my past supervisors did, but since he would have had to buy it in a winchester for a huge amount anyway I don;t think he considered cheaper sources.
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Eclectic
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 04:32


You could try recycling waste solvent from an automobile paint shop.
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 04:55


You should find 1L bottles of it in big DIY shops for less than 3€ each, good luck.

[Edited on 21-10-2007 by FreedomFighter]
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 11:53


@FreedomFighter: Antwain is in Australia and in other parts of the world, the situation can be TOTALLY different. In the EU we actually (still??) are quite happy with what we can obtain, but in many other parts of the world things are not as easy. Australia seems a very difficult place to me for home chemists.



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chemrox
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 19:14


In the US gallon cans are available at hardware stores and paint stores. Toluene, MEK, Ethanol (dentatured with MeOH) and Xylenes are also there by the quart and gallon. What is the situation where you are, Antwain? Have you tried similar sources there?
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Antwain
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 21:38


Over here ethanol is easy, as I described in another thread, it is ~$2/L and is denatured but not with MeOH. Toluene *may* be available as shell racing fuel- I have not checked as I have about a litre and have no need for more yet. MEK is very expensive but available by distilling it away from "PVC pipe cement".

Acetone is sold in 750mL bottles. As of 2002 these cost ~$5-6, however now they cost $15-18 (which I can only assume is due in some way to the government). The only other thing which has changed significantly in the last 5 years is that nail polish remover is now almost exclusively ethyl acetate instead of acetone, so possibly it is not manufactured in large quantities any more?

Cyclohexanone was and may still be available as a 'distill it away from the crud' product, though I have not checked recently. I have never seen any xylene sources in this country.

Hardware stores and garden sections have been my friend over here for many years. Often they are quite willing to sell things as long as the (main or only) ingredient is in fine print and it has a useless name like "pH up" or "rubber cement". If you dare ask for a "chemical" at hardware stores or worse still at a pharmacy the staff look at you funny and you really feel like getting out of there before they call the police, who would no doubt ask you stupid questions that you cant answer because the question was so ignorant. But enough bashing of 'the man'.

In short, no, I have never seen containers bigger than 750mL, and those ones are all the same brand (probably "diggers" but I can't remember). They are available at department stores with hardware sections and at hardware stores. I was hoping there was some novel use for shitloads of the stuff so I could go somewhere and pretend I needed it for that :). I will try paint stores, but i expect to see the friendly overpriced 750mL bottle again.
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 21-10-2007 at 21:44


Not so much Toluene anymore in the US. A few years ago, everyone had it. Now the only place that I know of that still carries it is the Sherwin-Williams paint store. I admit I do live in a state that, I assume, has a huge meth problem so it might not be that way everywhere. I'm trying to buy as much as I can without looking suspicious in case one day I can't find it at all...

Acetone, surprisingly, is still available stand-alone.

I would say fork over the money and recycle the acetone.
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Aqua_Fortis_100%
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[*] posted on 22-10-2007 at 09:38


Quote:
Originally posted by chemrox :
In the US gallon cans are available at hardware stores and paint stores. Toluene, MEK, Ethanol (dentatured with MeOH) and Xylenes are also there by the quart and gallon. What is the situation where you are, Antwain? Have you tried similar sources there?

You have forgot drain cleaner and OTC high stregh sulfuric acid..and many other interesting chemicals found in this very happy country..


@Antwain , If you isn't happy with acetone (as I, which also have the same problems..here, the only OTC source at the moment is nail polish remover, because that this country has a BIG problem with drugs, specially cheap drugs as toluene based glues, misc solvents , ether and the like(and MeOH is also forbidden).. the most otc being EtOH, because is the most used solvent and also as direct fuel of many cars here)
.. Well time before I was plannig a improvised and good system capable of catalitically oxidizing EtOH directly into acetic acid..and after ading some base to the distillate (Ca(OH)2 , or Na2CO3, depending in which is best for you..If you is using a Ca++ or Mg++ base ,evaporate the formed salt to dryness and then pyrolising it in a suitable big chamber (e.g. a large drum) you will get impure acetone which is further purified by destillation ; if you use the sodium acetate will can't get acetone but is much more easy to convert this in high % acetic acid by cautiously distilling with sulfuric acid)..

well, this seems to get a great effort,(and also with some degree of danger) specially in oxidizing the EtOH in acetic,(maybe using MANY copper tubes + Cu powder (to give more yield) , some heat and lots of air) but can worth to try make your own acetone.. or just by fun

good luck!




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[*] posted on 22-10-2007 at 12:42


Quote:
Originally posted by MagicJigPipe
Not so much Toluene anymore in the US. A few years ago, everyone had it. Now the only place that I know of that still carries it is the Sherwin-Williams paint store. I admit I do live in a state that, I assume, has a huge meth problem so it might not be that way everywhere. I'm trying to buy as much as I can without looking suspicious in case one day I can't find it at all...

Acetone, surprisingly, is still available stand-alone.

I would say fork over the money and recycle the acetone.


Around here (here being the east coast of the USA), painter-grade toluene is still available in abundance at Ace Hardware stores. Indeed, earlier today I noticed perhaps a dozen five-gallon jugs of the stuff stacked in rows along the front rack of the local Ace. Of course, this region has traditionally been "cocaine country," with methamphetamine being essentially unheard of--to the extent that until reading your post just now, I myself was unaware that toluene is used in its production. It would be a shame if such a common and useful quick-drying paint solvent were to become verboten nationwide as a result of an arguably localized "west coast" matter...
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Antwain
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[*] posted on 22-10-2007 at 17:15


@Aqua_Fortis_100% - I actually nearly considered doing something quite similar. I was thinking about either oxidising ethanol or more expensive but less hassle neutralising "cleaning vinegar" and then dumping this with more ethanol and some concentrated battery acid, to make ethyl acetate. I believe it would be cheaper and possibly a better solvent???

It would also be a lot more hassle.
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UnintentionalChaos
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[*] posted on 23-10-2007 at 09:01


Can you find isopropyl alcohol? If available, simple oxidation yields acetone. It is sold extensively in the US as isopropyl rubbing alcohol in 70 and 91% solutions in water, but I don't know what regulations look like in Australia. Don't use hypochlorite to oxidize if you can find it, of course.



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[*] posted on 23-10-2007 at 14:48


Stores specializing in beauty supplies in my area offer 100% Virgin Distilled Acetone (Yeah, right, 100%, sure....) by the gallon at very reasonable prices. I would think that it is of a fairly acceptable purity considering it has human contact and such. Although not sure how that might carry over to your country.

[Edited on 10/23/2007 by BromicAcid]




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Aqua_Fortis_100%
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[*] posted on 24-10-2007 at 06:49


Sorry guys by double posting..that is because at the time when I writting the post I can't was able to post them! that's very weird..therefore , now I deleted the first post.

Quote:
Originally posted by Antwain:
I actually nearly considered doing something quite similar. I was thinking about either oxidising ethanol or more expensive but less hassle neutralising "cleaning vinegar" and then dumping this with more ethanol and some concentrated battery acid, to make ethyl acetate. I believe it would be cheaper and possibly a better solvent???

It would also be a lot more hassle.


Well, maybe.. Depending only in what would be more expensive , better to your uses and difficult to make..
I was wondering also about the OTC vinegar, but the yields would be miserable.. and since ethanol is cheap, a good way to oxidize it would be great...
In principle I agree with UnintentionalChaos,in oxidizing isopropyl alcohol directly, but that's because in US , IPA is very OTC and cheap.. but this can not be the actual situation on your local area (as here where IPA cost is no less than 3 times the EtOH price..And as I said before, here the EtOH is very inexpensible, because of it's uses and also because is turning the majorly ethanol manufacturer (not by petroleum ethane hydratation, but almost all being produced by cane fermentation)..

[Edited on 24-10-2007 by Aqua_Fortis_100%]




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Antwain
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[*] posted on 24-10-2007 at 07:34


@UnintentionalChaos- I heven't *seen* cheap isopropanol here, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. That would be a good place to start. I will look into it in a couple of weeks when tests are over.

@BromicAcid- I think we have moved over to ethyl acetate completely here in terms of cosmetics, but I haven't checked so I will.

@Aqua_Fortis_100%- Do you have any further info on the catalytic oxidation of ethanol? I never thought of catalytic oxidation, and so I dismissed oxidation as being too expensive.

Incidentally, 8L of crude cleaning grade vinegar @~$10 and assuming 5% with ~$1 worth of NaOH should yield sodium acetate equivalent to ~400g? of acetic acid (if my mental calcs are right). With ~$1 worth of ethanol and no more than a couple of $ worth of concentrated battery acid this could be turned into ~600g or 550mL of ethyl acetate. Total ~$12-15.

And since I am looking at $15 for 750mL of acetone that seams almost reasonable economically :(

I have never used ethyl acetate as a cleaning solvent... Can anyone tell me if acetone or ethyl acetate is better for removing grease and crap generally?

Edit- I just checked my U2Us and 4 people have sent useful advice on where cheap acetone may be obtained here (I still need to check this... in one case "here" is 2000km away, stupidly big country:D). It would still be interesting to know about the oxidation of ethanol though...

[Edited on 25-10-2007 by Antwain]
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Aqua_Fortis_100%
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[*] posted on 24-10-2007 at 08:15


Antwain, there are many documents on catalytic oxidation of EtOH (specially in acetic aldehyde) but this one can be easily and further oxidated in acetic acid.. see the attached patent , for instance(actually they have used copper oxide, but this also is quite easy to make/buy).. and also there are several threads and info about (specially in acetic aldehyde and acetic acid thread) and , IIRC , in one of these Rosco Bodine provided a paper wherein the EtOH vapour is oxidized in high yield by means of a simple silver wire (not powder)..and IMHO this can be easily modified to allow excess of air being passed in the catalyst tube , along with EtOH vapour , to yield more acetic acid instead of aldehyde..

also, look in the sciencemadness library , where also some interesting books are avaliable.. 'organic oxidations in vapour phase' or something similair..

[Edited on 24-10-2007 by Aqua_Fortis_100%]

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Antwain
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 12:26


Just out of curiosity, if i diluted ethanol down to say 5% then threw in some yeast, would i get acetic acid or CO2?
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Eclectic
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 12:36


No.
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UnintentionalChaos
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 12:43


Yeast don't do anything with ethanol or they would be unable to make wine. They would always make vinegar. What you would want are acetobacter cultures.



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Antwain
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 12:59


From wiki:

Quote:
Yeasts are chemoorganotrophs as they use organic compounds as a source of energy and do not require light to grow. The main source of carbon is obtained by hexose sugars such as glucose and fructose, or disaccharides such as sucrose and maltose. Some species can metabolize pentose sugars, *****alcohols*****, and organic acids. Yeast species either require oxygen for aerobic cellular respiration (obligate aerobes), or are anaerobic but also have aerobic methods of energy production (facultative anaerobes). Unlike bacteria, there are no known yeast species that grow only anaerobically (obligate anaerobes). Also, because they are adapted to them, yeasts grow best in a neutral pH environment.


Some can and some can metabolise acids. so perhaps i should qualify...If i get off the shelf yeast.

Also, I know enough bio to know that anaerobic conditions ---> alcohol. some air----> acid lots of air ---->CO2. but thats from sugars. Unfortunately I figure that the answer is goingto be that with enough oxygen CO2 and water will be the products. :(

[Edited on 29-10-2007 by Antwain]
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