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January 10 2013 5 10 /01 /January /2013 23:22

Right now on the shelf in my laboratory I have the following substances: CuCl2(s), KBrO3(s), NiCl2(aq), SnCl2(aq), MnCO3(s), PbCO3(s), Zn(Ac)2(s), Na2HPO4(s), Li2CO3(s), Na2CO3(s), SrCO3(s), CaCO3(s). Below are the methods I used to make each chemical. Be notified that the method that I used is not always the most efficient synthesis method.


CuCl2: Muriatic acid and 3% H2O2 are mixed in about equal concentrations. (A moderate excess of either ingredient is harmless.) Household copper wire is chopped up and placed in the solution. The solution will begin to turn green as the copper dissolves. Once the solution gets concentrated enough, remove the solution and allow it to evaporate in a dish at room temperature. The dish can be covered with a tissue to prevent dust contamination. Once it turns blue-green (fully dry), put it in a container.


KBrO3: Dissolve NaBr in water to make a moderately concentrated solution and place it in a beaker in a well-ventilated location. Clip a carbon rod and a nail to opposite sides of the glass, with both items in the solution. Find a 5 volt power supply and connect the ground to the nail and the positive wire to the carbon rod. When the power supply is turned on, hydrogen and sodium hydroxide solution will be released from the nail, and smelly red bromine will be released from the carbon rod. Periodically swirl the solution. The red color will disappear as the bromine reacts with the sodium hydroxide to form sodium hypobromite, the bromine equivalent of bleach. When bromine production slows, disconnect the electrode. Filter the black carbon powder from the solution. Heat the solution until it boils for five minutes. This will disproportionate the hypobromite to bromate and bromide. Add potassium nitrate and allow it to evaporate in air. The potassium bromate should crystallize first due to its lower solubility. Scrape it out, pat it dry with a filter paper, and put it in a container.


NiCl2: Muriatic acid and 3% H2O2 are mixed in about equal concentrations. A piece of nickel (Canadian nickel coin that is magnetic) is placed in the solution. The solution begins to turn green as the nickel dissolves. When the nickel stops dissolving, remove the metal, add sodium carbonate, and filter the nickel carbonate precipitate. Wash it and let it dry, then redissolve it in as little muriatic acid as possible.


SnCl2: Muriatic acid is placed in a vial and pieces of pewter is added. Black antimony powder gets left behind and tin(II) chloride is formed. Remove the antimony periodically. Once the pewter stops dissolving, remove all the antimony, add a new piece of antimony to prevent aerial oxidation, and keep the solution out of air.


MnCO3: Muriatic acid is placed in a vial and pieces of cathode material from a carbon-zinc battery are added. (Most battery brands are contaminated with iron oxide, so if the solution is dark brown after filtering, discard it.) Chlorine gas is produced, and the almost colorless manganese(II) chloride is formed. After the reaction stops, let it sit overnight to help the carbon settle, then slowly filter the solution through filter paper. A relatively clear liquid should come through the bottom. Add sodium bicarbonate to this liquid. A light brown precipitate will form and fall to the bottom of the solution. Filter, wash, and dry this precipitate. While manganese(II) hydroxide oxidizes in air to Mn3O4, manganese(II) carbonate does not suffer from such an effect, so it is a good source of manganese(II) for chemical reactions.


PbCO3: White vinegar and 3% H2O2 are mixed in about equal concentrations. A bicycle trip is taken, during which wheel weights (some of them lead) are found and taken off the shoulders of the local roads. The lead ones are sorted out by softness and higher density, and they are chopped up and placed in the solution. Bubbling begins, and a hazy black mixture of antimony, tin, arsenic, bismuth, and other lead alloying materials begins forming as the lead dissolves. Wait until the bubbling stops, then filter the solution. Add sodium bicarbonate to the resulting lead acetate solution. An extremely dense white precipitate of lead carbonate will form and sink to the bottom. Filter, wash, and dry the precipitate.


Zn(Ac)2: White vinegar is placed in a dish. Some new-fangled pennies (which do not contain copper except on the skin) are chopped up and placed in the vinegar. They slowly dissolve over the course of a week or two. The solution is forgotten about for a month and when it is checked, zinc acetate crystals have grown. They are soft, vinegar smelling, but quite crystalline. They are placed in a vial.


Na2HPO4: Baking powder is added to water and the resulting goop is allowed to evaporate. For some reason, when water is added again, the cornstarch did not gum up for me. It was filtered and the filtrate was allowed to evaporate in air. I believe these are reasonably pure disodium hydrogen phosphate crystals.


Li2CO3: Lithium (I know, very expensive) is added to water. The resulting lithium hydroxide is allowed to evaporate in air, furnishing crystals of lithium carbonate.


Na2CO3: Baking soda is heated on a baking sheet at 300 F in an oven for an hour. The carbon dioxide and water escapes and sodium carbonate remains.


SrCO3: Strontium (I know, very expensive) is added to water. The resulting strontium hydroxide mix is allowed to evaporate in air, furnishing strontium carbonate powder.


CaCO3: Calcium oxide is allowed to sit in air. It absorbs carbon dioxide, transforming into calcium carbonate over the span of several years.

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<br /> Oh, still cheap experiments.  Bromine from pool chems.  Uranium plated out of solution derived from soaking ores found in the desert. <br />
<br /> <br /> I don't think the U part is easy.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />