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July 8 2011 6 08 /07 /July /2011 14:01

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Cobalt will be discussed here.

 

Cobalt is the first metal discovered since antiquity. It is a hard silvery ferromagnetic metal that is somewhat reactive chemically. Its +2 aqua ion is pink-red and its +2 chloro ion is blue. Cobalt compounds are quite toxic. Cobalt blue was used as a glass colorant and blue pigment. Cobalt chloride is an indicator in color-changing Drierite.

 

In element form: Cobalt(II) chloride can be acidified and reduced with magnesium to obtain pure cobalt metal. Cobalt plating is used in a few things. Some tools are made of cobalt steel, which contains 5% cobalt. Alnico magnets contain from 5 to 24% cobalt.

 

In compound form: Indicating Drierite contains cobalt(II) chloride, as well as blue-to-pink moisture testing papers. Cobalt blue glass contains trace amounts of cobalt aluminate. Most lithium ion batteries contain lithium cobaltite.

 

Here is my sample of cobalt. It is reduced from acidic cobalt(II) chloride solution by magnesium metal.

 

    DSCF9890.JPG

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July 7 2011 5 07 /07 /July /2011 14:55

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Iron will be discussed here.

 

Iron is the most common structural metal in the world. It is very strong, cheap, and sturdy. It is the second most common metal in the earth's crust. It is rarely found in its pure form, but in the form of oxides, which may be reduced to the metal by carbon. Alloys of iron with other metals are ubiquitous. One of iron's biggest problem is its vulnerability to corrosion. Iron rusts readily in moist air, and much research has been done to find out how to make iron corrosion resistant. Iron compounds are used to process water. They are also used as pigments and in vitamin supplements.

 

In element form: Find an electromagnet core or electrolyze an iron(II) solution with an iron anode to obtain pure iron. All steels are made of more than 50% iron.

 

In compound form: Rust is iron oxide. Iron(III) chloride is used to etch circuit boards. Iron(II) sulfate is used as an iron supplement.

 

Here is my sample of iron. It is iron filings, one of the many sources of iron. I have several other iron compounds and objects but they are not featured here. Fe filings

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July 6 2011 4 06 /07 /July /2011 13:20

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Manganese will be discussed here.

 

Manganese is a silvery hard corrosion-vulnerable metal. It is not commonly used as an element. Ferromanganese, the form in which it is sold, is about 85% manganese and 15% iron. Manganese compounds are used in batteries, pyrotechnics and pigments.

 

In element form: Reduction of manganese(II) chloride produced by dissolution of manganese dioxide in hydrochloric acid should produce manganese. (If the solution is yellow not light pink then there is contamination and you will reduce iron not manganese.) Manganese steel has 10-15% manganese in it.

 

In compound form: Impure manganese dioxide is found in alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries. Manganese chloride can be made by dissolving purified manganese dioxide in hydrochloric acid.

 

Here is my sample of manganese. It is produced by magnesium reduction of a manganese chloride solution.

 

Manganese-precipitate--1-.JPG

 

 

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July 5 2011 3 05 /07 /July /2011 13:10

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Chromium will be discussed here.

 

Chromium is an extremely shiny bluish-silvery metal in pure form. It is commonly found as a thin plating on objects known as a chrome plating. Chromium(III) compounds are necessary to life in small amounts, while chromium(VI) compounds are highly toxic. Chromium forms a passivation layer like aluminium, allowing it to keep its shine.

 

In element form: Reduce chromium(III) compounds or chromium(VI) compounds by electrolysis. Find a chromium or chrome plated object. Stainless steel has about 18% chromium in it.

 

In compound form: Chromate conversion coated hardware contains a small layer of chromates on the surface to prevent corrosion. Chrome oxide green and chrome rouge are both composed of chromium(III) oxide. Chromated copper arsenate wood contains chromium as well. Many cassette tapes have chromium dioxide in the tape.

 

Here is my sample of chromium. It is a chrome plated Toyota symbol.

 

DSCF9889-copy-1.JPG

 

 

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July 4 2011 2 04 /07 /July /2011 13:29

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Vanadium will be discussed here.

 

Vanadium is a bluish gray metal. It is rarely found as a pure metal but much more commonly found as an alloy with steel. Vanadium compounds are used as catalysts and vitamin supplements. Vanadium is a moderately toxic transition metal. Some sea creatures contain large amounts of vanadium.

 

In element form: Vanadium steel contains from 0.1 to 5% vanadium in it.

 

In compound form: Vanadyl sulfate is used in vitamin supplements. Bismuth yellow is made of bismuth vanadate.

 

Here is my sample of vanadium. It is a screwdriver blade composed of vanadium steel.

 

Vanadium.JPG

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July 2 2011 7 02 /07 /July /2011 13:08

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Titanium will be discussed here.

 

Titanium is a light silvery metal. It is very strong and quite expensive. It is reactive but protected by a durable transparent oxide film. When titanium electrolytically oxidized, the oxide film becomes thicker and starts diffracting light, producing colored titanium. Titanium forms sparks when ground and burns in both air and nitrogen when heated. Its nitride is unusually stable. Titanium tetrachloride is a fuming liquid that is used to make smoke.

 

In element form: Some hardware like bolts and washers are made of pure titanium. Expensive scissors are either titanium plated or made with a titanium alloy.

 

In compound form: Titanium dioxide is a common white pigment. Piezocrystals can contain lead titanate (if yellow) or lead titanate zirconate (if gray).

 

Here is my sample of titanium. It is a piece of foil from GalliumSource.

 

 DSCF9888.JPG

 

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July 1 2011 6 01 /07 /July /2011 14:36

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Scandium will be discussed here.

 

Scandium is a slightly yellowish silvery metal. When alloyed with aluminium it makes aluminium very strong. Scandium is rare as an element and very expensive. It was used by the Russians in military aircraft. Scandium does not have very interesting chemistry.

 

In element form: Some bicycle frames and other expensive metal objects are made of scandium-aluminium alloy, which contains from 0.1-0.5% of scandium metal.

 

In compound form: Scandium iodide is used in metal halide lamps.

 

Scandium.JPG

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June 30 2011 5 30 /06 /June /2011 14:39

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Calcium will be discussed here.

 

Calcium is a somewhat soft, silvery-gray metal. It reacts with water to produce white calcium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. Calcium compounds are very common in the earth. Calcium carbonate is found in calcite and mollusk shells. Calcium phosphate is found in bones. Calcium as a metal has fewer uses.

 

In element form: Some lead acid batteries use a 0.1% calcium alloy.

 

In compound form: Calcite, aragonate, and mollusk shells contain calcium carbonate. Bones are made of calcium phosphate.

 

Here is my sample of calcium metal. It was purchased for $13.00 from GalliumSource.

 

    Calcium.JPG

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June 29 2011 4 29 /06 /June /2011 14:02

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Potassium will be discussed here.

 

Potassium is a bluish-gray highly reactive alkali metal. It reacts vigorously with water, producing steam, explosions, and purple flames. Potassium forms the superoxide and peroxide when exposed to air, which can be reactive as well. Potassium compounds are vital in the human body. Bananas are well known for their large quantities of potassium. Excess potassium is harmful to the heart.

 

In element form: No sources found.

 

In compound form: Potassium chloride is a common salt substitute. It is also used for lethal injections. Potassium hydrogen tartrate is in cream of tartar. Potassium carbonate is made when potassium hydroxide from alkaline batteries is exposed to air.

 

Here is my sample of potassium. It is potassium carbonate from alkaline and nickel-cadmium batteries. The color is the result of manganese dioxide impurities. This may also contain some bicarbonate.

 

Potassium-carbonate.JPG

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June 28 2011 3 28 /06 /June /2011 12:46

I have compiled a list of sources for the elements that are available to the amateur chemist. Argon will be discussed here.

 

Argon is a colorless, odorless, unreactive gas that makes up 1% of the atmosphere. It is the most abundant noble gas. It forms a few compounds that are highly reactive.

 

In element form: Argon is found in tanks for welding. Incandescent light bulbs, unless otherwise specified, have 88% argon in them.

 

In compound form: Argon does not form any commonly used compounds.

 

Here is my sample of argon. It is a Christmas light bulb. As argon is so cheap compared to krypton, it is used in the vast majority of bulbs.

 

Argon

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