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Author Topic: Fiestaware to UO2?  (Read 936 times)

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sslaptnhablhat

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Fiestaware to UO2?
« on: July 09, 2017, 01:55:13 PM »

Not entirely convinced if this should go in nuclear chem. category, considering I'm a high school student and am doing this as a hobby. Anyway, I want to attempt to extract Uranium Dioxide from fiestaware. I have some mildly radioactive fiestaware, but I do not know what concentration of Sulfuric acid I should use to dissolve the glaze, although I suspect 36% might work, or how to filter the UO2 off, nor can I find any decent, relatively cheap offers for H2SO4 on Amazon or Ebay. I'd appreciate if someone could give me some insight.
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Arkcon

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 01:19:08 AM »

Not entirely convinced if this should go in nuclear chem. category, considering I'm a high school student and am doing this as a hobby.

OK.  Look at the headers in each of these sub-forums:

http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?board=4.0

http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?board=27.0

http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?board=9.0

I generally put hobby chemistry in Citizen Chemist.

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Anyway, I want to attempt to extract Uranium Dioxide from fiestaware. I have some mildly radioactive fiestaware,

Wow.  Good quality Fiestaware, with the uranium glaze is hard to find these days.  Are you sure you want to destroy it?

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but I do not know what concentration of Sulfuric acid I should use to dissolve the glaze,


OK.  Lets assume the UO2 doesn't affect the glaze's chemical properties.  That may be over simplifying, but one step at a time.  What is glaze made of?  What does non-uranium glaze react with?

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although I suspect 36% might work,


Based on what resource?

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or how to filter the UO2 off,

Query:  How much glaze is on a typical plate?  How much UO2 is in the glaze?  Do some math -- what amount do you expect from 100% yield?  I suspect the amount will be tiny -- can you keep control over such a tiny amount?  I mean to say -- if 5% clings to the filter paper and 2 % won't wash off the funnel or the reaction vessel and you have 10 mg, where will the UO2 be at the end?

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nor can I find any decent, relatively cheap offers for H2SO4 on Amazon or Ebay. I'd appreciate if someone could give me some insight.

If you can work out a working protocol, it might be more effective, to find a better laboratory resource, even if its more expensive to purchase.  You're dealing with something so rare, expensive, and under difficult circumstances, you don't want to cut corners on regents or labware.  Yeah, if I want to extract the copper from a penny, or nickel from stainless steel, I'd use hardware store acid, and a Pyrex measuring cup and a coffee filter in a plastic funnel.  But you want a trace of a trace of a difficult chemical.  You have more planning to do.

I've completely ignored the safety issue of uranium's radioactivity in my response.  Because intensity is likely low, and your ability to concentrate isn't likely to succeed anyway.  Just letting you and others know I'm not absent minded.

I hope you're not too disappointed with our forum, but for me personally, (and with the tacit support from other MODS: and the ADMINS:) I really don't see the Chemical Forums as a "GeewhizzlooitwhatIkindo kee kee kee !!!111!!!!" discussion board.  What science are you doing, what are you learning, what do you hope to learn,  and how do you hope what you're learning will help the next High School student?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 03:09:57 AM by Arkcon »
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That all depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be.  I just want my friends back, except for Cartman, you can keep him.

sslaptnhablhat

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 11:18:09 AM »

*MOD Edit* remove pointless quote

Thanks for the reply, and to be perfectly honest, my friend did the experiment extremely crudely, without any prior preparation, without even knowing the concentration of Sulfuric Acid. Although he actually managed to extract a very small amount of UO2, he made an alloy of approximately 90% Zinc, 5% Uranium and 5% Thorium. He gave me extremely sketchy step-by-step instructions on how exactly he did it, and I can post them here if you like. Honestly, I don't quite know why I want to do this experiment, I suppose it's just to fill the Uranium slot on my periodic table and because hobbyist nuclear chemistry is pretty unusual.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 12:20:40 PM by sslaptnhablhat »
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Arkcon

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 11:27:03 AM »

Cute idea, adding other metals to actually see something.  I would've gone with a salt like UO2 in a thin glass tube, maybe adding some sort of fluor, so you get a glow, if that would work.
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That all depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be.  I just want my friends back, except for Cartman, you can keep him.

sslaptnhablhat

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 12:21:55 PM »

That sounds like a cool idea, maybe I'll try that later.
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Corribus

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 12:20:52 PM »

You never mentioned probably the most important thing - how are you going to verify you actually isolated what you think you isolated?
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What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

sslaptnhablhat

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 03:39:28 PM »

You never mentioned probably the most important thing - how are you going to verify you actually isolated what you think you isolated?
I honestly have no idea, although the alloy has a slightly brightish, sickly green colour viewed up close, I don't have immediate access to any decent cameras that can show this at the moment, and according to my friend, its' activity is about 6.5pCi.
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sslaptnhablhat

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Re: Fiestaware to UO2?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 02:50:06 AM »

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