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pantone159

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals? help arg! no responses
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 05:53:48 PM »
I think 10% HCl is a reasonable strength.  That's usually what I use.  BTW - If you aren't experienced in handling chemicals, I'd definitely avoid concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids.

mafiaparty303

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals? help arg! no responses
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 05:57:45 PM »
Thank you mark, (FOR MAKING ME NOT SO IGNORANT!!!), I'll keep that in mind about the nitric acid and sulfuric.
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pantone159

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals? help arg! no responses
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2007, 06:13:54 PM »
P.S.  Two ounces is plenty for very many chemicals.  I have significantly smaller amounts (e.g. 10 g) of many of the chems in my collection.  For the most part, if you keep things at a small scale, you can do very many experiments with that much.

Woelen's site is really great for understanding which chems will be interesting.

P.P.S.  Out of the chemicals you listed, I think that boric acid, granular al, and the silver disk would be the least interesting.  Use Al foil instead for most things, super cheap.  The silver disk should look real purty, but one of the few easy experiments is to tarnish it with the sulfur, and then it will look horrible.  (You can try cleaning it with Al foil and baking soda, but it won't get back to its original luster.)  Also add ammonia solution from the grocery store (no extra colorings), it forms a very attractive complex with copper.

mafiaparty303

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals? help arg! no responses
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 06:19:20 PM »
Ok, thanks, ya I decided to not buy the boric acid since I didn't see any use in it.
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EccentricHeather

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2007, 08:19:57 PM »
After reading the various exchanges in this thread, I have a better idea of your current level of experience.  I would agree that you should avoid concentrated acids at this point.  I like concentrated acids because they are less expensive, take a lot less space, and are easy to dilute to desired strength.  But I did work my way up to this; when I had less experience, I bought a pint of 10% (dilute) sulfuric acid and found it to be reasonably easy to work with.  Note that even dilute acids can have their hazards, and you need to treat them with respect.  Although I started with sulfuric, I would recommend that you start with dilute hydrochloric.  10% is good.  I also use approx. 3% on occasion.  It is a bit less hazardous, and more of the beginning experiments, such as those described in the "Golden Book" use it.  Sodium bisulfate (you can find it on eBay) is a good substitute for sulfuric acid in many experiments.  Another common dilute acid, which is quite safe to work with, is plain white household vinegar (acetic acid - usually about 5%).  But note that this acid is quite dangerous in concentrated ("glacial") form, so don't buy that until you have more experience.

Two ounces should be fine to get an introduction to the properties of sodium hydroxide.  However, if you get into soap making, you could go through a lot of it, so you might eventually need to order a larger quantity.  It is on Hi-Valley's website.  I haven't ordered from Snowdrift since I can get it locally, but I would assume that they don't sell fractional quantities.  Note that many chemical retailers (including Hi-Valley) won't sell to people who are under 21.  If you're under 21, you may need help from your parents in ordering chemicals.  Long gone are the days when a teenager could walk into a chemical supply shop and buy just about anything.  Given the nature of today's society, that's probably a good thing.

One note on the "Golden Book"...  If you are just getting started, I would recommend performing many of the experiments in it; that would be a great way to learn.  However, safety standards in the 1960's weren't quite what they are now.  I can't believe that a book designed for children and teenagers contains instructions for making chlorine, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide.  If I were you, I would avoid those experiments until you have more experience - those gases are hazardous.  (But when you are ready, by all means perform those experiments in a very well-ventilated area.)  Also, take care with the experiments that generate hydrogen - keep the quantities down.  The chloroform experiment seems rather scary too.  If you see an interesting-looking experiment there or elsewhere and want opinions on its safety, post here and I'm sure you will get a good response.  While it could use a few revisions to remove some of the most dangerous experiments, I think that book is a great introduction to chemistry.  It's a shame there isn't a revised version of it in print now.

Heather

mafiaparty303

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2007, 09:07:57 PM »
Ya, I also noticed it says to taste the HCl and other things, I'm not porfessional but I don't think that should be done.
And yes I'm 16 and my parents will have to order the chemicals. Hopefully i'm gonna get to ordering the equipment and chemicals today. I might just get some of the chemicals mentioned in the book and then work from there.

I was looking for the Golden Book yesterday , as much as $600 for it now!!! Thats just crazy, and the book is just awsome, so much stuff to learn. But ya I'm guessing they didn't focus on safety so much in the 60's, but I'm gonna be safe and not try any of the harmful ones. I've already made Chlorine gas before (not the greatest thing to make in yoru kitchen), and there are somethings on the internet that don't help. I found an site with experiments and one of them was the electolysis of saltwater, the products of the electrolysis for them was, oxygen and hydrogen. Nothing mentioned about the poisonous chlorine formed. I'm gonna make a list of the chemicals that I want mentioned in the book and order those. Becuase I don't want to order chemicals I have no use for (and know no use for) and then not use them at all. And the golden book is by far the best experiment book I've seen after looking everywhere. Filippo EDIT: In the golden book it says that if you sniff too much chlorine then have some household ammonia around and sniff that if you get too much chlorine. Why so? « Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 10:02:13 PM by mafiaparty303 » www.lafamillemasse.com/pierre/smart_people.htm Join the Smart People for a better future! -Founded by Pierre Masse EccentricHeather • Regular Member • Posts: 19 • Mole Snacks: +2/-0 • Gender: Re: What are some good starting chemicals? « Reply #21 on: January 02, 2007, 12:26:19 AM » Ammonia will react with chlorine; I would imagine that the reaction product (perhaps ammonium chloride or chloramines) depends on the conditions and on what else is around. I haven't checked on the details, so I don't know precisely what compounds would result, but the product is likely a lot less toxic than the chlorine. When working with halogens, it is a good idea to have a neutralizing chemical handy. For bromine and iodine, a solution of sodium thiosulfate seems to be the most popular. There are iodine experiments in the "Golden Book"; if you do them, you might want to have some sodium thiosulfate on hand to clean up any spills or to get rid of any excess iodine that you don't need. And don't make bromine until you have gained a lot of experience. I haven't done that yet, but I may try it one of these days if I feel brave. (And since I have mentioned halogens, fluorine is only for experts with the proper equipment; I doubt I will ever attempt that.) For that matter, it is good to have some sort of neutralizing chemical handy when working with anything that might create problems if it gets out of control. In case of acid spills, I have sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) around, and I have vinegar available in case of caustic spills. (Heavily diluted solutions of the stronger acids and bases might work too.) And if I am burning something, I have a way of putting out the fire. I have been careful enough that I haven't ever had a significant acid or caustic spill, but recently I had a burning liquid (methanol) spill onto the table. (I was burning calcium chloride in it to watch the pretty orange flame.) I had a huge container of water nearby, and I dumped it on the fire immediately. That could have been ugly if I hadn't been ready for it. As it was, the only harm done is that a few things got wet - the table didn't even get damaged. (So far, I don't burn things that can't be put out by water, but if I ever do, I'll have the right fire suppression equipment handy.) No matter how careful you are, something is bound to go wrong eventually, so part of your lab setup should include neutralizing chemicals and ways to put out fires. A large jug of water and a fire extinguisher are inexpensive items that could save your butt some day. (Again, understand what you are burning. Water is a very bad idea for certain types of fires; for example, fires involving alkali metals.) While we're at it, does anyone else have suggestions on spill containment and fire suppression? These are important parts of a basic lab setup. Heather Mitch • General Chemist • Administrator • Sr. Member • Posts: 5298 • Mole Snacks: +376/-3 • Gender: • "I bring you peace." -Mr. Burns Re: What are some good starting chemicals? « Reply #22 on: January 02, 2007, 12:45:22 AM » Do not sniff a chemical to make up for over sniffing an other one. The point is not to of sniffed it in the first place, because you performed the experiment outside and downwind to your nose. Most Common Suggestions I Make on the Forums. 1. Start by writing a balanced chemical equation. 2. Don't confuse thermodynamic stability with chemical reactivity. 3. Forum Supports LaTex mafiaparty303 • Regular Member • Posts: 97 • Mole Snacks: +0/-0 Re: What are some good starting chemicals? « Reply #23 on: January 02, 2007, 01:00:10 AM » For the spill containment won't sand help, at least so the spill dosn't expand anymore than it already has? @mitch haha true words I've been looking for potassiunm iodide everywhere, the only thing I've found is pills, and I don't want to order lots of chemicals from ebay since they are all separate meaning separate shipping costs... are there any other sites (other than hvchemicals) that sell im small amounts, (like united nuclear)? EDIT: wow....hvchemicals isnt that great.... theres a$25 plus fee for hazardous material, thats not taking into mind the actual HCl cost and the shipping thats like..$15.. I need to find a better place (I'm thinking about buying some of the radioactive marables for$10 from U.N. and some free radioactive ore comes with them, should I store this in some lead or is the radioactivity level too little to cause harm?)

« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 05:12:37 AM by mafiaparty303 »
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billnotgatez

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2007, 06:00:26 AM »
This is a FYI post

EccentricHeather -

The Golden Book you mention has been discussed many places on this forum before. For many of the experienced chemist that post here, this book is scary. Within it are serious safety issues. So many in fact that one is unable to caution the novice against them all. As I understand it from a historical perspective the book was deemed dangerous enough that most all the libraries removed it from the shelf and the publisher decided not to continue taking on the legal hazards. There is in fact a theory out there that the government actually worked to stop its publication. Therefor the price has become very high and Internet piracy has ensued. Of course anything semi banned takes on a cult following which will disregard the bad points. In any case this forum does not support piracy. Many of the experience chemist regulars are chagrined at the mention of this book due to its safety issues. For myself as a citizen scientist I hate seeing things get censored, but at the same time I fear for the well being of the novice. If you could let us drop discussion of this book and talk more about the individual projects a citizen chemist can do. By the way there are other pages on this forum that discuss good books that are more acceptable.

mafiaparty303 -

There is nothing that will cure the lost in trust by your fellow housemates than to do an experiment that makes the house unlivable. A nasty smell that permeates throughout the house will get chemistry banned forever. When I experiment I do it out in the garage which is not attached to the house or outdoors upwind. It even concerns me when someone says they experiment in the basement. This is especially true when I find out they do not have a fume hood.

For anyone else reading this post -

Let us hope we can continue to do good science without getting hurt. As we all know doing helps us learn.
As an aside, there are sales of fireworks in Alabama with no problem, but in New York if you use a sparkler you can get arrested.  Even within the USA the rules are hard to understand.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 06:06:39 AM by billnotgatez »

billnotgatez

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2007, 06:02:49 AM »
Just to mention

This forum has a sticky at the top of it that discusses labs
Labs, labs, labs...
And the sub forum to this forum has 2 sticky post at the top that discuss sources.

+  Chemical Forums: Chemistry Forum, Chemistry Question, Chemistry Help
|-+  Chemistry Forums for Students of Chemistry
| |-+  Citizen Chemist

mafiaparty303

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2007, 02:01:40 PM »
Ok, ya I'm definetly not doing anything in my room if its anything potentially hazerdous, I'm going out today and building a small work table with my dad. Gonna add some shelves for storage and put it in my garage, it is connected to my house but only the the door that leads to the house. No vents going into the other rooms or anything. As for ventilation I can leave the garage door open, if not, bail out and run outside ( ). As for "the book" I won't discuss it, and where are the books mentioned? I have yet to find a book showing chemistry experiments that's as good as "the book".

Anyone know where I can get Hydrochloric Acid? HVchemicals has it but they charge and extra $25 plus HCl cost and Shipping and Handeling. And thats just too much. Plus some Potassium Iodide Heres what I have yet to find. HCl Potassium Iodide Calcium Oxide Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Biosulfate Sodium Carbonate Potassium Permangenate (U.N has them but they are sold out right now ) and finally Iron Sulfate im going to Walgreens (drugstore) to see if they have any of those... hopefully they might. Anyone know where I can get them? www.lafamillemasse.com/pierre/smart_people.htm Join the Smart People for a better future! -Founded by Pierre Masse pantone159 • Mole Herder • Chemist • Full Member • Posts: 492 • Mole Snacks: +54/-6 • Gender: • A mole of moles doesn't smell so nice... Re: What are some good starting chemicals? « Reply #27 on: January 02, 2007, 02:36:29 PM » (I'm thinking about buying some of the radioactive marables for$10 from U.N. and some free radioactive ore comes with them, should I store this in some lead or is the radioactivity level too little to cause harm?)

The marbles need no special precautions. (I keep mine just in a glass vial (as my display U sample) just like any non-hazardous element.)

Radioactive ores, on the other hand, *MUST* be stored OUTSIDE.  They emit radon, which is not something you want to build up  inside your home.

You can find several chemicals at the grocery store/hardware store.  For example (based on my experience in the USA):
NaOH - 'Red Devil Lye'.  This is supposedly getting harder to find, but it still exists.  Danger - Very corrosive to people.  Gets hot when dissolved in water.
HCl - 'Muriatic Acid'.  Strength varies.
Na2CO3 - Poor quality Na2CO3 is available as Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda) which comes in a yellow box in the laundry detergent aisle
NaHCO3 - Baking soda
MgSO4 - Epsom salt
NH3 - Household ammonia.  You want the stuff without any extra colors/scents, typically the cheap generic stuff.

Collecting chems and apparatus becomes a perpetual process.  You are never done.

mafiaparty303

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Re: What are some good starting chemicals?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2007, 03:22:20 PM »
Yep, well ya, I decided to buy some flat glass marbles off Ebay way cheaper 40 for $8. No radioactive ore unfortunatly but I wouldnt want to buy the lead and everything. Anyone know where I can get some potassium Iodide? Can I just buy the tablets and then crush them and put them in a plastic container? « Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 03:30:44 PM by mafiaparty303 » www.lafamillemasse.com/pierre/smart_people.htm Join the Smart People for a better future! -Founded by Pierre Masse woelen • Chemist • Full Member • Posts: 277 • Mole Snacks: +40/-2 • Gender: • The art of wondering makes life worth living... Re: What are some good starting chemicals? « Reply #29 on: January 02, 2007, 03:25:33 PM » Sometimes it is good to make dangerous things, but only in VERY small quantities. It gives you an impression of how dangerous they actually are and that kind of knowledge is important. So, I encourage a starter to make some chlorine, but only in VERY small amounts. Carefully sniffing gives you the smell of it, so you will recognize it, when you accidently make it in another experiment. The same is true for SO2, Br2, NO2. Make them in a test tube (using 100 mg of chems, not more) and carefully sniff them. Not by sticking your nose in the test tube, but by wafting some of the gas towards your nose with your hand. Really, it learns you a lot. If I may suggest a set of chems, which are interesting, and which can all be purchased at a single shop (PM for info, I don't post addresses over here, and I decide whether I give the address or not based on post history), then I would suggest the following: 50 g KI 100 g KBr 100 g Na2SO3 100 g Fe(NO3)3.9H2O (better than chloride, the nitrate does not form a complex with ferric ion in aqueous solution) 100 g FeSO4.7H2O 100 g K2Cr2O7 (careful: carcinogen, but otherwise not really dangerous, but allows a LOT of really funny/colorful experiments in aqueous solution). 100 g KMnO4 (careful: very potent oxidizer, much more so than K2Cr2O7, only use in aqueous solutions when you are inexperienced). 100 g K2S2O8 100 g NaNO2 (this is my favorite, no other chemical is good for so many good aqueous chemistry experiments) 100 g NaSCN (nice complex formation with many metals) 100 g KCr(SO4)2.12H2O (chrome alum, funny and cheap) 100 g CuSO4.5H2O 100 g KOH (or NaOH) 250 g NaHCO3 250 g Na2S2O3.5H2O (good old hypo, dirt cheap, yet funny chem) 100 g Na2B4O7.10H2O (borax) 100 g K3Fe(CN)6 (potassium ferricyanide, non-toxic, despite the cyanide ligands, very versatile chem, good very many experiments) 100 g K4Fe(CN)6.3H2O (potassium ferrocyanide, idem) 50 g Na2S.xH2O (caution: makes H2S in contact with acids, but it is a nice versatile chem, which however, must be kept very well stoppered) Some chems, which you should not spend money on if you are not a pyro-hobbyist: NaNO3 KNO3 KClO4 Na2SO4 Nitrates and perchlorates are very inert in aqueous solution, unless highly concentrated, or at extremely low pH (between -1 and 0). Sodium sulfate is as energetic as a dead dog and cannot react with anything. Not interesting at all. Locally you should try to obtain 1 liter NH3 (5% is OK) 100 ml H2O2 (3% is OK) 1 liter HCl (30%) 1 liter H2SO4 (32%, battery acid, be careful with the 96% stuff, 32% is relatively safe) 100 grams TCCA (trichloro isocyanuric acid, swimming pool slow acting organic chlorine, unfortunately this mostly only is available in kilo-packages) 1 liter NaClO (4% is OK, common household bleach) A few gallons of distilled water. This is the only chemical which I use in large quantities. I do all of my aqueous transition metal chemistry experiments in distilled water. Really, spend the money for this, it is worth it. If you buy it in jerrycan quantities it is quite cheap anyway. HNO3 probably will be very hard to obtain in the USA. Over here in NL it is easy to obtain at 52% but I know that at the other side of the ocean things are quite different. It would be nice though if you could obtain that, but you do not need it to start with. It really is best to obtain H2SO4, it is a very versatile acid, more so than HCl. The chloride ion coordinates to many transition metal ions and for many experiments that is not what you want. NaHSO4 is a very good and safe alternative and can be purchased locally as pH-minus for swimmingpools. From a ceramics and pottery supplier you can obtain the following very interesting transition metal compounds for really low prices: 100 gram V2O5, vanadium pentoxide 100 gram CoCO3, cobalt carbonate (don't buy Co3O4, it is inert and does not dissolve in any solvent) 100 gram NiCO3.Ni(OH)2, (basic) nickel carbonate 100 gram CuCO3.2Cu(OH)2, (basic) copper carbonate 100 gram MoO3, molybdenum trioxide, makes molybdates easily with solutions of NaOH or KOH) 100 gram ZnO, zinc oxide Another interesting chemical may be silver nitrate, AgNO3 (available from the same source as the chems, I mentioned above), but it is fairly expensive. You could consider buying 10 grams, but still, it costs$10 or more.

With the list, given here, you can do a LOT of aqueous chemistry experiments and also quite some nice (colored) gas experiments. All these experiments can be done safely, also at home, but of course, you should use your brains and not do stupid things. Always use small amounts (max. 100 mg, small spatula of solid, with a few ml of water or acid added to dissolve it). With that you simply won't have serious accidents, because quantities are too low to be really dangerous. The only organ which could be severely damaged with such small amounts is the eye, so wear glasses or goggles ALWAYS when experimenting.
Want to wonder? See http://www.oelen.net/science