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Topic: Home chemistry projects  (Read 14651 times)

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Offline nj_bartel

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Home chemistry projects
« on: November 27, 2008, 03:07:59 PM »
I've been wanting to try some sort of fun chemistry project, just as a hobby, but am having a hard time coming up with ideas - things like isolating and purifying caffeine out of coffee, then using it in some sort of simple synthesis.  Anyone have an idea of what could be something to pursue?  Not looking for the actual methods to do it, want to come up with that on my own.

Thanks  :)

Edit: All equipment would be makeshift, so anything requiring something like a high strength vacuum would be out!

Offline enahs

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2008, 05:41:59 PM »
If you have the money, for starting at home I would start with one of these (such as the CK-S one).

It has lots of good basic equipment and chemicals.

Offline nj_bartel

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2008, 05:57:42 PM »
One of 'these' what?  :P

Offline enahs

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 09:54:36 PM »
One of 'these' what?  :P

You must forgive me, I am a retard who does not know how to read or write.

http://www.athomescience.com/kd-chemistry.htm

Offline limpet chicken

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 09:51:12 PM »
You would be better off ebaying for the lab kit, some of those chemistry sets are absolute shite, depending on what you get.

Some really good glassware is available cheap on ebay actually, some of it is pricy, but I've found some quite esoteric stuff that would sell for a fair whack, going for less than its international shipping cost.

Enahs, do you HAVE to use the term 'retard'

Its about as offensive as it gets.
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Offline rocketparrotlet

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 08:21:08 PM »
You can buy caffeine from www.unitednuclear.com, if you are more interested in the product than its synthesis.

As for actual synthesis of caffeine from coffee, I am unsure.

Offline Class

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 04:48:39 AM »
I guess extracting caffeine from coffee is easy, but I haven't tried it myself personally, maybe I'd do if I get what I need.

Just put a spoonful of coffee powder in a beaker or something + 2 gm of MgO (They told me that this would be sold at pharmacies, I am not sure. You can easily just burn a strip of Mg, I don't know either from where to get Mg).

Now just heat and condense the vapors on a cold surface, that's caffeine!

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 07:44:49 AM »
Just put a spoonful of coffee powder in a beaker or something + 2 gm of MgO (They told me that this would be sold at pharmacies, I am not sure. You can easily just burn a strip of Mg, I don't know either from where to get Mg).

Now just heat and condense the vapors on a cold surface, that's caffeine!

I doubt this would work, for any of a number of reasons.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Jasim

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 10:54:24 AM »
Caffeine extraction from coffee was a problem I considered awhile back. I never did see it through to a satisfactory end.

It seems obvious to start with a hot water extraction. As I understand it most caffeine will come out within the first 30 seconds of exposure to boiling water. It's an alkaloid so an acid base extraction should work, right? Pull it into a non-polar volatile and evaporate? If you need it more pure...? Thoughts?

Sorry If I'm digressing too much off original post. This post is a bit old.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 01:49:22 PM »

Some really good glassware is available cheap on ebay actually, some of it is pricy, but I've found some quite esoteric stuff that would sell for a fair whack, going for less than its international shipping cost.

Better check your local laws. Things have become so comically bad that even owning a large flask is illegal now (I hear) in some US states. I'm not kidding (though I hope I am wrong!).  ::)

Offline vmelkon

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 09:45:47 PM »
As for actual synthesis of caffeine from coffee, I am unsure.

That's not synthesis. That's extraction.
The coffee plant does the synthesis.

Offline Oromis

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Re: Home chemistry projects
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 06:04:12 PM »
Whilst I don't know how helpful this will be to you in a lab at uni a few weeks ago we extracted caffeine from a cup of coffee by exploiting its solubility in dichloromethane. Whilst dichloromethane may be hard to get possibly obtain. Other solvents that don't dissolve in water might be helpful

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