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Topic: Interesting home experiments  (Read 16561 times)

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Offline pantone159

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Re:Interesting home experiments
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2005, 01:23:37 PM »
I would think that vodka would work fine.  The higher the proof, the better.
I think that vodka is hardly anything besides EtOH and water, though I don't know for sure.

I think you get a better indicator with EtOH than with water, as there is stuff
in the cabbage (that you don't want) that doesn't dissolve well in the alcohol.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2005, 01:27:32 PM by Mark Kness »

Offline limpet chicken

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Re:Interesting home experiments
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2005, 07:20:36 AM »
You could try making chloral hydrate by chlorinating dry ethanol with Cl2, or perhaps chlorobutanol from chloroform and acetone, they are both fairly antiquated sedatives, but chlorobutanol is an interesting compound, very hygroscopic and it sublimes if not kept in a sealed vial, it acts as a local anaesthetic.

There is a fun thing you can do with alcohol, you take a test tube full of ethanol, and create a layer of concentrated sulfuric acid on the bottom, then carefully, so as not to disturb the two layers, introduce a small amount of KMnO4 into the H2So4 layer, which will result in the formation of the unstable manganese heptoxide, Mn2O7, which is created in very small, safe quantities, and reacts with the EtOH, causing flashes of light caused by little microexplosions of alcohol on contact with teh Mn2O7.

Electrolysis of fused NaOH or KOH under a dry nitrogen or argon blanket using a car battery is one I have done before, to produce elemental sodium/potassium, there are all sorts of interesting things can be done with the alkali metals, or even electrolysis when exposed to air, if done on a small scale, with eye protection, bits of Na metal can be isolated and quickly picked out of the melt with a wire loop and dumped into hexane for storage.

You could try scraping the phosphorus from safety matchbook strikers wetted with acetone, then heating in a sealed glass tube or closed test tube, very small quantites of white phosphorus can be distilled from the strikers, which oxidise to ash, allowing the WP to ooze from the charcoal residue and collect in beads in the test tube.

WP is of course, pyrophoric and toxic, but on that scale, it allows you to see enough of the white allotrope to isolate small beads of WP.
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