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Offline Tara144

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Mystery reaction
« on: December 12, 2014, 09:21:50 PM »
Hi!

I've tried google and read up about Hydromagnesite on Wikipedia, and I've searched for Hydromagnesite (Magnesium Carbonate) on these forums and found nothing helpful. 

Ok, so here's my question.

You see a reaction which makes a lot of light, white-blue in colour, and leaves hydromagnesite powder of a very high purity (99.9%)

What is likely going on?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 11:32:00 PM by Tara144 »

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 10:07:01 PM »
Well, lets try to figure out what this question wants.  What is hydromagnesite?  What is it made of?  Can you think of a way to get the ingredients together?

Frankly, I don't see an obvious solution to this question.  But I suppose its enough if we try.  That's what this forum is really all about.  Check the Forum Rules{click}.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 10:45:05 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydromagnesite

This explains what it is and some sources for how it's formed and where.  I've been looking for the solution to the reaction issue but not making any headway at all...

It doesn't burn, it's a flame retardant, so whatever is happening in the reaction is producing rather than using the hydromagnesite powder.  We're dealing with a product, not an input.

I'm stumped.  My chemistry background is really just first year university level stuff, I was hoping someone might be able to give me a research lead or else recognize what's going on.

Thanks

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 07:52:43 AM »
Unfortunately, its sometimes hard to find a research paper for the most simple chemistry questions.  While you're here, try re-reading the forum rules, that I posted above, we want you to do some of the work.  Whoever assigned you this problem, probably expects the same, so you'll have to pardon me, if I fail to subvert that.

Thank you for the link to Wikipedia, I actually browsed it myself, as soon as you posted your question.  Did you read it?  What does it say?  What is the chemical formula of hydromagnesite?  What chemical elements is it made of?  What chemical reactions have you recently learned, that might make sense as an answer to your question?  If you check, I asked those questions in my post above.  Do you have an answer to any of my simpler questions, that we can use to build an answer to your question?

The more I've been able to think about it, the more I've figured out I may have been hasty saying that didn't see an obvious answer.  The problem is a little advanced for 1 year chemistry, but may be solvable.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 07:36:30 PM »
Alright, trying again...

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Hydromagnesite+powder+ball+of+light&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=KdqMVN3qJYGjgwT4zIOIAw

I'm trying to find a scientific explanation of what is happening.   People are finding this powder after seeing light balls in crop circles.  If they are being hoaxed, I'm trying to find out how they might be doing that.

This isn't a school assignment!  I'm sorry my efforts aren't as sophisticated as you'd like but that's why I'm here!  I have given you everything I've got and the first line of my post was written explicitly for your rules!  I didn't say I'm a first year chemistry student, I said that was my level of understanding. 

I'm finding the moderation on this forum very difficult to handle.  I don't need threats in my personal inbox please, I just wanted some help.



Offline Borek

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 07:41:13 PM »
You see a reaction which makes a lot of light, white-blue in colour

Hydromagnesite is a magnesium compound. What do you know about magnesium?
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Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 07:45:12 PM »
You can also go here http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/2009whitepowder.php and scroll down to the analysis part of the article.

Borek,

I know it burns very brilliantly, but the product would be magnesium oxide, so I thought that was a dead end. 


Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 07:51:47 PM »
(MgCO3)4 ·Mg(OH)2 ·5H2O 99.9%

Offline Mitch

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 09:16:53 PM »
You can also go here http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/2009whitepowder.php and scroll down to the analysis part of the article.

Borek,

I know it burns very brilliantly, but the product would be magnesium oxide, so I thought that was a dead end. 



Magnesium oxide is exactly right. I'm not sure what would give hydromagnesite.
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Offline Borek

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 05:00:02 AM »
You can also go here http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/2009whitepowder.php and scroll down to the analysis part of the article.

If that's a source of your original question my answer is - prank.
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Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 10:16:31 PM »
You can also go here http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/2009whitepowder.php and scroll down to the analysis part of the article.

If that's a source of your original question my answer is - prank.

First I really wanted to rule out that this is the end product of a reaction.  The bright light REALLY suggests that, but because it's not magnesium oxide coming out as would be expected, I'm not sure.

In addition the powder at that purity is lab-made, and costs about 750 per 100ghttp://www.alfa.com/en/GP100w.pgm?DSSTK=010796.  The amounts of powder found at the sites would make this really expensive.

Arckon wrote : "The more I've been able to think about it, the more I've figured out I may have been hasty saying that didn't see an obvious answer.  The problem is a little advanced for 1 year chemistry, but may be solvable."

If you don't want to just tell me what you think, you could direct me to some specific reading.  I don't mind doing the work, the problem is that I have come to a dead end.  I'm not the only one obviously, the thread has been here a few days and nobody else seems to know either.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 10:33:20 PM by Tara144 »

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2014, 05:22:43 AM »
Actually, I may have guessed right at the very beginning.  What you've found on Wikipedia helps us confirm it.  Briefly:

magnesium metal burn in air, producing a white powder, The powder is magnesium oxide and magnesium nitride, which are refractory materials -- they're already burnt, so they can't burn more and we can use them to contain other things we want to burn or heat strongly.  I thought briefly that you desired product, magnesium carbonate, could be formed by burning magnesium in carbon dioxide.  But that's not true, you just get magnesium oxide and carbon, in that case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium#Chemical_properties   Wikipedia explains better -- hydromagnesite. is the product of gradual weathering of magnesium-containing rocks.

You can also go here http://www.bltresearch.com/robbert/2009whitepowder.php and scroll down to the analysis part of the article.

If that's a source of your original question my answer is - prank.

And now its clear, crop circle investigators have found weathered rock in the crop circles, and you perhaps, are looking for a scientific explanation using conventional chemistry.  I don't suspect we'll succeed.  If you'd had troubled us with your reference to begin with, this might have been a shorter thread.  I know for sure I wouldn't have bothered to comment.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2014, 06:16:24 PM »
Thanks for telling me what the wikipedia article did.

Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2014, 07:38:01 PM »
Arckon has decided he is not interested in this, so this is written to others who may be interested.  I just want to reiterate:  The purity of the powder is 99.99%.  This is not the product of geological formation.  To reach that purity you NEED to make it in a lab.  To purchase the material from a lab costs on the order of $750 for 100g.  Much greater amounts were found in the fields immediately following the light balls.  It seems to me there is very likely a chemical reaction going on, whether man made or not, but it is clearly not well understood. 

Offline Tara144

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Re: Mystery reaction
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2014, 08:03:05 PM »
Along the lines of the lab work using CO2 and (in this case) brucite to produce hydromagnesite of high purity, I found the following; http://www.google.com/patents/EP2692691A1?cl=en  The temperatures and time scales involved rule this out as something that explains the observations, but it may provide a clue to someone with a developed knowledge of chemical "mechanics" as to what is going on.  It is also interesting that biological organisms produce the stuff. 

For what it's worth...

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