View Full Version : messing about with iron.

11-16-2013, 08:16 PM
I wanted to dissolve some iron and try the coloidal experiment on it.

I didnt have any clean Iron to work with so I just messed around with what I had.

one piece may have had some chrome on it so who knows what is coming out?

Anyhow below is a video of what was done. I refer to the precipitate at the botton as sediment,
and the precipitate on top as the floaty stuff :) .


Just to make it clear the liquid in the jar is from the measured first experiment the liquid in the
flask is the result of using all the sediment material that was left.

If anyone knows what the milky substance was I would love to know.

It has a consistency of thin yogurt and when I added some sodium hydroxide to nutralise the
acid it set, but returned to a liquid overnight.


11-16-2013, 09:51 PM
Hi Ghistain,

Nice experiment. Are you trying to get red colloid iron? Try to use two new iron bolts inside a distilled water with very small pinch of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in the water then use 12V battery.Keep it running for more than 15hrs. You will see the color changes. it will first get yellow color then will graduate to orange and last to red color.I do not know what is this red solution though.

11-16-2013, 11:44 PM
Does that work on any other metals?

11-17-2013, 09:18 AM

I’m not sure what you were referring to with your question, but I have used the sodium citrate
method recommended for gold to produce metals in liquid solution with no precipitate. Whether
the result is potable is another matter.

For instance, I would not try any of the colloids I have created as I use whatever I have to hand to
see if the experiment can be completed, therefore there are obviously some unknown elements
within these products that may be unsafe; even the information available for colloids of gold, which
are openly sold on the net, may not be as safe as we are led to believe. We are our own human
guinea pigs. I think a good test may be to use firstly as a plant food, then possibly give it to a mouse
if the plant food is successful. Trying anything like this on yourself holds a very high level of danger

Here are a couple of links to PDFs on the subject.

Synthesis of Metal Colloids (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww3.nd.edu%2F~kamatlab%2Fsynthet ic%2520secrets%2Fcolloidal%2520metals.pdf&ei=v2OIUuOdCaSp7QbXkIGIBg&usg=AFQjCNErt3EAetf1ta8OXUPd15hMSvLSeQ&sig2=ngm-Q4HykIlWgCi3Syx-UA&bvm=bv.56643336,d.d2k)

Synthesis of Gold Nano-Particles (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CEkQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fclustertwo.org%2FShaowei%2520Chen %2520lectures%2FCluster%25202%2520lecture%25202.pd f&ei=O4eIUquMNqWP7Aa6k4GwBw&usg=AFQjCNHpGuUFz8SzuLcKeA-qrLBH1NnQgQ&sig2=45bx73iyOXGq4wTBzVx5-A)

Be safe!


11-17-2013, 01:13 PM
From the video in post 1, the right hand jar contained the mixture from the first experiment, which
you may recall lost its colour and appeared clear. I was going to throw it out, but I noticed it was still
quite acidic, so I neutralized the acidity with s/hydroxide


This was the result, not only did the colour return, but it was deeper than before.
This made me think...does s/hydroxide react this way with s/citrate?


So I mixed the two in fresh water and this was the result.


Interesting huh?

Just another point on safety...

I tried to dissolve the floaty stuff in sulfuric acid to no avail, it just would not dissolve so I added a
pinch of salt, as this works with nitric acid on gold, still nothing, so I added a little nitric, still nothing
apart from bleaching out the colour the supluric I use contains. At this point I thought maybe warm up
the acid, I turned on the hotplate on the spinner and went away, forgetting about it. It wasn't until I
felt a burning at the back of my throat that I remembered what I had done. Sure enough my acid
mixture was billowing out fumes in the kitchen :( I quickly removed it to outside and opened all the
windows...took about twenty minutes before I could breathe the air again. Be warned; don’t forget
your acid if you are heating it lol.

Anyway heating did the trick and the floaty stuff is now a white mixture; of what I have no idea, but I
will try the same experiment with it later.

Stop tutting!, I know…:o


Edit: What pH does ormus form?

11-17-2013, 03:47 PM
Sorry I meant to quote amoodikh. The process of running electricity through salt water. I remember a post about it with copper, which turned it red. Was wondering if that had any effects on lead, tin, etc.

Interesting experiment though. I've read that oil of iron and oil of copper make a powerful tincture. Is there any chance of separating an oil from your solution after evaporating out the water, and volitalizing?

11-17-2013, 04:59 PM
You can repeat the electrolysis with most metals.

The sediment itself was very oily...perhaps if you carefully dried it and put it in acetone
you may extract an oil. I have never done this.

Worth a try!


11-17-2013, 06:21 PM
I think Basil Valentine recommends extracting a tincture with vinegar, washing off the vinegar, then repeatedly distilling the extract with spirit of wine. Haven't tried that yet with iron but for some reason I like the idea.

Either way might get results.

11-17-2013, 10:56 PM
I toyed with vinegar and iron some time back kiorionis, but didn't go the whole hog so to speak.

Acetic Acid on Iron Oxide (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1338-Acetic-Acid-on-Iron-Oxide)

How do you wash off the vinegar?


11-18-2013, 01:09 AM
I use rainwater, bit distilled water would work fine too. The washing process is to take the salt extract (after the vinegar is distilled off) and distill it with clean water. The water will take whatever acidity is left with it. Test by pH strip or (small) taste of the distillate drops.

I've also noticed that if you let the extracted tincture sit in the vinegar for too long, the salt extract won't dissolve into the wine spirit (won't volatilize). This is as far as I've gotten before running out of material.

The triumphal chariot of antimony gives this process quite a few times at different stages of working with antimony

11-19-2013, 08:02 PM
Thanks Kiorionis, I may try that but it’s time for a rest.

As I use my kitchen as a lab I soon get fed up with the mess and then have a clean out, it takes time
for me to get the inspiration to try something again, but when I do I think it will be what you suggest. :)

Now an update of the iron work.

As you could see from my last pic, in the first experiment, when the pH was raised it precipitated
something. I just poured some sodium granules straight into the mix; no measurement so no idea
what the final pH might have been

I wanted to see at what stage the precipitate would start to form in the flask mixture, so I mixed a
strong solution of NaOH and started adding it to the flask. I got quite an unexpected result and still
some way to go, but we can talk of this later. Below is the video of the steps I took.


I love that colour.

The next video is a quick update of where the experiment is right now.


I don’t know if I need to keep raising the pH to get it to precipitate or did I rush past the point and should I
be lowering it.

Please note that I was using a pipette adding just 2ml of the NaOH solution at a time, so this took ages. The
video is a much shortened version of what was done...the flask started at 200ml and ended with 400ml.

Patience is a virtue lol.

Also note that neither the white salt from the red floaty stuff or the precipitate from the first experiment are
affected by a magnet. Both the red floaty stuff and the sediment reacted strongly with a magnet before they
were worked on.


11-25-2013, 08:47 PM
The flask of red liquid stood for several days while I pondered what to do with it. Then all of a sudden
it grew a whole bunch of crystals. See pic below...click on pic to see video.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=842 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW_Ro6xG2cI)

I poured off the red liquid into a glass...I will get the precipitate out of it later.

These crystals, I have read, are possibly a substance known as Mirabilite or Glauber's salt. This is
formed when H2SO4 reacts with NaOH.

They are beautiful crystals, but they turn to powder if allowed to dry.

I would like to know why they waited so long to spring up.


11-28-2013, 04:43 AM
Drying out the crystals you can see how they dissolve into a solution within the water they contain
until finally forming a salt as the solution dehydrates.


This salt is mainly Na2SO4 – Sodium Sulphate.

When rehydrated the crystals should reform…I might try this later and try to film it.


12-03-2013, 05:57 PM
Nice!! Thanks for sharing :) This reminded me of a couple of the first instructional dreams I had when I first started practicing alchemy. In one dream I met an alchemist who was doing work out side and created an egg looking substance from sulfur. The alchemist informed me while showing me the 'egg' that "sulfur is the key" Then a couple of years later I was awaking from a dream when I heard the words whispered into my ears in the physical realm, "iron is the key". It appears here that you are utilizing both :)

01-28-2014, 08:42 PM
Re-crystallising the sulphate wasn't very successful as it just formed a lump.

I'm sure that if looked at under a microscope there would be a lovely crystal pattern ;)

Before the first formation of the crystals I took a small 100ml blue glass bottle and saved
some of the red solution; I placed this in a draw and forgot it. I needed the bottle yesterday
and emptied the content into a glass to find it was still a red solution with no crystals. About
an hour or two later the whole glass was full of crystals. I donít know if it reacted with the light,
the air or possibly both.

The solution straight out of the bottle.


The crystals formed a few hours later.


The crystals with the liquid drained off.



02-11-2014, 06:16 PM
After taking the pic of the drained crystals I put the liquid back onto the crystals as they turn to powder if they dry out, then I forgot about it for a while, but when I returned to it there were salts all the way up the inside of the glass. I thought this was where I had been swilling the liquid around in the glass and it has dried, so I pushed the salts off the sides and back into the glass as can be seen below:

(click on pic for larger image)

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=880 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/4.JPG)

Every time I returned to the glass the inside was covered in the salts and I would repeat the same process as above. Then I thought I would clean the outside of the glass and watch what happens if I don’t push the salts off...I got quite a surprise...

The pics that follow have been taken over the course of a few days; note I have not swilled the glass around and there is no trickery. All I have done is added a little liquid every now and then (from another experiment with honey which I was about to throw out) into the glass to keep the crystals moist.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=881 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/5.JPG) http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=882 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/6.JPG) http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=883 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/7.JPG)

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=884 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/8.JPG) http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=885 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/9.JPG) http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=886 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/10.JPG)

Sorry about the picture quality; I am not a photographer.

There is a long time gap between the first pic where I cleaned the outside of the glass and the second pic with the salts covering the outside. The reason for this was that I cleaned the glass just before going to work; when I returned home the salts were just coming over the top of the glass, but when I went to take a pic of it my camera battery died. I put it on charge and went to bed, when I woke the second pic was where the salts were. I'm sure the experiment would be repeatable and it would be interesting to get some time-lapse photography of it.

Happy Accidents! :)

Just thought! it is like the human population around the world...lol


02-12-2014, 12:14 AM
After taking the pic of the drained crystals I put the liquid back onto the crystals as they turn to powder if they dry out, then I forgot about it for a while, but when I returned to it there were salts all the way up the inside of the glass.


All I have done is added a little liquid every now and then (from another experiment with honey which I was about to throw out) into the glass to keep the crystals moist.

what sort of honey water are you adding too it? is it causing the growth or do you think the 'creeping crystals' are due to something latent in the processed iron, and eating the honey water (ha, like population growth. consuming resources to grow eh?)?

02-12-2014, 02:01 AM

What I did was place some neat sodium hydroxide into some honey and left it overnight; in the morning it hadn't done much other than turn the honey into a thick toffee. I wanted to stir it so I warmed it up slightly. This worked and I gave it a good stir, but shortly afterwards I heard a funny hissing noise and realized it was coming from the glass with the honey mix in it; it was too late to do anything, the mixture went mental; I thought it was going to explode, but it didn't, :) it just turned jet black. I wondered what would happen if I kept knocking it back and forth from alkali to acid and what resulted was a black sooty powder was created. I have put a small clip below so you can see the consistency.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=887 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/honey vid.wmv)

This was the end result I didn't have to dry it. The powder smells of coffee, so i decided to see what would happen if I put a spoonful into some boiling water. The result of this can be seen below.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=888 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/honey liquid.JPG)

This is the liquid I have been keeping the crystals moist with. It is slightly acid and I don't think I shall drink any hehe.

Below is a clip of the glass:

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=889 (http://thealchemyforum.com/Images/Creeping Crystals/the glass.wmv)

I guess you wouldn't keep that in an open container ;)