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theFool
04-23-2014, 12:09 PM
A "recipe" from Glauber, (found in the book "Compendium of Alchemical Processes" page 69, or in page 22 of this online version of the book (http://www.magia-metachemica.net/uploads/1/0/6/2/10624795/compenium_of_alchemical_processes.pdf)):



The Preparation of the Dissolving Water for Metals
(Glauber, part II., p. 162, b.)

Take of common salt one pound, which dissolve in four or five pounds of common water, and pour
upon it half a pound of oil of vitriol, to which superadd some steel wire, fragments, or turnings, and
thence, by distilling, separate the water. Then no sharp spirits will ascend with the water, but all the
corrosivity will remain with the Mars, and nothing ascend but a subtle spirit, void of corrosion. This
moves to admiration, namely, that of such a hard and fixed metal, with the help of so gentle a heat,
should ascend such a flying and penetrating spirit ... I gave it a try, mixing dissolved salt, sulfuric acid and a great quantity of various steel parts (wire, wool needles). Indeed, there is a spirit that rises below the temperature of boiling water (!). This spirit is dissolved invisibly* in the water that distills over the helm. It has a very strong smell, reminding garlic, or the smell of wine barels after wine fermentation. Unavoidably, some water came together with this spirit and some HCl acid managed to pass also, but this has to do with the degree of applied heat. Heat below the boiling point of water should be applied in order to get this spirit without any corrossiveness added by the HCl.

Glauber proposes to use a BM for this distillation in a recipe few pages before this one mentioned above.

The Preparation of the Volatile Spirits of Metals

Take of the steel wires which the needlemakers cannot use, one pound, which so heat in the fire that all
squalidness and filth may be burnt away. Afterwards put them in a glass body, and pour on them of
the elsewhere-described dissolving water, a quantity of four or five pounds. Place the vessel in balneo
or in sand, and so apply heat that the water in the glass surrounding the steel may wax hot but not boil.
Then the water preys upon the iron to be dissolved. For in this operation the steel is dissolved and
fermented like new beer or wine. In this fermentation a certain most subtle spirit of Mars ascends,
without any corrosive, breathing a very strong odour, and endowed with a taste vehemently
penetrating...


If I try it again, I would try to use the less water possible in the starting ingredients. Also, a BM bath is needed, or close temperature monitoring, so that it does not exceed 100 degrees.

*Few drops of this water were evaporated to dryiness without any color change observed, but when the temperature rised above 100 degrees, an orange-black residue appeared. It is insoluble in water but soluble in HCl acid. This is the sulfur of iron according to Glauber.

JDP
04-23-2014, 06:06 PM
Dissolving common iron/steel in simple hydrochloric acid gives that pungent smell. I think it is due to the carbon and sulfur contained in common iron/steel. Some of it is left as a "scum" that floats or sinks in the iron chloride solution (which needs to be filtered out if you want to keep the iron salt solution for other experiments) that remains in the glass, but some of it seems to form volatile carbon and/or sulfur compounds. This is the "volatile spirit".

Did you test the orange-black residue to see if it contains iron? Take a sample of its solution in HCl in a test tube and add a solution of sodium or potassium carbonate or hydroxide in excess of the neutralization point of the HCl to see if any white or dark greenish (ferrous) or red (ferric) precipitate forms. Maybe some of the iron passes into the receiver with the volatile compounds.

theFool
04-23-2014, 08:02 PM
Dissolving common iron/steel in simple hydrochloric acid gives that pungent smell. I think it is due to the carbon and sulfur contained in common iron/steel. Some of it is left as a "scum" that floats or sinks in the iron chloride solution (which needs to be filtered out if you want to keep the iron salt solution for other experiments) that remains in the glass, but some of it seems to form volatile carbon and/or sulfur compounds. This is the "volatile spirit".
I haven't thought about the chemical explanation yet. A smell of garlic is dinstinctive of sulfur compounds and the "scum" has formed in the solution. I am not so much surprised by the smell but mostly by the existence of the "sulfur of iron" (as Glauber calls it) in the distillate. Even more surprised that I can follow one of Glauber's "recipes" and observe the same results, which gives him credit and makes the rest of his claims more believeable.
Glauber describes various properties of this spirit later in his works. Do you think that in this case, Glauber mistakenly believes that this distillate contains the sulfur of iron? Does the iron of sulfur exist, or everything can be explained by common chemistry?


Did you test the orange-black residue to see if it contains iron? Take a sample of its solution in HCl in a test tube and add a solution of sodium or potassium carbonate or hydroxide in excess of the neutralization point of the HCl to see if any white or dark greenish (ferrous) or red (ferric) precipitate forms. Maybe some of the iron passes into the receiver with the volatile compounds. I tried to precipitate some of it using potassium carbonate in solution. For few hours there was no change in color, after that the solution became slightly orange but no precipitate has formed yet (maybe due to the very small amounts).

What could be the iron compound that passes over into the receiver? When evaporating the distillate to dryiness, I didn't observe any color change in the concentrated solution. I expected to see some color if the compound was iron chloride. If it was iron sulfate probably the light green color could have escaped my vision due to the smalls amounts.

Hellin Hermetist
04-23-2014, 11:32 PM
It reminded me of that one:


TO MAKE STEEL GROW IN A GLASS LIKE A TREE
Dissolve steel in a rectified spirit of salt, so shall you have a green and sweet solution which smells like brimstone. Filter it and abstract all the moisture in sand with a gentle heat. There will distill over a liquor as sweet as rain water. Steel, by reason of its dryness, detains the corrosiveness of the spirit of salt which remains in the bottom like a blood red mass which is as hot on the tongue as fire. Dissolve this red mass in oil of flints or of sand, and you shall see it grow up in two or three hours like a tree with stem and branches. Prove this tree at the test, and it shall yield good gold which this tree has drawn from the aforesaid oil of sand or flints which has a golden sulphur in it.

Its from John French "Art of Distillation"

JDP
04-24-2014, 12:36 AM
I haven't thought about the chemical explanation yet. A smell of garlic is dinstinctive of sulfur compounds and the "scum" has formed in the solution. I am not so much surprised by the smell but mostly by the existence of the "sulfur of iron" (as Glauber calls it) in the distillate. Even more surprised that I can follow one of Glauber's "recipes" and observe the same results, which gives him credit and makes the rest of his claims more believeable.

Caution is adviced, as these old "chymists" liked to inject a great number of lies and exaggerated claims in their texts. Why exactly did they feel compelled to do this might be due to either wanting to lead "unworthy" readers astray with false claims, or maybe because they simply enjoyed making people waste their time and money on experiments that really lead nowhere. But whatever the reason, it is very safe to assume that most of the transmutation or metallic decomposition processes in their books don't work as they claim. I have tested several of Glauber's (and several other chymists') claims, so I am pretty sure about that. Perhaps they wrote true facts somewhere in their lengthy books, but finding them is very tough. You would need to sift through tons of false claims first, or be extremely lucky and hit upon the rare occasional true experiment in your early attempts.


Glauber describes various properties of this spirit later in his works. Do you think that in this case, Glauber mistakenly believes that this distillate contains the sulfur of iron? Does the iron of sulfur exist, or everything can be explained by common chemistry?

According to ordinary chemistry, there is no such "sulfur" of iron or any other metal. Such "principles" existed only in the theoretical musings of alchemists and chymists. Personally, I have never seen any such "mercuries" or "sulfurs" of metals, so I adopt a cautious skepticism about the likelihood that they really exist. But you never know for sure...


I tried to precipitate some of it using potassium carbonate in solution. For few hours there was no change in color, after that the solution became slightly orange but no precipitate has formed yet (maybe due to the very small amounts).

You should repeat this experiment in larger quantities to make the attempted analysis easier.


What could be the iron compound that passes over into the receiver? When evaporating the distillate to dryiness, I didn't observe any color change in the concentrated solution. I expected to see some color if the compound was iron chloride. If it was iron sulfate probably the light green color could have escaped my vision due to the smalls amounts.

I was thinking that maybe some chloride of iron, or maybe a hydride of iron, but after I consulted the entry for "iron hydride" in Henry Watt's "A Dictionary of Chemistry" this issue is surprisingly addressed there! It seems that according to the researches of Fresenius and Schlossberger the contaminant found in the hydrogen gas generated from dissolving iron in acids is not a gaseous compound of iron and hydrogen, as some had proposed, but apparently phosphorus (or a compound of it; this is not made clear in Watts' explanation.) So it seems that besides sulfur and carbon, the small amounts of phosphorus contained in iron might also contribute to the impurities that pass over with the hydrogen.

theFool
04-24-2014, 02:40 PM
I tried to precipitate some of it using potassium carbonate in solution. For few hours there was no change in color, after that the solution became slightly orange but no precipitate has formed yet (maybe due to the very small amounts). This solution finally has precipitated. It gave a light brown precipitate.

Also, i gave a good heat (to redness) at the black residue that was obtained from the distillate (the "sulfur of iron"). It changed color to bright orange. According to wikipedia, it could be iron sulfate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron%28II%29_sulfate) converted to iron(III) oxide.

Glauber proposes to "fix" this this "sulfur of iron" by mixing it with gold dissolved in AR. I did that and there was a brownish precipitate created. Iron sulfate is known to be able to precipitate gold out of solutions.

According to Glauber, this kind of precipitate can be further used for alchemical purposes, but I doubt it for this one. It should have a purple color, not black.
One could try to extract it in HCl or alcohol, it should behave differently that normal gold precipitate. In my theory, the "spirit" can reside on a salt and make it volatile, carrying it over into the distillate. You can perform the same operations with a dead, chemical salt, but it will not give a tincture from the precipitated gold (for example).

theFool
04-24-2014, 03:30 PM
Caution is adviced, as these old "chymists" liked to inject a great number of lies and exaggerated claims in their texts. Why exactly did they feel compelled to do this might be due to either wanting to lead "unworthy" readers astray with false claims, or maybe because they simply enjoyed making people waste their time and money on experiments that really lead nowhere. But whatever the reason, it is very safe to assume that most of the transmutation or metallic decomposition processes in their books don't work as they claim. I have tested several of Glauber's (and several other chymists') claims, so I am pretty sure about that. I don't doubt that Glauber may have done mistakes or published fake claims. My main motive is to pinpoint a theory behind those experiments. Without the theory, attempts to transmutation may fail. It is like trying to build an electronic circuit seeing only the schematic, without knowing electrical theory. Even if the recipe is correct, you cant make it work.
May I ask in what ways did you fail following Glauber. What were your experiments and where did you reach.

theFool
04-24-2014, 06:19 PM
Galuber's writings are full of this "motif": Make the mercury of a metal by salammoniac sublimation, by tartar or other means and then make it visible by a solution of gold in AR.

The precipitated "live gold", has some specific properties according to Glauber, different than common gold precipitate. It can be extracted or worked further with the use of heat. In one of his writings, he says that upon extensively heating this precipitate, it will lose its color and become white. He says also that it cannot be converted back to metallic gold by the usage of borax.


Some updates:
This time I heated to dryiness a bigger quantity of the "spirit of iron". It left behind a yellow slime (which upon further heating became black and then bright orange). This bright orange salt is soluble in HCl and gives to it a yellow color.

JDP
04-25-2014, 06:43 AM
This solution finally has precipitated. It gave a light brown precipitate.

Probably a hydroxide of iron. Some of the iron might be passing over into the receiver with the gaseous products.

JDP
04-25-2014, 07:30 AM
I don't doubt that Glauber may have done mistakes or published fake claims. My main motive is to pinpoint a theory behind those experiments. Without the theory, attempts to transmutation may fail. It is like trying to build an electronic circuit seeing only the schematic, without knowing electrical theory. Even if the recipe is correct, you cant make it work.

I think it's actually the opposite. History is full of examples of mistaken theories to explain actual facts, observable by anyone, but subject to different theoretical explanations. The facts remain the same, the theories on the other hand can always change. We no longer explain gravity like Aristotle did, for example, but the phenomenon is exactly the same one he sought to explain 2000+ years ago. The empirical fact remains the same, it is the theories about it that have been changing for centuries. Same applies to transmutation. Supposing that it is an empirical fact that has been discovered and observed by some people in the past, it still does not say anything about the validity of the theories of those old writers. They could simply have been trying to explain an observable fact with speculations which are really mistaken. It would not be the first time it has happened, nor will it be the last time.


May I ask in what ways did you fail following Glauber. What were your experiments and where did you reach.

I have tried several of his claims. For example, I tried that process with a molten alloy of regulus of antimony, copper and silver that is decomposed by gradually casting spoonfuls of saltpeter on it. He claims that when you dissolve (in aqua fortis) the silver that is separated from the antimony and copper in this manner a reddish calx will be found at the bottom, which when melted down proves to be gold. He claims that this is due to some "spiritual gold" and what have you, but it is really all nonsense. It does not work. There is no reddish calx obtained, the silver, which is very resistant to oxidation, is simply separated from the antimony and copper, which are more easily oxidized, and remains totally unaltered. And I know for a fact that Glauber could not have been misled by chance traces of gold in any of those metals employed in the experiment, since he is well aware of this issue and even directs the reader to reduce the already employed silver, antimony and copper back into their metallic state and repeat the experiment all over again with these "recycled" metals to see how one gets another portion of the reddish gold calx again (which would not be possible if the first time had really just been a chance gold impurity in one or more of the metals employed.)

Another example: Glauber claims that if you make mixtures of combustible materials like sulfur and sawdust with saltpeter and then stratify metal (copper, tin or lead) sheets with this powder inside a clay pot or crucible and ignite the mixture the powerful flame that ensues will melt them down. Thus far his claim is true, the exothermic reaction from these mixtures is hot enough to even melt thin copper sheets! But then he says that when you cupel the melted metals you will find small amounts of silver and gold. He claims that this is due to the powerful flame affecting the metals and so forth. But once again it's pure nonsense. The metals remain exactly the same and no part of them is changed into silver or gold. The powerful flame from these pyrotechnic mixtures only melts them down, nothing else.

By the way, it is not just Glauber who has injected lots of lies in his books. Eglin, Becher, Kunckel, Jugel, the anonymous authors of "Alchymia Denudata", the "Short Discourse" on the transmutation of metals, the "Coelum Philosophorum", and a long etc. of other writers have used the exact same tactic of inserting loads of blatant lies and ineffective processes in their works. It seems to have been a very common tactic among the 17th and 18th century "chymists" who defended transmutation.

Salazius
04-25-2014, 08:34 AM
For those who never saw a sulfur of iron, and its salt :

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/11/17/05/29/soufre10.jpg

You can be sure you opened the metal when it is leaving it's body behind. It is neat with iron. The salt is cloudy in the solution and tends to aggregate.

theFool
04-25-2014, 09:00 AM
Thanks for your input JDP. Glauber seems to be naive in many of his processes and sometimes he exagerates his descriptions. For example, he writes that an explosion of fulminating gold can graduate steel needles into gold (of course, it will only gold-plate them, not transmute them). In another process, he describes that lead or silver nitrate can attract the spirtual gold from seawater and convert it into visible gold. He did that because he was making a living out of selling books.

theFool
04-25-2014, 09:15 AM
For those who never saw a sulfur of iron, and its salt :
...
Hello Salazius, hmm seems so beautiful color. How is it made? Does it have any connection with Glauber's processes?

Salazius
04-25-2014, 09:57 AM
Hi,

Basically yes it is done in the same way.

theFool
04-25-2014, 10:34 AM
Hi,

Basically yes it is done in the same way. During this process of Glauber, I haven't observed anything with similar color (dark red). My distillate was transparent and the flask with the iron, salt and sulfuric acid got a bluish color.

This color reminds me an alcohol extraction I have tried on iron dissolved in hydrochloric acid. It left behind a dark red salt and the alcohol got tincted reddish, but I doubt this has anything to do with the sulfur of iron.

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/13/27/64/97/ir110.png

JDP
04-25-2014, 04:41 PM
Thanks for your input JDP. Glauber seems to be naive in many of his processes and sometimes he exagerates his descriptions. For example, he writes that an explosion of fulminating gold can graduate steel needles into gold (of course, it will only gold-plate them, not transmute them). In another process, he describes that lead or silver nitrate can attract the spirtual gold from seawater and convert it into visible gold. He did that because he was making a living out of selling books.

Sometimes he was genuinely mistaken (like interpreting that substance you are investigating as the "sulfur" of iron, when it most likely is just some compound that maybe contains some iron), but other times he is deliberately lying. It is easy to tell because his very own words denote a man who is very well experienced in all types of processes and also in assaying metals, so he must have been well aware that what he was saying was not true and no gold or silver were really produced in many of those processes he describes as if they really worked. As pointed out, Glauber was by no means the only one back in those times who was employing this tactic.

Hellin Hermetist
04-25-2014, 06:33 PM
So the following question comes easily to mind. If he really knew ten or so many different processes for the production of artificail gold, why does he have to sell his books to make a living?

JDP
04-26-2014, 02:12 AM
So the following question comes easily to mind. If he really knew ten or so many different processes for the production of artificail gold, why does he have to sell his books to make a living?

A possible explanation to this: maybe whatever really effective processes he knew afforded only a mediocre gain. Many of these old chymists often point out that many of the "particular" processes that (allegedly) work are actually not gainful, as the cost of carrying them out is almost as much as the gain in precious metals, sometimes it is in fact more costly to carry them out than the actual gain, so these types of not-profitable transmutation processes really only served to "prove" that transmutation is real, just don't expect to become rich with them.

Note: Glauber's books are packed with all sorts of transmutation claims, so he really claimed to know way more than just 10 processes to achieve it. Glauber's large number of allegedly successful transmutation claims, though not unique in his times, was so suspiciously exaggerated that one anonymous critic calling himself "Anti-Glauber" even published a whole book ("Glauberus Refutatus") aimed at attacking his claims. But like I have pointed out before, Glauber's very own words prove beyond any doubt that he was a very experienced and intelligent fellow, certainly not someone who would have been easily fooled by false processes himself, so there is a flagrant contradiction between his obvious knowledge and experience and most of the suspicious transmutation claims in his books. It seems to me that this was done on purpose. Plus Glauber was not the only one who did this, other chymists of those times used the exact same tactic of inserting loads of suspicious processes as if they really worked.

crestind
04-26-2014, 04:11 AM
Is the spirit of iron the same as the mercury of iron? Very confusing terminology.

I've extracted a strange salt from some scrap iron wire. It sublimated out of solution. When I rubbed it onto gold it stained it white and I could not rub off the stain, it was like it fused. The salt was more or less dry when this occurred. Sorry of this is a thread hijack, but it seems sort of similar.



Another example: Glauber claims that if you make mixtures of combustible materials like sulfur and sawdust with saltpeter and then stratify metal (copper, tin or lead) sheets with this powder inside a clay pot or crucible and ignite the mixture the powerful flame that ensues will melt them down. Thus far his claim is true, the exothermic reaction from these mixtures is hot enough to even melt thin copper sheets! But then he says that when you cupel the melted metals you will find small amounts of silver and gold. He claims that this is due to the powerful flame affecting the metals and so forth. But once again it's pure nonsense. The metals remain exactly the same and no part of them is changed into silver or gold. The powerful flame from these pyrotechnic mixtures only melts them down, nothing else.
I have no doubt lots of alchemists lie their asses off, though I always felt Glauber was one of the more honest ones. But this is irrelevant to my next point. Is it possible that it does yield Ag or Au in tiny amounts, but it is VERY inconsistent and unreliable? I ask because the technique is in practice very similar to Joe Champion's thermal burns, where he basically mixed a bunch of metallic salts in a coffee tin and it went boom. Nitre was a key ingredient. Some of the folks he worked with at A&M University complained that it did not work, or that there were only tiny tiny yields. It makes sense because it's a very uncontrolled reaction, so the ingredients would have to interact in that split second where conditions are perfect - high temperatures, right reagents. The high temperatures along with potassium seem to act in some fashion. Glauber also had the Tin + Nitre detonation, which he claims yields Au as well. Hollandus has the exact same recipe written down. I've not heard of the black powder + copper sheets by Glauber you mention.

For lack of a better interpretation...
Silver = Close to gold, a base to work with
Copper = Lots of recipes use copper as a "tinging" agent, lots of texts say it's hot or something like that to add heat. Like if you melt it with gold for a period, dissolve away the copper, the gold becomes more reddish.
Antimony = Not real sure. Seems to work some voodoo magic
Nitre = Potassium compound, highly reactive


If he really knew ten or so many different processes for the production of artificail gold, why does he have to sell his books to make a living?

Supposedly it was because making Au would bring trouble upon him, I presume it means he was afraid people would find out. Honestly the whole thing makes little sense. But alchemists aren't known for their practical logic.

theFool
04-26-2014, 05:52 AM
Sorry of this is a thread hijack, but it seems sort of similar. Welcome.


Is the spirit of iron the same as the mercury of iron? Very confusing terminology. In some of his writings, Glauber refers to the mercury of metals, extracted by similar means as this spirit of iron. So, probably yes, they are the same. To make things more complicated, Glauber (later in his recipe), refers to a "sulfur of iron" appearing in the distillate.

JDP
04-26-2014, 08:37 AM
Is the spirit of iron the same as the mercury of iron? Very confusing terminology.

I've extracted a strange salt from some scrap iron wire. It sublimated out of solution.

What do you mean by "sublimated out of solution"? I suppose you mean out of one of its salts.


I have no doubt lots of alchemists lie their asses off, though I always felt Glauber was one of the more honest ones. But this is irrelevant to my next point. Is it possible that it does yield Ag or Au in tiny amounts, but it is VERY inconsistent and unreliable? I ask because the technique is in practice very similar to Joe Champion's thermal burns, where he basically mixed a bunch of metallic salts in a coffee tin and it went boom. Nitre was a key ingredient. Some of the folks he worked with at A&M University complained that it did not work, or that there were only tiny tiny yields. It makes sense because it's a very uncontrolled reaction, so the ingredients would have to interact in that split second where conditions are perfect - high temperatures, right reagents. The high temperatures along with potassium seem to act in some fashion. Glauber also had the Tin + Nitre detonation, which he claims yields Au as well. Hollandus has the exact same recipe written down. I've not heard of the black powder + copper sheets by Glauber you mention.

Indeed. Joe Champion in fact basically "ripped-off" Glauber's transmutation claims by means of pyrotechnic mixtures with saltpeter + a combustible ("thermal burns", as Champion calls them.) As far as I can tell, he did not give Glauber credit for the basic idea. The original claim of Glauber with thin metal sheets sandwiched between such fiercely burning mixtures can be found in "Miraculum Mundi" (see Part I, page 177, "Point X", of the English translation.) He also briefly refers to this method in the second part of his "Philosophical Furnaces".


Supposedly it was because making Au would bring trouble upon him, I presume it means he was afraid people would find out. Honestly the whole thing makes little sense. But alchemists aren't known for their practical logic.

In Glauber's case that definitely was not the case, as he very openly advertised how many times he had allegedly succeeded in making gold and silver. He certainly had no worries about people thinking he had been successful. In fact, you can see that he goes out of his way to try to convince his readers that he has been successful at this endeavor a whole bunch of times and by a whole bunch of different methods. Since Glauber himself was definitely not someone who would easily have been fooled, what I actually suspect is that under this facade is actually hiding a very bothersome "trap", by which the more gullible and inexperienced of his audience would be led into a labyrinth of processes that really led nowhere but failure. Becher also uses a similar tactic, but in some of his works he actually was a bit more honest than Glauber and warns his readers that most such "particular" processes won't work as described by their authors. He in fact called his humongous compendium of such processes the "Chymical Luck-Pot" ("Chymischer Glücks-Hafen"), in reference to the fact that it's basically a question of luck (like a lottery) to hit upon one that works and gives positive results. In other words, you basically have to sift through a ton of garbage to find something worthwhile.

Ghislain
04-26-2014, 12:04 PM
you basically have to sift through a ton of garbage to find something worthwhile.

Where there's muck there's money! :)

In my post "messing about with iron (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?3780-messing-about-with-iron.)" I came up with the same red solution and I'm guessing that it would be
a process that Glauber would use as the resulting crystals that were produced were sodium sulphate, also
known as Glauber's Salt.

Ghislain

crestind
04-26-2014, 05:11 PM
@JDP

Yes, there was a solution which I boiled down to near dryness, at which point a salt sublimated out.

Thanks, I will take a look at that text again.

That's a good point, and he does talk about it openly. Chemical pot luck... the word schadenfreude really comes to mind here.

crestind
03-12-2015, 06:08 AM
I've been trying to work a very similar technique as the one theFool mentioned. theFool's results are extremely interesting and seem to be positive for the "mercury". Sadly at the moment mine are not. I have been working the mercury extraction technique Glauber mentioned in 3PRINCIPLES.pdf. He mentions it almost offhandedly. What I'm not sure of is the timeline in which he wrote his texts. Was 3PRINCIPLES.pdf written after the method mentioned by theFool? I ask because it seems basically identical but modified to eliminate the possibility of HCl contamination of the final product.

With the original recipe theFool posted, Glauber specifies
- 1 pound common salt. This is approximately 7.761 moles of NaCl
- 0.5 pound oil of vitriol. This is approximately 2.31 moles of H2SO4
- An excess of iron?
So I think we can assume what Glauber was going for was complete conversion of the H2SO4 into HCl and Na2SO4 in water. When you add an excess of steel, most of it will dissolve. I don't think the sodium sulfate is important at all and it's purely incidental.
(All of the above are using modern American pounds and absolute purity is assumed.)

So the above process would indeed match up with the process for obtaining the "mercury" of any metal per Glauber's technique outlined in 3PRINCIPLES, where he claims that any metal cannot be unlocked more commodiously than by the spirits of salt (dissolve your metal in HCl to open it). Then Glauber says we have to "mortify" this solution with a "contrary salt" (seemingly means to neutralize the solution with a base like potassium carbonate or ammonium carbonate.) This would seemingly overcome the slight snag in the original process in this thread, where the mercury must be distilled at very low temperatures, since all the acid would be neutralized into the form of some chloride salt.

In 3PRINCIPLES Glauber states...

MERCURY is never to be extracted from hard Metals, before they be dissolved
and unlocked. Unlocked more commodiously they cannot be, than by the Corrosive
Spirits of Salt. Yet since all Corrosives are most inmical to MERCURY, they have
no Power of making either Living or Running MERCURY. Therefore, after Solution,
the Corrosives must be mortified by contrary Salts; such are, Salt of TARTAR,
Spirit of URINE, SAL ARMONIACK, & etc. This being done, the Corrosives changing
their Nature wax gentle, and in Distillation permit the MERCURY to ascend: Which
otherwise, without Mortification of the Corrosive, would not happen, as you will
learn by the following Processes.

When you dissolve iron in HCl there is indeed a very weird smell. It's kind of sulfurous, I'm not sure what exactly it is.

My questions now are...
- Is the sulfurous smell in fact the "mercury of iron"? Because as far as I know regular iron chloride has no smell...
- How concentrated was the residue produced from evaporating the water?
- What is the chemical composition of this mercury
-
"Few drops of this water were evaporated to dryiness without any color change observed, but when the temperature rised above 100 degrees, an orange-black residue appeared. It is insoluble in water but soluble in HCl acid. This is the sulfur of iron according to Glauber."
Do you mean it was evaporated on like a glass plate or something? Surely it left at least a white residue before it turned orange?

JDP
03-12-2015, 07:35 PM
When you dissolve iron in HCl there is indeed a very weird smell. It's kind of sulfurous, I'm not sure what exactly it is.

My questions now are...
- Is the sulfurous smell in fact the "mercury of iron"? Because as far as I know regular iron chloride has no smell...

Commercial irons/steels have varying amounts of things like sulfur and carbon. The hydrochloric acid in the process of dissolving the iron must be forming some volatile compounds, particularly with the sulfur, thus the weird smell.

crestind
03-12-2015, 09:11 PM
Any thoughts on the chemical theFool is getting in his distillate though? As far as I can tell there are no iron salts that can distill at such a low temperature.

theFool
03-13-2015, 09:31 AM
My questions now are...
- Is the sulfurous smell in fact the "mercury of iron"? Because as far as I know regular iron chloride has no smell...
- How concentrated was the residue produced from evaporating the water?
- What is the chemical composition of this mercury
-
Do you mean it was evaporated on like a glass plate or something? Surely it left at least a white residue before it turned orange?
About the smell, yes, it could be explained by some compound of sulfur contaminations but also, it may not .. I don't know. Also, if one uses steel, mention that it has chromium in it, so be careful with the residues.

In a bigger experiment I tried the distillate was evaporated and it gave a yellowish solution when concentrated, before complete dryiness. This "mercury" could be iron chloride or iron sulfate. Why those chemicals distill over at a very low temperature? They are suppossed to be solids. I don't know if there is something alchemical to this behaviour or not. Probably those salts "follow" the gaseous HCl produced by the distillation. I have observed this behaviour with other chloride salts too. I think it is only a chemical curiosity not described in chemistry books but not something alchemical.

I know this does not answer the questions posed, but I really don't know. I abandoned Glauber when I found out that iron ions can reduce a gold chloride solution, and so I lost interest about his "mercury" and its properties. It can be explained chemically.

Ghislain
03-13-2015, 12:31 PM
Where I work we turn train wheels on a giant lathe...they are turned while still on the train.

While the cut is being made smoke comes from the metal, this is not impurities on the wheel as the second cut does the same.

Also there is a smell, similar to the smell you get when high powered electrical equipment is being used...again this comes from the wheel not the lathe.

I wonder what we would get if these fumes were captured and condensed?

Ghislain

theFool
03-13-2015, 05:20 PM
While the cut is being made smoke comes from the metal, this is not impurities on the wheel as the second cut does the same.

[...]

I wonder what we would get if these fumes were captured and condensed?
My first guess would be that the smoke is iron oxide. Iron can burn in the atmosphere:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhhJZ55JPxo

It is very easy to burn some steel wool in a closed vessel and examine the fumes. What if some of them condense into a liquid ? .. hmm

theFool
03-13-2015, 08:53 PM
I've been trying to work a very similar technique as the one theFool mentioned. theFool's results are extremely interesting and seem to be positive for the "mercury". Sadly at the moment mine are not. I have been working the mercury extraction technique Glauber mentioned in 3PRINCIPLES.pdf...
Dear friend in alchemy,

I am trying to understand the method you have used by reading thoroughly your posts and why you seem to fail. I pinpoint one possible reason: that you used commercial HCL acid when you followed Glauber's process in the 3PRINCIPLES recipe.

Commercial acid is missing the "ormus" elements. I took the pain to follow the process of H2SO4 and sea salt mainly for the reason that I would avoid making natural HCl acid. The natural ingredients (allow me to call them "ormus") we need for alchemy to work, can be found in the sea salt. So, either make some natural HCl acid from sea salt, or follow the process I tried here generating your "live" acid in the flask. Good luck :)

Andro
03-13-2015, 09:14 PM
The natural ingredients (allow me to call them "ormus") we need for alchemy to work, can be found in the sea salt.

Call it 'Ormus' or not, this most essential 'root matter' is in all natural 'ores', to various degrees (not just in sea salt). But not in industrially processed matters.

This has already been researched and independently verified by various experimenters.

I suggest to consider that what Mr. Fool refers to as 'Ormus', when well cleaned & separated, may be an excellent foundation and candidate for higher level alchemical works.

crestind
03-13-2015, 09:37 PM
Thank you for the input all. I still have way too many bags of seasalt leftover and I will see if the natural stuff will produce some results.

theFool
03-15-2015, 09:52 PM
I made a small "recipe mix", inspired by crestind's input to the thread. In brief, I followed the process described at the beginning of the thread but instead of distilling, I tried to make an alcohol extract in closed a mason jar, following the process of "Quintessence of Metals" according to Glauber. Within some hours I noticed on the lid of my "yoghourt digestor" a transparent liquid which had condensed there. When I opened the lid the liquid started to disappear very quickly. I was quick enough to taste some drops, they were sweet and they were not alcohol. The liquid left a white thin residue behind which vanished also very quickly; the whole process took under a minute.

crestind
03-24-2015, 01:47 AM
https://books.google.com/books?id=caEwAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA57&ots=-6diidfj4Y&dq=chloride%20salts%20volatilization%20during%20di stillation&pg=PA52#v=onepage&q&f=false

Rhoend
04-17-2015, 07:58 PM
I made a small "recipe mix", inspired by crestind's input to the thread. In brief, I followed the process described at the beginning of the thread but instead of distilling, I tried to make an alcohol extract in closed a mason jar, following the process of "Quintessence of Metals" according to Glauber. Within some hours I noticed on the lid of my "yoghourt digestor" a transparent liquid which had condensed there. When I opened the lid the liquid started to disappear very quickly. I was quick enough to taste some drops, they were sweet and they were not alcohol. The liquid left a white thin residue behind which vanished also very quickly; the whole process took under a minute.

Very interesting process. Thanks for sharing.

theFool
04-17-2015, 08:08 PM
Very interesting process. Thanks for sharing. Yes. But at the end, the alcohol combined with the acid and it didn't produce a clear tincture.

crestind
08-30-2015, 04:24 AM
https://books.google.com/books?id=_Q0MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA280&dq=%22mercury+out+of+mars%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIrtXrjfvPxwIVlBOSCh1p0AAJ#v=on epage&q=%22mercury%20out%20of%20mars%22&f=false