PDA

View Full Version : Salt and glass stoppers/joints



zoas23
12-14-2015, 11:58 PM
Hi everyone,
I was reading this page that is linked from this forum, the "alchemical survival guide":
http://www.3rd1000.com/alchemy/alch_safety.htm

And I saw something that shocked me, because it seems to be a mistake I am making ALL the time:


While on ground glass stoppers never put potassium or sodium hydroxide solutions in bottles having those. It doesn't take long for the stopper to fuse with the bottle neck, it may never open again! Under normal circumstances ground glass stoppers jammed in a bottle may be eased by GENTLY tapping the stopper. Belt it and you'll break the neck.

I often purify the spiritus vini by distillating the mix of alcohol and water adding some "salt" or potassium carbonate in the mix... and a flask connected to a Vigreaux with a glass joint.

Am I doing it wrong????

Same thing goes for any procedure (of "plant alchemy" / Spagyrics / etc) involving a soxhlet and "salt" (potassium carbonate).... can these procedures destroy (or fuse) the soxhlet?
Is it better to avoid using potassium carbonate because it may potentially fuse the distillation column?

Dendritic Xylem
12-15-2015, 03:01 AM
The warning was for hydroxides, not carbonates.

zoas23
12-15-2015, 03:19 AM
The warning was for hydroxides, not carbonates.

Thanks a lot for the clarification!!!!!!!
I was confused and wandering why such thing never happened to me whilst working with Potassium Carbonate.

Having English as a second language made me get confused, but now I get it... "never put potassium or sodium hydroxide" meant "never put potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide..."

Interesting how reading something in a foreign language can lead to a mistake like this one!

EDit: my understanding was: "never put anything that contains any form of potassium, neither put sodium hydroxide".

Brian
12-15-2015, 05:43 AM
So, I'm a total newb at using glass equipment for practical alchemy, but I thought I'd share since I was just reading something about this yesterday. Someone, please let me know if I am wrong because I'm just reiterating what I found yesterday. The instructions on this page (http://www.heartmagic.com/eoinstructions.html) suggest using joint grease to prevent this from happening. Will the use of the joint grease prevent this freezing from happening when using potassium or sodium hydroxide? My assumption from that link is that it will since it describes the exact situation we are trying to avoid.

JDP
12-15-2015, 08:14 AM
Thanks a lot for the clarification!!!!!!!
I was confused and wandering why such thing never happened to me whilst working with Potassium Carbonate.

Having English as a second language made me get confused, but now I get it... "never put potassium or sodium hydroxide" meant "never put potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide..."

Interesting how reading something in a foreign language can lead to a mistake like this one!

EDit: my understanding was: "never put anything that contains any form of potassium, neither put sodium hydroxide".

Alkaline hydroxides are much more reactive than carbonates. The alkaline carbonates will not attack glass at room temperature, the hydroxides can.

JDP
12-15-2015, 08:16 AM
So, I'm a total newb at using glass equipment for practical alchemy, but I thought I'd share since I was just reading something about this yesterday. Someone, please let me know if I am wrong because I'm just reiterating what I found yesterday. The instructions on this page (http://www.heartmagic.com/eoinstructions.html) suggest using joint grease to prevent this from happening. Will the use of the joint grease prevent this freezing from happening when using potassium or sodium hydroxide? My assumption from that link is that it will since it describes the exact situation we are trying to avoid.

Yes, using lab joint grease will form a layer between the joints that will prevent other materials from getting through and potentially causing seizure of the glass joints.