View Full Version : Question about Table Salt

11-16-2017, 05:28 PM
So it turns out i can't purchase high grade pure ethanol, so i will have to work my way around and get it. Probably from vodka. So i thought about using NaCl to increase the density of water (and thus its boiling temprature) to assist in a clearer alcohol distillation but then i remembered table salt also contains impurities and additives such as KI etc. My point is, do i have to use pure NaCl to do that (which is not volatile so there is no issue about it being carried over into the distillate) or is table salt suitable for it? (which means the impurities must also be non volatile)
Has anyone tried it?

(If that doesn't work i guess i will have to use the wood ash trick)

Dragon's Tail
11-19-2017, 03:21 AM
There are "impurities" in everything, my friend. Depending on the work in question, you may be over thinking this. You can distill over the ethanol with reasonable purity without any additives, but I would say in general, don't worry about what's in the salt. You are talking about a tiny fraction of a % ( 0.01% KI or ~10ppm Iodine).

Secondly, no matter what anyone here tells you, you aren't going to get an absolute (in the truest sense) from a simple distillation. For that you need hygroscopic filters and a distillation train, or a REALLY elaborate setup. That's why store bought ethanol is never over 95%(190proof). It will literally eat water out of the air if you go any higher. True absolutes can be made with a drying agent, in which case you are swapping that 5% water for another impurity at a very low percentage in the final product. I've heard mention that really high quality distillation can get 98% without the traps, but I'm not sure how accurate that information is. The same is true for *pure* water, as it dissolves gasses to make simple acids. You can get it pretty pure, but you have to swap out one impurity for a better one that will have a lower concentration. Any chemist worth their salt will tell you this.

The other thing is that your tincture is an extract, and not necessarily a philosophical operation. That tiny water fraction is irrelevant, and to be honest, using pure ethanol, in my humble opinion, will get you nowhere closer to a true elixir of the vegetable kingdom, if that's what your after. (I mention this because so many people want that plant stone so badly).

My advice (and you totally don't have to take it): Put your energy into the operations and intent, and don't worry so much over fiddling chemical "impurities." The dirt you walk on everyday had "impurities" of uranium in it.

11-19-2017, 04:27 AM
I agree with everything thats just been said.

The effort you will go through to get that extra purity; simply isnt reauired for this type of work.

Always good to know how to distill high purity though. Wood ashes are more effective than salt. However; if its red stones your hunting, just get used to doing everything seven times over. Purity is important when you want the super meds. (And you wont get super meds with alcohol, but its a great place to start)

Dragon's Tail
11-19-2017, 04:52 AM
It's all a waste of time anyways. I'm more convinced every day that if you use the right water, the good stuff simply floats to the top and you can skim it off ;) The aussie has a point about doing everything seven times (though I'm not big on numbers, 3 works well if you do it right, but definitely don't OVER-cook the solvent)

11-19-2017, 05:03 AM
Table salt is the body of water.

What is its Sulfur? What is its Mercury?

Anyone else getting a hard on?