Patrons of the Sacred Art

Can't log in? Contact Us

OPEN TO REGISTER: Click HERE if you want to join Alchemy Forums!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Deliquescent Salt changing to non-deliquescent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    47

    Deliquescent Salt changing to non-deliquescent

    Night after night, I had placed my salt out to collect the dew, always draining off the oil in the morning.

    After I had about 1/2 liter of oil, not knowing what to do with the now mushy salt mixture, I left it on a shelf.

    After about a month, I started to see the salt climb the walls.

    2 months later, the salt had reached the top lip of the pyrex dish.

    At this point, I checked on it daily, just because it seemed there was action afoot.

    One day, I found a puddle on the shelf below the pyrex - and in that puddle was a single nearly perfect crystal.

    Taking this crystal out of the puddle and drying it, I placed it in a flask, and it is now starting to effloresce.

    Interested in seeing what other changes can occur, I have devised a pelican style setup, from which the salt can climb out and then drop back into that which it climbed out of to see if that which climbs out will change over time.

    From a bit of thinking about it, what I have come up with is that the pressure inside the matrix of the original salt was lower then the vapor pressure - hence it took on water. This makes sense, as in the preparation of it I cooked off all the water. Placing it outside, it takes on humidity.

    Afterwards, out of that water, was born something that had a higher internal pressure than not just the moisture in the air, but the very liquid it was swimming it. So it climbs out. Then it dries off, and even now, it seeks to dry itself even further. Maybe as the molecular lattice is formed, it traps water, and as the lattice contracts, it seeks to expel that water. Even after it has expelled enough water to form a nice crystal, it keeps contracting, forcing more water out and turn white powdery. One way or another, there is some action that drives moisture out - maybe a heat, but it's a slow growing process. Certainly I had not seen this had I not waited many months for it to develop.

    To taste, the second salt has much more of a bite than the first. It does not dissolve in water either, so I have not gotten around to comparing pH. I have yet to see what it dissolves in and will test in alcohol.

    I am interested in researching more about this - and if people have such experiences, or can suggest texts to look into that talk about these kind of things.


    For what it's worth, knowing what the cation of my initial salt was, no other salts I have come across in my research fit what the new salt is. Ideally it should be a simple thing to figure out, but in practice it doesn't line up. As if there is something else in the air that is an anion or something similar that just is not chemically defined in the scientific literature. It may not even be the "cation" based salt anymore either - but I will do some flame tests just to see.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Lux Natura View Post
    Night after night, I had placed my salt out to collect the dew, always draining off the oil in the morning.

    After I had about 1/2 liter of oil, not knowing what to do with the now mushy salt mixture, I left it on a shelf.

    After about a month, I started to see the salt climb the walls.

    2 months later, the salt had reached the top lip of the pyrex dish.

    At this point, I checked on it daily, just because it seemed there was action afoot.

    One day, I found a puddle on the shelf below the pyrex - and in that puddle was a single nearly perfect crystal.

    Taking this crystal out of the puddle and drying it, I placed it in a flask, and it is now starting to effloresce.

    Interested in seeing what other changes can occur, I have devised a pelican style setup, from which the salt can climb out and then drop back into that which it climbed out of to see if that which climbs out will change over time.

    From a bit of thinking about it, what I have come up with is that the pressure inside the matrix of the original salt was lower then the vapor pressure - hence it took on water. This makes sense, as in the preparation of it I cooked off all the water. Placing it outside, it takes on humidity.

    Afterwards, out of that water, was born something that had a higher internal pressure than not just the moisture in the air, but the very liquid it was swimming it. So it climbs out. Then it dries off, and even now, it seeks to dry itself even further. Maybe as the molecular lattice is formed, it traps water, and as the lattice contracts, it seeks to expel that water. Even after it has expelled enough water to form a nice crystal, it keeps contracting, forcing more water out and turn white powdery. One way or another, there is some action that drives moisture out - maybe a heat, but it's a slow growing process. Certainly I had not seen this had I not waited many months for it to develop.

    To taste, the second salt has much more of a bite than the first. It does not dissolve in water either, so I have not gotten around to comparing pH. I have yet to see what it dissolves in and will test in alcohol.

    I am interested in researching more about this - and if people have such experiences, or can suggest texts to look into that talk about these kind of things.


    For what it's worth, knowing what the cation of my initial salt was, no other salts I have come across in my research fit what the new salt is. Ideally it should be a simple thing to figure out, but in practice it doesn't line up. As if there is something else in the air that is an anion or something similar that just is not chemically defined in the scientific literature. It may not even be the "cation" based salt anymore either - but I will do some flame tests just to see.
    Your "salt" might just be absorbing some gas from the atmosphere and changing its properties and composition. For example, potassium carbonate gradually absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and becomes potassium bicarbonate, which is non-deliquescent. The absorption of carbon dioxide (even though the composition of this gas was not quite understood at the time) by several substances was the subject of the classic chemical researches of Joseph Black, in his "Experiments upon Magnesia Alba, Quick-Lime, and some other Alkaline Substances":

    https://archive.org/details/experimentsuponm00blac

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Your "salt" might just be absorbing some gas from the atmosphere and changing its properties and composition.
    Yes, that is what I am thinking as well, although I'm not able to find what it can be changing into using either what I know should be contained in the atmosphere, and the crystal lattices / angles. It may be possible that there are hydrate forms of salts that are just not listed online due to them having little industrial / chemical / economic usage and having a low decomposition point. A resource such as something that list the crystal types of all compounds that have XYZ elements in their structure would aid greatly to narrow down what, if anything, is being captured, but I don't think such a resource exists online.

    I'm thinking that this process, of the salt changing by capturing and giving off, can be continued, although at times something may have to be done in order to allow the salt to undergo this change, whether it's dehydrating it, heating it so that some weak bonds can break down, etc.

    Thanks for the link - I will add it to the weekend reading list!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    In-Between
    Posts
    7,515
    Blog Entries
    3
    Lux ~

    This new salt:

    Does it mix with oils, like essential oils?

    Does it now dissolve in alcohol?

    Does it now dissolve in non-polar solvents as well, such as Di-ethyl ether?

    Have you checked its sublimation temperature?

    I have friends here who have made similar experiments and who sent me images which coincide with what you are describing, but I never did this one myself. The salt 'climbing' is interesting...
    Slàinte Mhath, Mo Leannan Ḅidheach!|

  5. #5
    I am reminded of St Dider, although this is only my impression from what you have shared.


    They will see in the practice of the work 2 parabolic rivulets, who confounding [or mixing] themselves together, give Birth to the triangular stone

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    Lux ~

    This new salt:

    Does it mix with oils, like essential oils?

    Does it now dissolve in alcohol?

    Does it now dissolve in non-polar solvents as well, such as Di-ethyl ether?

    Have you checked its sublimation temperature?

    I have friends here who have made similar experiments and who sent me images which coincide with what you are describing, but I never did this one myself. The salt 'climbing' is interesting...
    Does not mix with oil.

    Does not mix with water.

    Dissolves in my own homemade alcohol (85%), and when it dries, all the water is thrown out around the salt in a ring in small droplets.

    Dissolves in non polar very easily.

    I don't have the setup to test for sublimation, but a standard lighter flame (around 900C from online sources) does not sublimate it.

    Makes me wonder... where is the salt climbing to? It can climb up, then down. Seem to just want to spread out actually. I wonder, given a large enough surface area, how long until it stops climbing away, and at that point what kind of changes will it undergo? I still think the climbing is related to it escaping from moisture.

  7. #7
    Hmm based on the above it seems as if it is not the salt I thought it was but interesting nonetheless (At least based on my understanding of the matter which is admittedly limited). Care to share a picture?
    Last edited by Philosophical; 09-17-2016 at 01:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Lux Natura View Post
    I don't have the setup to test for sublimation, but a standard lighter flame (around 900C from online sources) does not sublimate it.
    How about just improvising one? All you need is a small sample of the salt (say, a couple of grams) and then put it inside a large test tube, like say this one:

    https://www.indigo.com/glassware/tes...l#.V916QE0rK1s

    Hold it with test tube tongs, like this:



    Then just get a Bunsen burner (which I suppose you already have) or a propane torch and gradually heat the bottom while holding the test tube at an angle, like this (you might want to use a yellow flame first, then gradually move on to a blue flame by regulating the air-gas mix):



    Since test tubes are cheap, you can afford to sacrifice them, so don't be afraid to make the bottom of the test tube red hot, to the point where the glass starts to deform from the intense heat. If there is any sublimable substance in your "salt" it should volatilize and partly condense on the upper parts of the test tube that are furthest away from the heated bottom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by Philosophical View Post
    Hmm based on the above it seems as if it is not the salt I thought it was but interesting nonetheless (At least based on my understanding of the matter which is admittedly limited). Care to share a picture?
    Attaching pictures, but they are not showing up it seems?

    That the crystal that originally crawled out of the soup. About 5mm by 10mm (1/4 inch x 1/2 inch). Flat top and bottom, with 60 and 120 degree angles. The corner i chipped off handing it and tasting it. You can see the stuff that is drying out from it (the white stuff bottom left, there is some more but the camera does not capture it). Under the microscope it is tiny needles or hairs for the stuff drying out. Might be a nitrated form due to the needles, but the taste is wrong for the nitrate. Tastes much more like the hydroxide version, but it's not a hydroxide either.

    This is the stuff in the pyrex crawling out. I've set up so what crawl out of the top one is thrown back into the bottom one. These sat there for at least 2 months before the salt climbed far enough to get to the lip. This salt tastes actually pleasant and nothing like the crystal that crawled out of it initially. Might be a bicarbonate, but it tastes a bit sweet and round and muted actually. That wet spot on the wood to the bottom right is where the puddle first jumped to, and then went around the wood and dripped down on a container below that shelf, and in that is where the first crystal grew, but that all happened overnight.

    Nitrate form and bicarbonate form makes sense, just based on what is in the atmosphere / contained in dew, but not according to checking out what those forms are supposed to look like and how they ought to behave and taste.

    I still have all the oil saved, and im going to use that now, to further create another combination. Somehow the idea of only using what the salt captured and allow it to cycle some more makes sense to me. Maybe it can go into the oil, and something new will crawl out!

    The dark color is actually from an accident I think. For the first 30 cycles it kept pure, but then somehow it turned dark. I think maybe some dirt got thrown into it? I cleaned it the best I could at the time, but it's still there.
    Last edited by Lux Natura; 09-17-2016 at 07:57 PM. Reason: trying to get pictures to work.. again pt2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    47
    JDP -

    At some point around where the glass is maybe halfway to melting, lots of white smoke comes out - it shoots out of the test tube.

    At the point where the glass is red hot and deforming, the salt has thrown off everything it can, and is brilliant white powder. On the inside walls of the vessel are two things: a clear liquid that looks exactly like water (but is obviously not, as the temperature is above 1000c), and a red oil. If I tip the test tube back up after removing the flame, the liquid runs down and you can hear the hiss as it meets the salt, but the oil sticks to the side.

    After it has cooled, the water again leaves the salt and sits on the side of the test tube. The red oil turns to an orange waxy looking thing and it spreads out on the inner walls. The wax is very easy to remove.

+ Reply to Thread

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts