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Thread: Distilling Common Salts

  1. #1
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    Distilling Common Salts

    As an introduction, I noticed a while back while recrystallizing plant salts that if the temperature was high enough to bring vapor, that something was being carried with it. It I put a cool spoon over the vapors, the collected dew would leave a residue on drying. It got on the sides of the glass as well. I've been wanting to verify the result for a bit, and finally made a slot for it.

    The first experiment used a saturated solution of mined Himalayan salt. I was expecting it to produce distilled water when the vapors condensed, but something else came over the still head.

    The setup is a simple distillation. Boil up the saline solution, catch the vapors. Then dry to distillate very slowly to keep it from fuming (which took days). Ending with a dusty white residue:



    A few drops of distilled water was added after drying, and the powder dissolved instantly into a yellow liquid. I don't have a picture, think urine. That's pretty much what it looked like, no discernible smell. The pH tested between 9 and 10 with paper strips. I checked again for reasons I'll get to in a sec, but still got a solid 9 pH, so this appears to be alkaline in nature.

    The first pH test was done by dripping a small puddle onto a plate (which had some fine dust from a previous experiment stuck to it). That puddle soaked up whatever was on the ceramic, and started immediately precipitating white square crystals. I tasted these today and they're pretty sharp, the residue was from some filtration of plant salts and probably consisted of KCO3, CaCO3, and other plant salt leftovers, but I'm not 100% sure. I pushed the crystals to the side and more formed. The formation seemed to be catalysed by the fluid, but the jury is out on that till I get enough to test via other means.

    Here are the crystals before and after the solution dried overnight (after I pushed the original batch into one corner of the puddle though), you can see there is another residue, which was, I believe, left by the yellow solution itself:





    That dime in the second pic was an attempt to see if the solution would dissolve coin silver. Looks like it just dried on the surface. Same thing happened with copper (though I thought I saw a hint of blue in the droplet, inconclusive but I didn't have enough to just soak the whole coin in solution)

    Something kind of neat happened when I rehydrated the leftovers of the crystal puddle and then put the water on a copper penny (pre 1986)



    Sorry for the poor quality. I really need to use my good camera but the phone is so darn convenient. This is a puddle of naked solution next to the dried remains of "rehydraded crystal puddle." I inspected the crystal crater closely today. The metal underneath is really shiny, and the crystals have taken a blue-green tinge. So the mixture of solution with unknown alkali will attack copper. Might try it on the silver tonight as well, just for the funz. By itself not too exciting, but I plan on using this solution for plant experiments for now, so these metals are just testing some of the properties.

    I added the remaining solution to two tiny jars. One had some frankincense crushed, and the other alkali plant salts (that mixture I'll try on the silver dime tonight). Nothing too special. The plant salt dissolved with no noticeable precipitate, though it's a little cloudy. The bottles were put on BM temps overnight and opened this morning, at which time the frankincense mixture spontaneously made fizzies. So it's digesting the resin in some way or another.

    I was going to use plant salts for the second iteration, but after the pink salt being so interesting, I'm currently bubbling some NaCl at a higher temp with some broken glass for boiling chips and catching the vapors. There may or may not be an invisible trace of blood on one of them ... Glass is sharp.

    I think EM is doing his own experiments with pink salt, and if anyone wants to repeat the process or try other salts with us, feel free to post results. I'll put the metaphysical theory in another post on this thread, cause this is getting long.

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    Theories sorted by viewpoint

    Chymical/Chemical Curiosity

    Metallic ions in the liquid may be appearing in the vapor and reacting with the air to capture CO2 or some other gas. I don't think N2 is being captured due to the low reactivity, but the fixt "salt" after drying has no discernible taste/smell. It did however leave a burnt spot on my tongue, so I don't recommend the taste test with the dried salt. Whatever is being dissolved out of the air is going over the still head.


    Inspired by The Golden Chain of Homer

    We have four types of matter, earth, water, air, fire, from most fixt to most subtle. Those closest on the list mix easiest. IE, it's easy to volatize water, and easy to fix it with earth, but difficult to fix fire with earth etc.

    I think that the mixing of (salt)earth and water is adding a "fixing" property to the water. When volatized, this grosser water, becoming air (which will fix more easily with the fire element) carries the capacity to fix the fire.
    In other words, this is a gross combination of the four elements. The heaviest portions of fire will fix with any gross air, even the grossest volatization can capture some, and added to the fixing quality inspired within said air by first combining it's source with earth (salt + water) "trains" it to fix that which it touches, thus improving the ability of the vapor to fix fire.
    (this all sounded better in my head)
    So, essentially, this, IMO, may be an initial gross coagulation that can be made better and more elevated by repeated solv et coagula to further spiritualize and multiply the essence. This is yet to be tested.


    As a solvent.
    I'm hoping that this special golden water will prove itself as a solvent (not necessarily THE solvent) in future experiments with plant matter and some metals. I didn't even think about this until I saw those wonderful crystals appear from dust. If I'm correct, then then fluid can be resolved with various materia to evolve it into a purer form to crystallize the materia, and then be distilled off to be used again. Just theory at this point, I need more fluid.

    I also think there is promise in this, especially when mixed with an alkali salt. Now I'll go off on my tangent, so this is all hopes and dreams for the rest of the post, not backed up by anything but feelings.

    I think this makes sense as a way to fix the fire by conventional means. The vapors drying off this salt will corrode aluminum foil, so drying it no matter how cold it is done will give up some of the fire, the more volatile fractions, but I believe some is kept in the solution and can be multiplied. I also think that there may be a lot more to "dew" than we think, as it is formed in nature by a very similar process. So if someone wants to slow-evaporate some natural dew, I'd be interested to see if you get a salt from it as well, and how it compares.

    You must dry the water to completeness to get the salt, and when added to a tiny amount of dew or distilled water, it should render a golden fluid. It this happens, I would be most interested in hearing how you collected the dew. Okay that's it. Hack it to death, or whatever, but I'm very fond of this fluid, and it's creation is also in sync with successes in other aspects of my larger lab of life, so something is telling me that this is something special that I've captured.

  3. #3
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    I'm happy with my NaCl results, and I was able to repeat the experimenting, extracting a bit of wonderful stuff from the air. This experiment has led me to realizations about "fixing the air" that I would not have otherwise had, and in fact it's such a simple and subtle thing that I believe my conclusions are something the artist must find on their own. Much to my happiness, plant salts fit directly into my current theory, and the project will move in that direction promptly, once I put to rest a couple of other projects I'm working on.

    This is probably not the best magnet in the world, but for my plant work it should do just nicely Have fun, be safe, and don't forget the salts, specially the ones that spagyrics people like to throw away

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    So this happened:



    The story. I've started using water to make a bath for heating the final stages of separating tarry matter from my spagyric concoction. I was using a pot with ordinary NaCl in it, and I didn't feel like wasting the salt, so I poured water over it. There's also some impurities from little spills over time, mostly plant extract The first time I did this, nothing really weird happened. The salt caked up on stuff, but I kind of expected that...but this.

    I don't know if this is normal, I can't find anything about NaCl doing this with Google searches so far. The salt has formed a skin. It's also creeping up the wall of the flask, but that's not all too uncommon. The temp is well below the boiling point. Not sure exactly cause the thermometer is in the distillation head, but this is quite interesting to me that such a skin could form. It's not floating. I touched a bit and it crumbled and descended back into the water. It looks more clear than NaCl. There is Al foil over the pot, so maybe some kind of reaction dripping back into the pot? I've read that steam can react with normal foil, and seen the burning effect as noted earlier in this thread. Worth scraping out these crystals and keeping?

  5. #5
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    I spoke too soon (as usual). Skimming the crystals revealed a significant percentage of them that were floating. I will probably investigate this more. If I can repeat it on an open pot sans other experiment, I might be able to capture a bunch of them. They have a sharp taste, more like sea salt. Some of them are drying in a dish. They look puffy and brilliant whiteness.

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