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Thread: Halchymia

  1. #1
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    Halchymia

    A certain path involves salt.

    Quite some threads here deal with possibilities to "open" common salt.

    Finally many works orbit around the phrase "making the fix volatile and the volatile fix".

    How can this work? Modern chemistry tells us common salt can't be distilled as it's melting and boiling point is much too high.

    Alexander von Bernus, who some think was an adept, founded a company in the early 20th century and his products were advertised with "contains volatile salt". A competitor sued and won, and from a science viewpoint Bernus could not say anything against that, because he knew that neither NaCl nor KCl can be made volatile unless very extraordinary conditions are applied.

    However it is possible when one considers this:

    1. Alchemists did not know chemical formulas.

    2. The principles of the Golden Chain of Homer.

    And it works with almost ANY salt.

    And because I for a change today am in the mood to speak in riddles too, I only give one more hint:

    3. a mediator is necessary. There are quite a few. But some work better than others.

    Regards,
    HAL (IBM)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    A certain path involves salt.

    Quite some threads here deal with possibilities to "open" common salt.

    Finally many works orbit around the phrase "making the fix volatile and the volatile fix".

    How can this work? Modern chemistry tells us common salt can't be distilled as it's melting and boiling point is much too high.

    Alexander von Bernus, who some think was an adept, founded a company in the early 20th century and his products were advertised with "contains volatile salt". A competitor sued and won, and from a science viewpoint Bernus could not say anything against that, because he knew that neither NaCl nor KCl can be made volatile unless very extraordinary conditions are applied.

    However it is possible when one considers this:

    1. Alchemists did not know chemical formulas.

    2. The principles of the Golden Chain of Homer.

    And it works with almost ANY salt.

    And because I for a change today am in the mood to speak in riddles too, I only give one more hint:

    3. a mediator is necessary. There are quite a few. But some work better than others.

    Regards,
    HAL (IBM)
    You can't distill salts, from a modern chemical point of view, but you certainly can sublime them. It's just a question of getting them hot enough to volatilize them and then cool enough to condense back into a solid.

    You don't really need to know about chemical formulas to realize this, BTW. Alchemists & chymists knew very well that some salts were perfectly capable of being volatilized on their own, nothing added to them.

    Also, it is not 100% true that alchemists "didn't know about formulas". They certainly had notions of material composition. And I don't just mean of the speculative/theoretical kind (ex: mixtures and proportions of the supposed "4 elements"), but ones also based on actual empirical observation and evidence. John Dastin, for example, in his "Mirror of Philosophy", while criticizing the claim of some medieval "multipliers" that if you heat mixtures of cinnabar with silver filings you get an increase of the weight of the silver employed, clearly explains that cinnabar is a composite of sulphur & mercury, and that the sulphur of the cinnabar joins with the silver and blackens it, while the mercury flies away. This comes very close to formulas, the only thing missing are the actual proportions of the composing substances. He also says that instead of the silver gaining some weight at the end of the process, after you reduce the thus "calcined" silver back to metallic silver you in fact end up losing some of it. This also illustrates that quantitative measurements, both before and after reactions, were in fact quite alive and well among the alchemists.

    When alchemists and chymists talk about "volatilizing salts" they are usually talking about operations with a suitable "menstruum" that can alter "fixed" salts and produce volatile substances that will go over into the condensing part of the apparatus, either together with said "menstruum" or separate from it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    You can't distill salts, from a modern chemical point of view, but you certainly can sublime them. It's just a question of getting them hot enough to volatilize them and then cool enough to condense back into a solid.

    You don't really need to know about chemical formulas to realize this, BTW. Alchemists & chymists knew very well that some salts were perfectly capable of being volatilized on their own, nothing added to them.
    Yes, one reason why sal ammoniac is mentioned so often. Be it as a deckname or not.


    Also, it is not 100% true that alchemists "didn't know about formulas". They certainly had notions of material composition. And I don't just mean of the speculative/theoretical kind (ex: mixtures and proportions of the supposed "4 elements"), but ones also based on actual empirical observation and evidence. John Dastin, for example, in his "Mirror of Philosophy", while criticizing the claim of some medieval "multipliers" that if you heat mixtures of cinnabar with silver filings you get an increase of the weight of the silver employed, clearly explains that cinnabar is a composite of sulphur & mercury, and that the sulphur of the cinnabar joins with the silver and blackens it, while the mercury flies away. This comes very close to formulas, the only thing missing are the actual proportions of the composing substances. He also says that instead of the silver gaining some weight at the end of the process, after you reduce the thus "calcined" silver back to metallic silver you in fact end up losing some of it. This also illustrates that quantitative measurements, both before and after reactions, were in fact quite alive and well among the alchemists.
    Sure! There certainly wasn't "the typical alchemical knowledge of -for example- the medieval times". The alchemist or chymist next door could have quite different insights than his neighbour. It would have differed more, the bigger the geographical distance was.
    Example: Basil Valentine. He gives recipies to "heighten" acids in distilling them with stuff like sal ammoniac. The product is often called by the name of the initial acid. For example Acetic acid treated this way was afterwards called "highly rectified acetic acid" or somehow like that. So though after this treatment new components come into play as actual ingredients, those were either not always seen, or their role wasn't seen as a component, but rather a kind of medium or mediator to "heighten" or like in this case rather "lower" or "diminish" other stuff.

    The same counts for the sulfur of Antimony/Iron confusion we talked about in my other thread. Almost unbelievable someone like B.V. shouldn't have noticed, but instead stubbornly labelled the stuff "Sulphur of Antimony". Yet he had and others too.
    Last edited by Florius Frammel; 10-04-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #4
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    BTW, it should be clarified that some salts can indeed be distilled: the "butters" of antimony, arsenic and tin are in fact semi-solid/liquid salts, perfectly capable of being distilled. They were in fact discovered by alchemists & chymists heating mixtures of those metalloids/metals or their sulfides with mercuric chloride (another example of a volatile salt) inside retorts and condensing the formed volatile "butters" in the attached receivers.

  5. #5
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    For example this and this threads deal with the practical application of the above mentioned principles.

    For a quick and easy experiment, you can use bought potash (potassium carbonate) and carefully add small portions of bought vinegar (I recommend ~20% acetic acid) until it stops fizzing. Then put it outside in a place that gets warm over day or carefully heat it (outside - acetic acid stinks) to get rid of the liquid, and expose it to the night's air humidity and let it get heaten up from the sun again and observe what happens.
    Last edited by Florius Frammel; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    I just wanted to ask; has anybody here actually made the Volatized Salts of Tartar and actually eatten some to decide whether the healing effects are accurate or not?

    I know a lot of people in this forum have made them and im sure they have tried them out on themselves but I can't anywhere find a modern testimony of their effects.

    Elixir-Mixer is once again working in the lab and this is my first point of call.

    Step 1: Wait for pelican to FINALLY arrive along with some store bought potassium carbonate and turpentine oil.

    (in the past i believe my failures have been because of not having my carbonate pure enough so i thought i would avoid repeated issues and just buy the stuff clean.)

    Step 2: Place 40grams of potassium cabonate into the flask, heat to 50degsC.

    Step 3: Slowly add 100mls of turpentine, and allow this to gentle raise up to 50degsC.

    Step 4: When the entire vessel is nice and warm, throw in essential oil of choice, based on medicinal effects, in this case we may use a blend of whats around such as eucalyptus, tea tree, sage and orange peel.

    Step 5: As soon as the EO has been added, the pelican is sealed and the temperature is dropped down to 37degsC. The reason that the apparatus is heated and then cooled a little is to minimise the chance of pressure build up inside the flask. Pelicans are expensive. I would love to hear peoples opinions/solutions to the pressure build up problem while circulating.

    This shall be left in the dark to do its thing slowly; for as long as it takes. (Could be a month, could be 3).

    Its been said that these salts are somewhat like soap for the blood, and being an ex-cigarette smoker, I could do with some bloody good soap.
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixirmixer View Post
    ...some store bought potassium carbonate
    EM, since we don't generally know the quality of store bought PotCarb, it might be helpful to saturate distilled water with PotCarb, run the saturated solution through a filter and boil/cook the saturated solution back to dry PotCarb. This should help remove most (all?) impurities from the PotCarb. Use a stainless steel pot to cook the saturated solution since PotCarb is quite reactive. If I remember right, you also have a kiln so you could use that as well to dry out your PotCarb saturated solution but I haven't tried this myself so don't know if using a kiln would work but theoretically sounds possible.

    If you are fairly certain that your PotCarb is pure, you don't have to do anything stated above.

    Looking forward to your results.

    Aham

  8. #8
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    The reason Im buying it is because it comes from the chem companies and has a messured purity of over 99%; unlike anything ive made in the past, which will always retain some carbonate impurities aka magnesium and calcium carbonates.

    What I will do though, is allow it to delinquence in dew in order to 're-vivify' it.

    The Super-Soaker Ultimate Edition is still some months away other wise id hit it with some SM.

    I'm pretty confident this time Aham. And results will be posted.
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  9. #9
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    Looking forward to your report(s) EM.
    Watch out when heating closed vessels with liquid substances in it too strong!

    Your approach is somehow resembling the interpretation of Urbigerus' Circulatum Minus as interpreted by Manfred Junius.

    The quick and easy experiment about I wrote above was only meant to give a first indication towards where the journey can lead to. I recommend reading Salazius' posts in the link I gave above and/or these posts http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showt...-Virgina-Terra
    Last edited by Florius Frammel; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:46 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ive thoroughly studied Salazius's collection. My work is based on Starkey's research.

    The best Vol Tartar is done with SM. However this is the next best thing (and easiest, aswell as turpentine having its own dish of healing properties).

    Seems this place has died down a bit since i stopped blogging. Perhaps Ive gotta step it up
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

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