Dissolve Glass With Drain Cleaner

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Introduction: Dissolve Glass With Drain Cleaner

Using sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner) we dissolve glass.

Glass is nearly invulnerable to chemicals and thus why it's the preferred material for chemical containers and reaction vessels. But when exposed to molten sodium hydroxide even glass will dissolve.

To perform the reaction a steel container is used as it's resistant to the sodium hydroxide.

For more information as well as the reaction equation check out the webpage at: http://sites.google.com/site/nurdrage/chemistry-experiments/dissolve-glass-with-drain-cleaner

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    15 Comments

    that is what th' hobby foundry folk do to get sodium silicate ( AKA waterglass)

    the video does not play. anyone else having the same problem?

    I'd be interested to have a go at bonding glass with 'hydroxide - have you ever done this (deliberately)? L

    i suppose it's possible. but the bond would be extremely weak. maybe fill the gap with silicic acid and then heat it to turn it into silicon dioxide.

    Yes I was thinking something like that could happen in situ - it certainly works on glass stoppers in glass bottles.

    L

    Not a strong bond though. A quick, practised hit with a spatula soon dislodges the stopper from the bottle. Not so good with the old burettes : they crack easily and it is only the very experienced that can dislodge a valve from a burette with a spatula whack! BTW. should you want to store NaOH in a bottle with a ground glass stopper, just put a piece of Scotch Tape on the stopper. It sure helps.

    I've known well-stuck stoppers, don't think that physical-blows weren't tried...

    L

    That's a very interesting idea. I have some glass art projects in the pipe which would benefit from a bonding approach that's not heat-fusing or epoxy based. I may have to look into the Silicic Acid thing. Thanks! 

    whats that black stuff at the bottom, is that the steel being eaten?