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elictrolisis will make aluminum powder? help please Answered

i have read about disolving zink or magnesium in acid and colecting it on a electrode as a salt threw elictrolisis. would this work with aluminum ? in new zealand it is hard to buy aluminium powder for thurmite so would like to make my own. i have already colected a usable amount of iron oxide from rusty steel using elictrolisis.

Discussions

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Padlock

9 years ago

Haha...What are you trying to make?

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KitemanPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

Since he complains about not being able to buy aluminium powder for thermite, I'd hazard a guess that he's trying to make thermite...

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PadlockKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Obviously, but what does he need the thermite for...? Trying to recreate the Hindenburg?

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KitemanPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

For some people, thermite is an end in itself.

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PadlockKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Haha. Do you know the elemental composition of thermite is? I googled it and I couldn't find anything.

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Glenn BurrowPadlock

Reply 7 years ago

I have done this reaction personally several times.

It is as follows:

(3) Fe O + (1) Al
3 4
note: the number in parenthesis is the ratio - 3 to 1.
(by mass, not volume)
Both in powdered form for the most complete reaction.

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KitemanPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

It's a mixture of aluminium powder and iron oxide (rust). I can't remember the ratios off-hand, but there are several thermite projects on this site.

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KitemanPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

Not a problem - some of those exotics look fun. I'll have to check the videos.

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PadlockKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Okay, just checking to make sure I'm right... It would be Fe6O9Al

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PadlockPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

Oh... You can't do html. I didn't know that. Let me re-write that... it's attached.

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KitemanPadlock

Reply 9 years ago

Use pairs of commas for subscript. Fe6O9 is made like this:
Fe,,6,,O,,9,,

Super script is pairs of up-arows (shift 6): E=mc2
E=mc^2^
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KitemanKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

If you're talking about the nature of thermite, the pre-ignition mixture is just that -a mixture of two substances (iron oxide plus aluminium metal). The products are aluminium oxide slag and molten iron metal.

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KryptoniteKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

I thought Iron oxide is Fe2O3?

Any way, I'm attempting thermite myself. I have succeeded in creating iron oxide through the system of electrolysis (which is a bit of fun in itself :D ) and for the aluminium powder I just ground an aluminium bar up. It took a long time, and in the end it was a waste, because I ruined my batch in attempting to ignite it.

Just realised how old this thread is. Meh.

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KitemanKryptonite

Reply 8 years ago

There are several different forms of iron oxide (wikipedia is your friend...)

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westfw

10 years ago

You can't make aluminum powder in any sort of aqueous environment. Without the protective oxide layer, the powder flakes will be instantly oxidized by the oxygen in the water.

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glassspider2142westfw

Reply 10 years ago

this the reisipe i got for aluminium powder i do have but cant get mg ribbon. but his conflicks with what your saying too, i think Application Materials: Gloves Large Glass container 1 or more Smaller glass containers Coffee filter Chemicals: H2O (Ice and liquid) NaCl HCl (Muriatic acid) Al (foil) Reducer (Mg Ribbon) Optional: NaOH K (pure solid) Process: Put on GLOVES! Place your smaller glass containers into the large one. Fill the smaller glass containers with HCl (fill about 2 inchs or so) Pour ice around the containers Add some water and NaCl to the ice to create a ice bath. Add Al foil to the HCl untill absorption stops, then remove excess. (H2 will be produced during this time, along with heat) Add Reducer (Mg Ribbon works superb, and allows one to collect powdered Mg if proper reduces are also present.) Pour solution into a coffee filter, and wash a few times with water (I do once with a NaOH, then water 3 times) I am not sure the mesh on this powder, because I've never screened it, but it is fine. It works well for thermite.

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westfwglassspider2142

Reply 10 years ago

Yeah, I believe that "recipe" to be bogus. There is a huge amount of bogus info on the net WRT pyrotechnics. For "useful" thermite, you actually want relatively coarse Aluminum, since you want a controlled burn yielding molten iron rather than a flashy combustion that throws sparks all over. The batch of commercial thermite I used to own had Al that looked like "saw chips", and you might have reasonable luck finding a machine shop that does work in Aluminum and asking for some of their "waste." (use a magnet to remove iron, screen to get relatively uniform particles.) Getting suitably coarse iron oxide is a more difficult problem. The coarse powder version will be harder to ignite...

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Glenn Burrowwestfw

Reply 7 years ago

The problem with using these metals in a non-powder form is that they will not react completely. It will also greatly slow the reaction, possibly to a point of not melting the Fe at a high enough temperature.

Also, the type of iron oxide necessary for an efficient thermite reaction is not rust. Rust is red and is Fe O .
2 3
You need Fe O , commonly called MAGNETITE. Which is easily bought and is cheap. 3 4
And the less oxidized the powdered aluminum is, the better.

Another note: magnesium is not necessary. All you need is the powdered aluminum and powdered magnetite.

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killerjackalopewestfw

Reply 10 years ago

The trick would be using a finer version for ignition which would be easy enough to light with say magnesium ribbon...

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glassspider2142westfw

Reply 10 years ago

thank you. you just made it very easy :) i thought it had to be very fine. my iron oxide is home made and very fine. will do instructabe if it works out good

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thoraxewestfw

Reply 10 years ago

i thought aluminium does not oxidize? But, on the other hand, it is a very active metal...

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westfwthoraxe

Reply 10 years ago

Aluminum oxidizes very easily, but the resulting film of aluminum oxide (sapphire!) prevents further interaction of the Aluminum and air, so the corrosion" stops. (there are similar treatments for iron, but ordinary rust isn't one of them.) You can do amazing things to Aluminum by somehow suppressing the formation of the oxide in a nice airtight layer, while still allowing the oxidation to occur...

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killerjackalopewestfw

Reply 10 years ago

I can't for the life of me remember the catalyst chemical that causes the oxidation to be unhindered...

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westfwkillerjackalope

Reply 10 years ago

One of them is mercury. The mercury forms an amalgam with the Aluminum, but allows the Al to be oxidized, and the oxide sloughs off of the liquid mercury, allowing still more Al to dissolve...

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killerjackalopewestfw

Reply 10 years ago

It was mercury, there are others I just plain don't know.

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maninamousesuit

10 years ago

from what i see you can only make aluminium oxide into aluminium by electrolysis. but from what i know you just need a fine aluminium powder and iron oxide..but you will need heat..Magnesium is what you will have difficulty getting

You could buy a magnesium fire starter from walmart for a few bucks, but you will have to develop some type of fuse (I'm going to try a mortar fuse with some matches on the end) to put in the shaved magnesium. You don't want to be near the thermite when it ignites because it can blind you, or burn you (obviously).

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hotash

8 years ago

The magesium is easy to come by. Just buy a box of old camera flash bulbs or cubes. The steel wool apperance is really fine magnesium and easily ignited by low voltage.

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Kiteman

10 years ago

Why not just grind up some aluminium? Spend some time working at an old soda can with a file or rasp?

Or, if you have access to an old blender, why not try chopping the soda can into chunks and then blending it until it's small enough for your needs?

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octavian234Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

or you could melt the aluminum into ingots and then make it easier to file.

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zachninmeoctavian234

Reply 9 years ago

Better yet, use soem thermite to melt the aluminum!
...oh wait

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Firebert010glassspider2142

Reply 10 years ago

Alternatively you could buy a coffee grinder cheap specifically for this task so you won't go around ruining good blenders. Aluminum foil works LOADS better in any grinding thing, just clump it into balls first.

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jtobakoKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Because he doesn't understand the recipe he has : ) I've heard that water and aluminum foil work in a blender...

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ycheesey

10 years ago

On the topic of thermite. is it OK to obtain the iron oxide with a chemical reaction between bleach and vinegar?

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NachoMahmaycheesey

Reply 10 years ago

. Since there is no Fe in bleach* or vinegar (CH3COOH), no.

  • bleach is a pretty generic term and includes lots of chemicals, but I've never seen a bleach with Fe in it. Maybe there is.
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KentsOkay

10 years ago

Go to roguesci.com they have tons of that sorta stuff

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jtobako

10 years ago

What you are thinking of will create aluminum oxide, which is an end product of thermite. Go back to your original source or better yet a chemistry teacher and re-read the instructions. Yes, I am intensionally obfuscating, but for safety reasons : )

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glassspider2142jtobako

Reply 10 years ago

who are you the safety police? ill be shore to contack you if there eny danger at all of my finger going threw the paper.

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jtobakoglassspider2142

Reply 10 years ago

Yet another reason to assume that you can't be trusted with a "thurmite" recipe...

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maninamousesuit

10 years ago

there is an instructible on it somewhere