Friday, 30 September 2011

Sodium Bicarbonate - 99.44 % - NaHCO3 - 200 g




Chemical formula: NaHCO3

Synonyms: sodium hydrogencarbonate, baking soda, bicar.

Amount: 200 g

Appearance and odour: white micro-crystalline powder, without appreciable odour

Grade: 99.44 % pure.

Packaging: professional wide necked, white HDPE bottle with blue conical seal cap and tamper ring. Labeled. Bottle and cap are UN approved and reusable.

Description and uses: sodium bicarbonate is the main constituent of baking soda but at this purity this isn't any old sodium bicarbonate (baling soda usually contains an anti-caking agent).

At about 200 centigrade or higher, sodium bicarbonate loses water and carbon dioxide very swiftly and is converted to pure anhydrous sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), a good primary alkaline standard for acid-base solutions and a premium dryinh gant for many organic solvents.

Sodium bicarbonate is only sparingly soluble in water and reacts slightly alkaline.

It has the peculiar property that the neutralisation reaction with weak acids, which releases carbon dioxide, is slightly endothermic, an interesting demonstration of an endothermic reaction.


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CAS: 144-55-8


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Calcium Carbonate - 99.9 % - CaCO3 - 200 g

Chemical formula: CaCO3

Synonyms: carbonate of calcium, chalk, limestone, calcite, marble.

Amount: 200 g

Appearance and odour: white powder without appreciable odour

Grade: 99.90 % pure.

Packaging: professional wide necked, white HDPE bottle with blue conical seal cap and tamper ring. Labelled. Bottle and cap are UN approved and reusable.

Description and uses: calcium carbonate is mostly found as limestone but at this purity this grade isn't any old piece of carbonaceous rock. This high grade is essentially free of alkali metal salts and produces a negative flame test for sodium.

An excellent source of other calcium salts, obtained by dissolving it in the according acid (carbon dioxide is the by-product).

Used analytically and quantitatively to fuse with minerals like Lepidolite to detect alkali metals like Lithium (Li), Rubidium (Rb) and Cesium (Cs). A highly pure calcium carbonate grade is necessary here to avoid sample contamination with alkali metal salts.

An interesting demonstration is that heated to very high temperature (over 1,000 celsius), calcium carbonate starts emitting light and losing carbon dioxide. The light was once referred to as 'lime light', a source of light now no longer in use. Prolonged heating at this temperature also causes the calcium carbonate to be completely converted to calcium oxide (CaO), aka 'quick lime'. The process of 'burning lime' was introduced to the British Isles by the Romans. Treated with water, quick lime absorbs water and is converted to calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) aka 'slaked lime' in a process that can be violent and generates much heat. Slaked lime remains the basis for many mortars and cements since Roman times.

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CAS: 471-34-1

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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Zirconium Silicate - ZrSiO4 - Zircon - 200 g



Chemical formula: ZrSiO4

Synonyms: Zircon, zirconium (IV) orthosilicate, zirconium (+4) orthosilicate.

Amount: 200 g

Appearance and odour: fine, white powder without appreciable odour.

Grade: Mineral

Description and uses: it is often used in pottery glazes as a colouring opacifier.

It is one of the main zirconium ores and thus a source of zirconium for chemists and industry. As this is a natural material it hasn’t been de-Hafnified and contains a few percent of hafnium silicate (HfSiO4). Hafnium and zirconium are chemically almost indistinguishable and thus very hard to separate.

Extracting the zirconium from this mineral is fairly easy and can be done with the following procedure, the so-called wet fusion process.

Weigh up a 20 % excess of NaOH with respect to the following stoichiometry: ZrSiO4 + 4 NaOH === > Na2ZrO3 + Na2SiO3

Dissolve the caustic soda carefully in the same amount of water (by weight), obtaining a 50 % NaOH solution. Mix all of this solution carefully with the zirconium silicate, obtaining a smooth paste. Heat this paste in a suitable crucible at 200 C for 2 h, then heat it for a further 2 h at 600 C.

After the heating cycle, allow to cool completely to room temperature and add enough water to cover the fusion product. Allow to soak overnight.

Carefully prize out the caustic fusion product, crush it and neutralise hydrolyse it carefully with an excess of strong hydrochloric acid (HCl). The zirconium will enter solution as zirconyl chloride (ZrOCl2), leaving behind fine, quite pure silica. Separate by decantation/filtration. The silica, washed and dried, is a valuable chemical in its own right.

The crude ZrOCl2 can be recrystallised by firstly concentrating the solution by partial solvent evaporation (boiling in), followed by adding concentrated HCl to the cooled concentrated ZrOCl2 solution which causes ZrOCl2.8H2O (zirconyl chloride octahydrate) to precipitate while most impurities (often iron) will remain in solution. This process can be repeated for extra purity if desired.

Highly pure zirconia (ZrO2) can be obtained from ZrOCl2 by hydrolysing it with NaOH, Na2CO3 or better strong ammonia solution. Freshly precipitated Zr(OH)4 is thus formed, which can be filtered off and used as a precursor for other zirconium salts or can be calcined to pure zirconia (ZrO2).

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CAS: 10101-52-7

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Manganese Carbonate - MnCO3 - 200 g



Chemical formula: MnCO3

Synonyms: manganese (II) carbonate, carbonate of manganese, manganous carbonate.

Amount: 200 g

Appearance and odour: fine, beige powder without appreciable odour.

Grade: technical

Description and uses: often used in pottery glazes as a colouring agent/opacifier, it’s also one of the most versatile manganese (II) compounds and a stable and handy precursor to much of manganese’s complex chemistry. Water insoluble but readily soluble in acids, it is a gateway to many other manganese compounds.

Upon heating it starts losing carbon dioxide from about 200 C, in the presence of air yielding mixed oxides, mainly MnO2. In inert atmosphere (N2, Ar) or vacuum decomposition of the carbonate leaves behind MnO (manganese monoxide or manganese (II) oxide).

This technical grade MnCO3 dissolves completely in hot 1 M (1 mol/L) hydrochloric acid (HCl). The main contaminant is iron and it can be removed with little or no loss of product as follows.

Dissolve the amount you want purify in a precise amount of sulphuric acid but make sure there’s a little excess of MnCO3: this way the resulting (contaminated) manganese (II) sulphate will be almost neutral. Allow reaction until all fizzing stops and allow to clear. Don’t worry if it doesn’t clear completely. Decant or filter off, setting aside the excess MnCO3 for future use.

Take about one quarter of the solution and set the rest (the stock) aside. Add enough of an alkali (NaOH, KOH or ammonia solution are all good but not Na2CO3) to precipitate all the manganese and iron as hydroxides. Filter this and wash the filter cake of manganese and iron hydroxides with plentiful small aliquots of clean water until the filtrate is almost neutral. This washes out the soluble cations.

Now scoop out most of the precipitated hydroxides on the filter, add them to the stock solution and leave this to stand overnight (do not discard the filter, instead cover it with cling film to keep it moist). During standing overnight any contaminating iron will be converted to highly insoluble iron (III) oxide. Now filter the stock plus precipitates, using the same filter. The obtained solution is now essentially free of any iron and can be used to re-precipitate the manganese as purified MnCO3 or to crystallise it as quite pure MnSO4. This purification can also be carried out on manganese chloride: substitute sulphuric acid with hydrochloric acid.

Oxidation of manganous (II) salts in alkaline condition using hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite or other results in manganese dioxide (MnO2) to precipitate.

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CAS: 598-62-9

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sodium Dihydrogenphosphate - Na2H2PO4 - 150 g



Chemical formula: Na2H2PO4.2H2O

Synonyms: sodium dihydrogenphosphate.

Amount: 150 g

Appearance and odour: white crystalline powder, without appreciable odour

Grade: 99 %

Packaging: professional wide necked, white HDPE bottle with blue conical seal cap and tamper ring. Labeled. Bottle and cap are UN approved and reusable.

Description and uses: sodium dihydrogenphosphate dihydrate is a water soluble orthophosphate compound and an excellent source of phosphate ions.

This salt is also a weak diprotic acid (H2PO4 -) and thus suitable to make rugged buffers. Neutralise it further with sodium hydroxide to obtain buffer solutions over a wide range of slightly acidic or even alkaline pHs.

By careful neutralisation with NH3, sodium ammonium hydrogenphosphate (NH4NaHPO4), aka 'cosmic salt', is obtained. Gentle heating transforms this into NaPO3, sodium metaphosphate.

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CAS: 108-95-2

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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Strontium Nitrate - Sr(NO3)2 - 99.4 % - 100 g



Chemical formula: Sr(NO3)2

Synonyms: nitrate of strontium.

Amount: 100 g

Appearance and odour: white crystalline powder, without appreciable odour

Grade: chemically pure (99.4 %)

Packaging: professional wide necked, white HDPE bottle with blue conical seal cap and tamper ring. Labelled. Bottle and cap are UN approved and reusable.

Description and uses: a water soluble strontium compound. Used in a plethora of inorganic and organic synthesis. Confers a typical carmine red colour to a hot flame (bunsen or alcohol), due to spectral emission lines.

A powerful oxidiser on a par with potassium nitrate (saltpetre), used in fireworks to confer a red colour to the flame.

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CAS: 10042-76-9

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