Questions tagged [applied-chemistry]

Chemical processes and theories being used in practical and experimental applications.

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43
votes
1answer
6k views

Why can we still breathe in valleys? [duplicate]

Air is 1% argon. Argon is heavier than air. Why doesn't the argon concentrate in low-lying areas, choking out life there?
15
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4answers
8k views

How could I cause metal to rust rapidly?

I'm writing a novel set in the mid-nineteenth century. One of my characters needs to cause an iron padlock to rust rapidly, ideally within a matter of hours. The lock doesn't need to rust away ...
14
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1answer
836 views

Are there any significant uses of the compound formed by magnesium and anthracene?

In an unusual reaction, magnesium reacts with anthracene in THF to form a grignard-like compound called, prosaically, magnesium anthracene: I remember using it briefly in the 1980s. At the time there ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Ceramics in “bullet proof” vests?

Kevlar is an aramid fiber that is used in ballistics protection vests. From the structure (structure shown from Wikipedia article), you can see why it would work to dissipate the energy from a bullet ...
12
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2answers
696 views

Can we process waste just by decomposing it to homogenous mass and extracting the elements from it?

I. e., what if we just burn trash completely or dissolve it in acid, get the resulting paste and extract pure chemical elements out of it by applying some physics and/or chemistry to it until no more ...
12
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2answers
307 views

Can olivine be used to make glass?

This concerns ongoing work to find a plausible approach to large-scale production of clear glass on the Moon. It's for an ultra-hard science fiction project and I really want to get it right. Olivine ...
8
votes
3answers
218 views

Constructing a grenade (for a novel I'm writing.)

Ok, before any eyebrows get raised, this is for a novel that I'm writing and inspired by this answer from worldbuilding and this reference answer. I just want to make sure the device I'm trying to use ...
8
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0answers
129 views

New finding in cobalt compound that absorbs oxygen - is it really a breakthrough?

Very recently Chemical Sciences published results of the discovery of a new cobalt compound that can absorb oxygen at presumably a higher capacity than what has been achievable before. The paper is ...
7
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2answers
646 views

Lithium batteries a reality - why not sodium, pottasium batteries?

Lithium batteries seem to be mainstream now, offering high energy density, high output current capability. Stepping down the periodic table there are alkali metals with greater electronegativity than ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between wet paint, dry paint, and in between those stages?

A day after painting a closet, I set a piece of wood on the wall of the closet that was painted a day ago as well. Within minutes, both of their layers of paint fused together (please correct me if ...
7
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a known chemical that makes it possible to control the opacity of a large surface?

I have this idea of creating a large domed ceiling/roof for a building that can be made clear to see the actual sky, or made fully opaque/dark grey/black to project an artificial sky onto. I know ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

Can glass be made with anorthite?

The lunar highlands are made mostly of anorthosite (90% anorthite, the rest oxides of magnesium, iron, a little titanium, and traces of others), and pretty pure anorthite ($\ce{CaAl2Si2O8}$) is common....
7
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2answers
5k views

Selective etchant for Al2O3 (Does not etch Al, Cu, Zn, Sn)

I'm looking for a wet-etchant to remove aluminum oxide created by anodizing, but not etch the unoxidized metal (with greater than 10:1 selectivity) I know about chromium(IV) oxide and fluorine-based ...
7
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1answer
133 views

Are there any significant industrial processes that use liquid ammonia as a solvent?

There are some interesting laboratory reactions that use liquid ammonia as a solvent (for example, the Birch Reduction where an alkali metal is dissolved in liquid ammonia). There have also been some ...
6
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2answers
134 views

How can I make a better whiteboard cleaning solution?

I just started work as a lab assistant in a chem lab. The whiteboard the instructor uses for classes gets very dirty very quickly. The woman who started at the same time as I did spent over 3 hours ...
6
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1answer
857 views

How are piezoelectric crystals made?

I want to know how the powdered formed of piezoelectric material is converted to crystal like used in quartz watches. I know that some more chemicals are mixed with the material and then it is pressed ...
5
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2answers
189 views

How might ammonia be created in this mechanochemical reaction?

Can mechanical agitation catalyze reactions? It appears so (thanks to Mithoron for the pointer!). We observed the following: We were using 10-micron hBN powder to impact-plate copper bearings (e.g., ...
5
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0answers
121 views

Where is my antimony going?

I work in a trace metals laboratory operating an ICP-OES. I've been having some trouble with the recovery of antimony in a weak $\ce{HCl}$ solution post-digestion. The antimony is part of a mix of ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Are there any STP liquids not containing large amounts of hydrogen and oxygen that are safe for human contact?

I'm working on a science fiction short story and was wondering if there were any liquids that would be safe to bathe in while traveling on a space craft with artificial (spin-based) gravity. In such ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Could a lead-acid battery electrolyte be replaced by hydrochloric or nitric acid?

Hydrochloric acid, as well as nitric acid, are also strong acids like sulfuric acid. So, why are not they used commercially in lead-acid batteries?
4
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1answer
382 views

Why is antimony oxide used as a flame retardant?

What is the mechanism of action of antimony oxide as a flame retardant? Is this to do with radical absorption?
4
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1answer
94 views

How may the water from rain be tested to determine it is natural, or from cloud seeding?

This article lists several mechanisms that may be used to control the weather and/or induce rainfall. Apparently many states, other than the one listed in the headline, have experimented with such ...
4
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1answer
809 views

How do I perform a gravimetric analysis of Portland cement?

To determine the silica ($\ce{SiO2}$) content in Portland cement by gravimetric analysis it is digested in $\ce{HCl}$ and the silica residue is eventually measured. The chief constituents are $\ce{...
4
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0answers
596 views

Is it possible to make Spider-Man like web fluid? [closed]

Is it possible to make a substance which has similar properties to that of the web fluid e.g. High tensile strength, sticky (can attach to most of the surfaces), evaporates within few hours etc. If so ...
4
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0answers
68 views

ZnO spontaneous combustion during transport

I found your contact information researching $\ce{ZnO}$ reactions. I was hoping you could please help me or orient me in the right direction to find an answer to my problem. The company I work for ...
4
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0answers
103 views

Why is my rusting metal chainlink fence glowing bright orange and sparking?

This is a really practical question, but I can't find anything on Google. My metal chainlink fence is rusting and I have noticed that where the metal from one wire makes contact with another wire ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Does selenium sulfate corrode or otherwise react with metals?

I was just watching a cartoon called Motorcity, and they featured a real compound called selenium sulfate. While I'm sure that the compound blowing up a detached steel [car part] on contact is just ...
3
votes
1answer
322 views

How does oxygen fight odors? (Deodorant ad)

I saw an ad on tv last night for Mitchum deodorant that showed big text on the screen that said "OXYGEN eliminates all odors!" or something similar. Their website indeed claims "Our exclusive formula ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How Does The Mordant, Ferric Acetate, Interact With Tannins When Ebonizing Wood?

Ferric Acetate (II) and (III) are "mordants," which intensify wood staining in direct proportion to the tannin concentration in the wood. Some wood stainers add tea to increase the tannin content and ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Lubricants and rubber

I've been reading a lot of conflicting articles/threads pertaining to which lubricant is compatible with rubber/plastics and I'm stumped. From what I've come across, the consensus is that silicone ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

How to determine fire hazard of heating ethylene glycol to dissolve borax and boric acid

I am looking to replicate instructions provided in the last paragrph of this article that requires dissolving borax (Sodium Tetraborate decahydrate ($\ce{Na2B4O7·10H2O}$)) and boric acid in ethylene ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Particle size-energy distribution

I am not chemist, I am mathematician and interested in Population Balance Equations. I have a question about particle size-(breakage) energy distribution which mentioned in this article: http://www....
3
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0answers
35 views

Coating applied to plastic (polymer suitable for straws) to repel carbon dioxide to prevent “floating”

We are four students currently finalizing our last exam-project before our bachelor. We confirmed our hypothesis that straws floating to the top of your drink is a "problem" from our survey. Our ...
3
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0answers
49 views

Graph of compounds/reactions used on the industrial scale

I'm looking for a machine-readable database describing industrially useful reactions in terms of inputs, outputs, and (possibly) catalyzers etc. for a large portion of, or (much more preferable) the ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

“Chemicals” released in headphone with burned cable

My friend works at a headphone company at the support service and today she came across someone who claimed that he threw his broken headphone away because he had heard dangerous chemicals could be ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I make a paper white again?

Suppose I have a white paper originally. Then it is placed in a trunk, where soda spills occasionally and gasoline gas/gasoline also spills due to no gas tank cover. Over time, this paper becomes ...
2
votes
2answers
218 views

Is N-methylimidazole an unusual solvent, or are there more common substitutes for it?

I want to test a process that was documented in the literature using N-methylimidazole. I am not doing academic research, but rather testing a documented reaction for application to an industrial ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Synthetic ruby - damaged by heat less than its melting point?

A bit of a jewellery question but chemistry related. I want to encase a synthetic ruby (corundum, Al2O3) in silver by melting the silver around it. Either in a furnace or by casting. The MP of silver ...
2
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2answers
2k views

experimentally determine oxidation state of Iron compound

I need to make several Iron compounds but I am having a bit of trouble finding a decent way to determine the oxidation state of Iron. I'm starting with a Iron(II) compound that I try to oxidize using ...
2
votes
1answer
449 views

Working with stainless steel in 3 M HCl solution

We are trying to mix a material using 316 stainless steel blades in a $3~\mathrm{M}\ \ce{HCl}$ solution for 4 hours in a PE container? Will the blades stand for 4 hours or do they start to corrode in ...
2
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1answer
1k views

How to create the equivalent of luminol for a compound?

How would you go about creating a compound, like luminol, that would visibly react with monomorine I (5-methyl-3-butyloctahydroindolizine) on a household surface (like a kitchen floor)? It is ok if ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What does a radical mean here?

I'm really confused as none of the definitions of radical on the internet compare to this. This is from my college textbook of Applied Chemistry- Radicals Every inorganic compound is made up ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

gas chamber for calibrating gas sensors

I have $\ce{CO2}$, $\ce{CO}$, $\ce{O2}$ sensors and need to calibrate them. Can anybody help me to produce the $\ce{CO2}$, $\ce{CO}$, $\ce{O2}$ in laboratory for calibrating the sensors (the gas ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Why do cookies prevent toothpaste from foaming?

If I eat cookies and subsequently brush my teeth such that there is still small amounts of cookie material stuck to my teeth, the toothpaste will not foam as well as usually, making the process less ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Carbon monoxide from activated charcoal filters

We use activated charcoal in air filters of the ventilation system to remove pollutant vapours from the exhaust air. Before the filters, the air is heated a bit to avoid condensation of water. ...
2
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0answers
116 views

Why was rhenium used as an igniter in flash bulbs?

It looks like it typically had a current passed though it to ignite zirconium threads. What properties of rhenium made it the best metal to use for this?
2
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0answers
592 views

How to calculate resulting pH of mixing 2 fruit juices [closed]

I want to make jelly from a mixture of 50% fresh apple juice and 50% juice of another fruit. The resulting pH must be less than 4.6, otherwise the jelly will not be safe from C. botulinum. Based on ...
2
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0answers
29 views

Bonding Carbon Fiber to Metal

I have an application for a very thin, strong, electrical conductor that need to act as a (almost) frictionless support "rope". Typically materials like tungsten wire or platinum-iridium alloys have ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Reactor mass balance with solid feed and overflow

I am modeling a lime slaker which is basically a stirred tank reactor with two separate feeds: 1. CaO feed screw (powder) 2. H2O binary valve (liquid) These react according to the reaction: $\ce{CaO(...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

Effectiveness of getters to keep gasses sulfur free

My engineering task poses a problem with sulfur damaging electronic components. There are enclosed gas volumes which contain sensitive electronic devices as well as NBR sealings and gaskets. The ...