> chemistry > métaux-alcalins > nurd-rage-lab-notes-making-sodium-metal > lab-notes-july-24th-optimizing-sodium-making-hbr-and-the-clevenger-nurdrage

Lab Notes July 24th - Optimizing sodium, making HBr, and The Clevenger

NurdRage - 2018-07-24

My lab notes for this month so far. 

Basically, i've been optimizing sodium production. So far i can get it up to 60-70% yield just with cleaner techniques.

I've been making more hydrobromic acid and have and improved method of making it using sulfuric acid, and purifying it using sulfur or sodium metabisulfite. 

i've also have a new piece of lab equipment called the clevenger apparatus.

BloodHound0827 - 2018-07-24

I think a new video on the new method of hydrobromic acid would be good. Also I do like this format for lab notes.

It's awesome to see chemistry like this. I was always under the assumption that chemistry has basically been "figured out" and the only improvements that could be made involved hundreds of millions of dollars. It's awesome to see that improvements and discoveries can be made in an amateur setting (not implying you're an amateur, but your setup isn't out of the reach of the normal person.)

Love it, keep it up.

Jake Jager - 2018-07-25

BloodHound0827 I agree, any time you find a more efficient or generally better way it'd be great to see what you've come up with :)

Mack3nzie Dravid - 2018-07-25

i agree.

Landon Orr - 2018-07-25

BloodHound0827 Agree with both

UDtheAesir - 2018-07-25


mmmhorsesteaks - 2018-07-24

I like this format. The topic-to-topic doesn't bother me at all. That said, some topics might be better served by a more focused video.

NurdRage - 2018-07-24

I think i may have indeed solved the glassware degradation problem. But i want to run more testing and optimizing first.

Cheejyg - 2018-07-29

I think it's just amazing that you can synthesise elemental Sodium without any molten stuff, good content NurdRage :)

Mia Mama - 2018-07-31

Kit's Gaming Channel the sodium and chlorine bond is really strong. The only way to searate them is electroysis of molten salt. Even that is difficult because of the temperatures required to melt salt

ann wong - 2018-08-18

Glass almost same like materiel just example (when you use materiel boiled become some crystal would become some kind thing I was forgotten the name..)

Grant Rennie - 2019-01-11

I wonder if it is possible to use a laser to generate localised heat and use a rotating flask to generate a coreolis effect instead of using magnetic stirrers and hot plates...

Maybe we can call this the grant Rennie process lol

Sabi1234567890Asdf - 2019-03-14

How about enamel it's heat resistant and pretty tough stuff

thief9001 - 2018-07-24

I really like this format of video for lab notes, where we get a broad overview of everything that's going on and get to see and understand your thought process on a variety of experiments. Think it's good, and sort of follows the "patch notes" model from games where you give us the really important, relevant information.

Also, a new video on the acid production would be appreciated, at least by me. Higher production values always worth it!

thebestnumber1 - 2018-07-24

thief9001 i second this comment immensely.

Scritch - 2018-07-24

Your username is appropriate since you stole the comment I was gonna make. =P

Phred Phlintstoner - 2018-07-25

thief9001 i agree 100%

Calyo Delphi - 2018-07-25

I definitely like the mixed-bag format for lab notes. Though I might also suggest that if you have a lab notes to make with a lot of content about just one topic, you could create a separate video for that. But if you have a bunch of smaller stuff to report on, condensing it into one lab notes video like this is definitely the way to go.

And far be it from me to discourage you to create videos about new and improved processes of topics you've already covered. I'm sure everyone would love to see updates and revisits of old content with new techniques. :)

Phred Phlintstoner - 2018-07-25

Calyo Delphi totally agree!

Tricky's World - 2018-07-24

please don't separate lab notes...
And playing think, what's the reason you don't use stainless steel with a glass lid and pressure release valve? other than wanting to use just glass :)

kuzetsa - 2018-07-25

I strongly disagree, Tricky's World -- / 8:34 / Smaller, self-contained videos are much more accessible and easy to find using the features of youtube search. At best, using an "all-in-one" format could have the workaround of needing to link to individual segments. A concise, well-presented 2 minute video is better.

Tricky's World - 2018-07-25

I'm sorry but i would learn nothing from shorter videos and have no interest in chasing multiple videos, unless i watch them repeatedly witch would get very old very fast, i also enjoy the current format as they are, educational, informative and entertaining is the reason i subscribed in the first place. :)

I guess preference here is down to your reasoning for following @nurdrage, my reasoning is mostly entertainment (yes i know i'm sad) then its the education factor. If you are chasing the education i can see your point, but its not for me. :)

AKAtheA - 2018-07-25

Not if the bottom is thin. FYI a magnetic stirrer hotplate also has a thin stainless steel plate on top of it :P

MisterLepton - 2018-07-27

Lukáš J. Surprisingly it doesn’t really that much. At least not in my experience. Especially not stainless steel.

Vinícius - 2018-08-18

Good idea. Stainless steel is inert to sodium hydroxide. I apply caustic soda to clean my stainless steel cookware, which looks brand new!

skyliner_369 - 2018-07-24

Also I don't mind you redoing/updating older videos. A, It gives you content to post so we know you didn't have your hands burned off and B, you don't really have to abandon longer projects for the chemistry

Aussie Chemist - 2018-07-24

Looking forwards to see how the new apparatus works

Creeper Lamoureux - 2018-07-25

Aussie Chemist super hero porn star 😂

soupisgdfood - 2018-07-25

Titanium can be mechanically applied to glass surfaces by literally rubbing it on. It would also be cheaper than a titanium container of sorts. The titanium oxide layer formed should be very chemically resistant. Of course, it’s still opaque, but it might be an option for coating the most vulnerable areas of the glass.

Pietro Tettamanti - 2018-07-30

I think that TiO2 would be reduced by the molten sodium.

soupisgdfood - 2018-07-30

Pietro Tettamanti by what mechanism? I’m not saying you’re incorrect, I’m curious and uneducated.

Pietro Tettamanti - 2018-07-30

Well, I don't know the mechanism, it's just speculation (also I don't think that a reaction between TiO2 and sodium has ever been studied).
But since molten sodium is able to reduce the carbon in teflon (something that only alkali metals can do) it's legitimate to think that titanium in its +4 oxidation state would be susceptible to reduction from molten sodium.

Pietro Tettamanti - 2018-07-30

Wait, I have found some evidence.

"Titanium dioxide is incompatible with strong reducing agents and strong acids. Violent or incandescent reactions occur with molten metals that are very electropositive, e.g. aluminium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc and lithium."

Here's the source (wiki)


soupisgdfood - 2018-07-30

Well, I guess this kills the titanium coating idea! Thanks for putting in the research Pietro. I guess I should have figured that the teflon degradation might be an indicator of incompatibility, but totally forgot about the damaged stir bars.

ColtaineCrows - 2018-07-25

I'm happy with just more videos in general, even if it covers something an older video has already covered. (I probably haven't watched all the videos you've made)

Belias Phyre - 2018-07-24

Maybe the answer is to use cheaper, low quality glassware that you can sacrifice. If it can survive the process once, and is cheap enough then to throw it out, it might be worth it.

Also, more SCIENCE! for the SCIENCE! gods. More videos are always appreciated.

The Real - 2018-07-25

Belias Phyre Actually a pretty good idea.It think his challenge is more to find a way which sacrifices nothing.Not just to make things cheaper.
He could buy glassware from AliExpress. 250ml Round bottom around 3-4€

Belias Phyre - 2018-07-25

I was thinking along the lines of mason jars, a pack of twelve pint sized jars for 10€. I don't know if they would survive the process, or contaminate the solution, but it's a cheap piece of glass.

AKAtheA - 2018-07-25

no no no...mason jars full of molten sodium hydroxide at 350°C is a very bad idea...borosilicate tolerates heat shock very well, normal soda-lime glass not at all. One small air draft that locally cools it and the jar would break.

Belias Phyre - 2018-07-25

And that's why I'm not a chemist. Good to know.

Elisha North - 2018-07-25

Yes. Make a full video of the HBr.

AllChemystery - 2018-07-25

Great format. its much more comprehensive. And sure, if you have a better process for HBr then a video on it would be cool.

Stephen Jacks - 2020-03-08

Re: Sodium. Have you tried using sonication? Supposed to speed up reactions with crusty stuff. It speeds up grignards and zinc powder reactions.

Drogo Baggins - 2018-07-25

Looks like it's time to go to a ceramic vessel. Back in the 90's I was a technician making custom ceramics. We got orders for some wacky shapes using wacky materials because of problems just like you are having here. Alumina is the most popular general purpose material but we made spinel magnesia yttria zirconia and one or two other materials. It was all about finding materials that wouldn't react at high temperatures with whatever they were processing. Stirring can be a problem with ceramics so sometimes we would make tubes with tight tolerances to be used as bubble stirrers. Of course ceramics don't lend themselves to good videos and are really easy to crack with differential heating. And they get expensive quick when you need size. Clear heat resistant none reactive and cheap is a tough order.

MisterLepton - 2018-07-25

Drogo Baggins yeah, I wonder how quartz would fare over time?

Drogo Baggins - 2018-07-25

Good question. I have no idea. I guess it's like everything else and would depend on what's put in it at what temperature. I wonder how the new material ALON would hold up for such applications. I don't know much at all about chemistry. All I did was make what the boss asked me to make. I'm guessing that alternatives are all really expensive.

ElectroBlud - 2018-07-25

Transparent aluminium? I think that stuff is very expensive, isn't it? But apart from that, it should not be all that different (chemically) to alumina. As far as I know.

Dom Vasta - 2018-07-25

High pressure, high temperature reactions involving magnesium and sodium in glass vessels are a no-no for even professional chemists. Maybe a sapphire window on a metal pipe?

AAA AAA - 2018-07-25

Just keep making interesting videos!
Lab note style to keep us up to date, tease tidbits, share things not fit for a full video is GREAT!

Also updating older videos as they become convenient, who would say no!
You have come so far, and improved so much! Better editing, framing/focus (you fak!) and all done in HD!

So to summarize:
More is better.
Too much just means you can save for release during a streak of learning(failure)

lyca0n - 2018-07-24

Hell yeah, amazing vid man I would love to see a vid on producing hydrobromic acid

Full Modern Alchemist - 2018-07-28

To answer the question at the end, I like what you're doing now. It feels more like we're there in the lab with you and seeing the progression.

Tanner O'Hara - 2018-07-26

Great video Nurd Rage, you’re one of the best YouTube chemists out there and your videos are always inspirational and informative

Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface - 2018-07-31

What about something like "DiamondFinish Clear" automotive coatings for your glassware? Claims to be unreactive with fuels, solvents, Battery acid, Brake fluid, Ethanol, Methanol, MEK, Hydrochloric Acid, Fertilizers, and Acetone. Ah but has a 300F thermal limit. Oh well. I'm sure there is something similar that has a higher temperature rating.

Auriam - 2018-07-26

Awesome, I've been waiting a long time to hear greetings fellow nerds again. Welcome back :-)

Rick Flores - 2018-07-25

Separate videos I love being able to learn more about one specific thing in detail it really helps a lot thank you so much for everything NR

Travis Heck - 2018-07-25

I like all the notes in one big update video!

Cameron Graves - 2018-07-25

Document everything its important to post everything because you never know when you'll discover something new and need evidence to back it up that and chemistry is awesome

Kuro Fox - 2018-07-25

I'd love to see more about the hydrobromic acid ^^

Patrick Sweetman - 2018-07-25

No thank you to the repeat of HBr, and combining all of the small stuff is just fine b me.

William Ackerson - 2018-07-25

The new format is great! I was surprised how improved your yields were. Keep up the good work!

Nerd2259 - 2018-07-25

I would love to have an updated procedure. Thank you so much for your work!!

ClickThisToSubscribe - 2018-07-25

Yes video on HBr please! And the new format is nice, I like hearing about your progress

Andrew Whitehead - 2018-07-25

I like the "What your doing now" update. Covers a lot of ground but very good.

Axel Alexson - 2018-07-25

I'd love to see the improved synth video. As well as, would it be possible to make Na in an INOX pot/container?

Ben B. - 2018-07-24

I like this format of lab notes, keep at it for that sodium reaction, good luck with the glass!

Kevin Byrne - 2018-07-25

You should record a new video of the improved preparation of HBr -- so that viewers can have direct access to the best method of preparation.
BTW, your new preparation of sodium metal has my genuine admiration. A beautiful piece of work.

pearcey77 - 2018-07-25

It sounds like you've already convinced yourself to make a new hbr video. Go for it!

Robust Enigma - 2018-07-26

Love the lab notes video! I would also love to see the refined process revisited.

Keep up the great work! 👍😎

sean nye - 2018-07-24

I am interested in your new improved synthesis for the hydrobromic acid and would like to see a video of it if it's not too much trouble..

KnightsWithoutATable - 2018-07-25

Yes, I would like to see a video of the new procedure to synthesize HBr.

J Beckley - 2018-07-25

Please do the improved Hydrogen Bromine reaction.

Chemical Engineer - 2018-07-25

I like the format, feels like a preview. You should continue.

Gareth Dean - 2018-07-25

I like this format, also put me in as a vote for an updated acid video. That sulfur trick is interesting, what happens with more coarse sulfur lumps?

Andrew ? - 2018-07-25

Chemists make the world go round... thanks for doing what you do, I wish I could spend my days experimenting... unfortunately I have to work a different job

Kevin Bauer - 2018-08-21

I'd love to see something on the Downs or Castner cells. Current video format is great for me. Thanks for making these!

Chris Hutchinson - 2018-07-26

I would like an updated hydrobromic acid video. Also as far as lab notes go, I am pretty neutral. Love your content regardless.

Isaac O'Barr - 2018-07-25

As per the video question, I would like more corse lab updates about every two weeks but when you optomise or hit a road block in a specific experiment (like with the sodium issues of glass and optimisations) make a more in-depth video on that topic or two. Thank you

docgramps1 - 2018-07-25

I liked this style video, I'm here to learn, throw it all at me... some might even stick.

R. H. - 2018-07-25

I've only been watching for a couple years, and although I find you videos interesting, I don't really surf you back-catalog, so revisiting older videos would be interesting for me, and perhaps others who may have forgotten about the old posts.

Michæl Alan Baker - 2018-07-25

I’d watch videos where you update or revisit older content. I’ve enjoyed all your videos!

Isaac The Destroyer of Stuped - 2018-07-25

A video on the on the new HBr production would be neat. The increase in yield for the sodium project is great to hear! Now, that glassware damage seems hard to get around; is there nothing you can switch out the hydroxide ion for? I'm just an amateur, so it may not be possible to use a salt other than sodium hydroxide, but that's what I'm thinking.

C 139 - 2018-07-25

I'd like you to try multi component reactions if possible, ugi 4cr for example