Element Collection

Element Collection

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Neodymium Metal from Hard Drive Magnets, Part I

Note: There's been a lot of work done on this subject on Science Madness, and the actual procedure I used is a bit different (specifically Step 4 & 6). Once I actually complete this experiment, I will update or replace this thread with the final method.

This is the first in a many-part series of posts detailing my efforts to isolate pure neodymium metal from hard drive magnets. This has been an extremely exciting project that I've really enjoyed undertaking, and the journey is just as fun as the final result. I'll be making a video on this eventually, but it's been such a long process that I thought people might be interested in reading some occasional updates on it in the meantime.

This first post will be about the theory, and will detail my reaction scheme.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Copper Compound Conundrum, Part 3

Copper Compound Conundrum Part 3: Testing the Precipitate - the exciting conclusion!

Now that I had determined the identity of the solution, it was time to figure out what the blue precipitate was. Remember from Part 2, this is what my mystery concoction looked like (in the beaker on the right).

Copper Compound Conundrum, Part 2

Copper Compound Conundrum Part 2: Testing the Solution

If you remember from my last post, my reaction scheme for this was the following:

1) CuSO4 + 2NaHCO3 == CuCO3 + Na2SO4 + CO2 + H2O
2) CuCO3 + 2HCl == CuCl2 + CO2 + H2O
3) CuCl2 + 2NaOH == Cu(OH)2 + 2NaCl
4) Cu(OH)2 + H2SO4 == CuSO4 + 2H2O

After performing step 3 and filtering and drying the precipitate, I ended up with a dark green powder which was likely a mix of copper(II) hydroxide, oxide, and carbonate. All three of these compounds should react with sulfuric acid to form copper sulfate, so I figured I'd go ahead with the last step in my video's reaction scheme anyway. I should have ended up dissolving all the solids into a nice blue solution of copper sulfate like I started with. Here's what actually happened.

Copper Compound Conundrum, Part 1

If you've been following my blog, you've probably realized I like to write a lot. Well this one's no exception. I like to provide as much detail as possible so others can replicate my results and in reading it get the same enjoyment out of the experience as I did (hopefully). Enjoy!

In the process of filming a new video on copper compounds for my channel, I ran across a bit of a snag that ended up taking me down a different path that was both fun and instructive.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Glassware

I just got in a sizable order of some fancy new glassware! I got a number of specialized pieces that will allow me to do many new and more advanced experiments, and I'm very excited to try them out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Potassium Iodide and Radiation

This old post serves as the Video Companion to my Potassium Iodide video, linked at the bottom to make sure you read the post first!

This is another rather long post, but I feel it is warranted because of the importance of the content.

Because of the recent earthquake and tsunami tragedy in Japan, there's been a lot of interest recently in an otherwise ordinary chemical compound called potassium iodide. I'll get to that in a minute, but first a brief summary of the situation.