Iron is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Iron shows the characteristic chemical properties of the transition metals, namely the ability to form variable oxidation states differing by steps of one and a very large coordination and organometallic chemistry. Iron oxide mixed with aluminium powder can be ignited to create a thermite reaction. Iron chemical compounds have been used very widely in our lives - personal care and cosmetics, as iron oxides, in sunscreens, eyeshadows, toothpaste, talcum powder, shower gel, cream. Pharmaceutical it is used as coloring agent in sugar coated and gelatin capsules. Iron is present in our food as candy coating, preserved fruits, chewing gums, solid drinks and concentrated solid drink as healthy pigment. Please read more about iron here.
LEVEL: Basic, easy
PREPARATION TIME: 30 - 90 minutes
MATERIAL PRODUCED: Iron Oxide in water solution
- Carbon stick (graphite rod 99%)
- Pure metal Fe
- pH Meter
- Alligator clips
- Baking soda and white vinegar or HCl for cleaning
- Kitchen pad (green scrub)
- Couple of Pegs
- Distilled water 5l with pH 7-8
- Pure Salt NaCl ( if you use other salts, it also change your result, because contain other minerals)
- Polypropylene glycol (PG)or cane sugar syrup
- Glass jars (Borosilicate jars are heat resistance glass recommended), household jars also could be used if it is the only option. I do not recommend to use any plastic as it could release some extra ions in solution. You can notice difference of water kept in plastic and glass bottle, glass is standard choice in any scientific lab)
- Stirrer (optional, for best results recommended)
- Glass rod for stirring (recommended)m but also bamboo stick could be used
- Magnetic Stirrer (optional, but for best results is recommended)
- DC power supply 30V (highly recommended), can use solar cells batteries etc.
- Stainless steel tea strainer
- Filter papers (brown coffee filter Melitta size 4 (20 μm) and slow filter paper 10 μm)
- Ceramic mortar with pestle (optional) use for powder preparation
- Protection gloves
- Respiration mask (3M, optional, but very recommended for personal safety)
- Strong alcohol (70-95%) for cleaning and disinfection of tools.
Prepare your glass jar with the fresh chilled distilled water. I use 800ml borosilicate jar.
You can use what fits into your options.
Please make sure you use cleaned tools whatever comes in touch with a prepared solution. Including air in a room!
Use strong alcohol as a cleaning agent!
I pour ~3ml of glycol (PG) or around ~5ml of cane sugar syrup as an alternative in case if you have no access to glycol (PG).
Use ~4 ml of PG on one liter of water.
The sugar molecules will surround each particles and keep separated from strong bond clustering.
Add a pure salt (NaCl) of 10 gr to 1L of water and stir it very well till all salt is diluted.
Salt will function as an electrolyte in a solution.
Start the electrolysis with carbon rod on one side as negative and on second side iron rod as a positive electrode by attaching with pegs on glass jar edges.
Use your power supply in the range of 6 to 12 V around 0.50 A.
I use this for my calculation and time to get my best results. Other settings and variations can be viable. So don't stick to a single method but rather be an observer and be in control of your electrolysis cell.
Keep stirring time to time to avoid heavy cluster formation. If you use a magnetic stirrer then use it with full speed.
Insure the electrodes are far enough from each other at least few centimeters to avoid water heating in between electrodes it will create other unexpected results.
Run the cell up to 90 minutes with air bubbling pump to add additional oxygen to iron.
Iron oxide is water soluble and will form a colloidal plasma water by structuring it.
Stop the power supply and let settle for some few minutes. Electrodes are still energized and will still keep running until the energetic balance will take place in your cell.
Note: Mineral crystal particles will continue to be in spin and movement. Aggregation, clustering and different chemical bonds can have with the time. Think about a good preservation of your prepared materials in long term.
Once most particles settle on the button of the jar you can start washing off salinity.
Repeat multiple time at least 4 to 6 times. Be patient between each washing. Let particles sit down as possible you can. The tiniest particles will float much longer the bigger.
After rinsing is done, filtration is needed to to separate different grades (sizes) of particles.
First filtration with a metal filter to separate biggest cluster part after crystallization .
Second filtration should be done with a coffee filter in the range of 10 to 20 microns to separate larger particles from smaller particles.
Third filtration with lab paper filter of 10 microns.
You can further separate them by a centrifuge to get only nano scale particles of your plasma water.
Which chemical grade and sizes need to be determined as most appropriate for your project before you start this experiment all these steps. There is no magic wand that one grade can be applied to everything. High precision and awareness of what you are doing are your next steps to oneness and unity!
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