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Author Topic: What are the products of electrolysis of ammonium chloride?  (Read 3022 times)

Offline lostrefugee

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Upon my summer boredom and my recent passing grade in Chemistry 200 in college, I found myself tinkering with a chemistry set I got as a kid... being the pyromaniac I am, I of course sat down and wrote out chemical equations and hypothetical ways to obtain certain pyrotechnic savy chemical compounds. I'm new here so I don't know how or if a picture will upload, but I'll do my best to describe what happened.

So in this chemistry set there is a block that hold a crap ton of wells for storage of chemicals and little experiments and so on, so in one of the larger ones I played around with citric acid and baking soda and testing out my little dinky thermometer to see if it registered the endothermic change, anyways, in the well below it I added all the ammonium chloride I had left, which was significantly less than even a gram, and then simultaneously stumbled upon NCl3 and the effects of ammonium chloride during electrolysis regarding it... :0 ... so knowing the molar amount in comparison to the amount of water and grams I added I went into mad scientist mode. Got my goggles, flame-retardant apron, a mask upon reading about the fumes, oven and my 9V battery and went to the workbench in the garage. however upon transporting I noticed that a small amount of my post citric acid experiment's aqueous solution had spilled over into my ammonium chloride powder. Bummed, but unrelenting I filled the well with distilled water and continued...

Placing a 2x4 infront of me I hesitantly placed the copper nodes into my solution unknowingly awaiting for a fizz or bang. Upon contact it started bubbling, releasing gas(unsure what kind), and changing the water from clear to a sort of teal blue... once the gas stopped forming I removed the nodes to notice my black negative node had gone completely black, and my positive red node had gone white... and there is some murky residue in my solution now as well.

So what reacted with what here? and since I'm new to electrolysis, is this normal for copper nodes? or did I do something really bad here? besides attempting to make NCl3... I know the dangers that go with that... I've heard of the negative node turning black, but not of the positive going white...? could anyone shed some light as to what I have done? please and thank you.
« Last Edit: 24/06/2012 09:27:38 by chris »


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