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Author Topic: aluminum foil and bathroom cleaner, can the mixture be explosive  (Read 97222 times)

Offline i am bored

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
« Last Edit: 09/08/2007 02:03:23 by Nic_525 »


 

Offline i am bored

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i would try this myself but i don't want to destroy my yard theres no place where i can do an experiment in an controlled environment
 

paul.fr

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I have never tried this, but will have a stab at what the answer could be.
I am guessing that the cleaner involved contains a fair percentage of hydrochloric acid, and it is this that causes the explosion.

I also think you will get more of a loud bang than an explosion, i bet $10 there is a video on youtube...

but don't take my word for it, others will, i'm sure have a better answer for you.
 

Offline eric l

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I checked the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for aluminium (e.g. http://www.falconbridge.com/documents/msds/Norandal_Salisbury_Al_Foil.pdf.)  Nothing alarming. 
Aluminium does react exothermically with halogens.  I would suspect hypochlorite (bleach) rather than hydrochloric acid.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Aluminium is unusual in the it reacts with both acids (commonly used as limescale removers) and with strong alkalies (used as drain cleaners) to produce hydrogen.
Obviously the merit of having an explosion throwing corrosive liquids around the place is limited.
BTW, here's the inevitable youtube video.
 

Offline Sci4life

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get draino or caustic soda (NaOH) and mix it with aluminum balls and water in a bottle, put on the lid shake it and stand back.

The alkaline reacts vigourusly with the aluminum to relase hydrogen and once in a bottle the pressure will blow it up - havent tried putting it near a fire thou....


 

Offline i am bored

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you sound like you have experience in homemade bombs
 

Offline Sci4life

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I like to refer to it as homemade pyrotechnics :) but yes a bomb everynow and then is fun - who doesnt like destruction :D
 

Offline i am bored

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i like this guy
 

Offline RD

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true

Mixing bathroom cleaners can result in the production of chlorine gas

Quote
The first killing agent employed by the German military was chlorine. German chemical companies BASF, Hoechst and Bayer (which formed the IG Farben conglomerate in 1925) had been producing chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing.[4] In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_gas_in_World_War_I

 

Offline i am bored

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true

Mixing bathroom cleaners can result in the production of chlorine gas

Quote
The first killing agent employed by the German military was chlorine. German chemical companies BASF, Hoechst and Bayer (which formed the IG Farben conglomerate in 1925) had been producing chlorine as a by-product of their dye manufacturing.[4] In cooperation with Fritz Haber of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, they began developing methods of discharging chlorine gas against enemy trenches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_gas_in_World_War_I


i wasnt talking about mixing the chimicals thats dangerous. i was just naming chemicals that it might work with
 

Offline Carolyn

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i would try this myself but i don't want to destroy my yard theres no place where i can do an experiment in an controlled environment

Thank you Nic...your mother greatly appreciates this!



Especially since you've already caught the house on fire once!!!
 

Offline i am bored

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 ;Dmuhahahahaha! ;Dnot my fault you gave birth to a pyro lol
 

Offline telesound

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I blew myself and my bedroom up making hydrogen from aluminium foil and caustic soda in a chemistry set glass conical flask gas production apparatus.
It was producing hydrogen much better than zinc and HCl going through a water trap.
I decided to light the end of the exit tube and next thing I knew was that my ears were ringing and the room was covered in bits of glass and caustic soda.
Amazingly, non of it went in my eyes. (in those days, we did not use safety glasses)
 

Offline i am bored

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woah
I blew myself and my bedroom up making hydrogen from aluminium foil and caustic soda in a chemistry set glass conical flask gas production apparatus.
It was producing hydrogen much better than zinc and HCl going through a water trap.
I decided to light the end of the exit tube and next thing I knew was that my ears were ringing and the room was covered in bits of glass and caustic soda.
Amazingly, non of it went in my eyes. (in those days, we did not use safety glasses)
 

Offline telesound

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Hi Nic, yes, aluminium foil and sodium hydroxide solution is extremely good at producing hydrogen .
I suppose you have to light the hydrogen for it to be truly explosive but in a sealed glass container it probably would have enough pressure to shatter the container.
Calcium carbide and water is probably a better route if you want a pressure explosion or spontaneous ignition and explosion of the acetylene produced.
I remember seeing instructions for making a small depth charge with it.
Sodium metal and water is even better. Throw some down the sink drain in the chem lab and watch all the waste water blow out of all the other sinks.
Have you ever made ammonium tri-iodide? Thats good fun.
I made chlorine from bleach and something else once(? potassium permangenate?), nearly killed me when I took a good deep breath of it. Real nasty stuff.
Happy days !

 

Offline Carolyn

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Uhm.....


NIC - PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!!!
 

Offline i am bored

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oh darn
 

Offline telesound

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Oops sorry Nic.
Anyway, have you ever tried making Nitroglycerine? Quite easy really.
 

Offline i am bored

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no how do you do it
 

Offline lightarrow

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Oops sorry Nic.
Anyway, have you ever tried making Nitroglycerine? Quite easy really.
No, not easy at all. Only expert chemists can do it. Please, try not to write this kind of stupid things.
 

Offline i am bored

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o well
 

Offline telesound

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Sorry Nic, better not tell you anymore 'cos its upsetting people.
Anyway, there are loads of "how to" sites if you really want to know.
Chemistry used to be fun but its too serious now.
 

another_someone

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascanio_Sobrero
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Ascanio Sobrero (October 12, 1812 – May 26, 1888), was the Italian chemist, born in Casale Monferrato, who discovered nitroglycerin in 1847 while working under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Torino, who had worked with the explosive material guncotton.

He studied medicine in Turino and Paris and than chemistry at the University of Gießen with Justus Liebig, being awarded with the phd in 1832. In 1845 he became professor at the University of Torino

He initially called his discovery "pyroglycerin", and warned vigorously against its use in his private letters and in a journal article, stating that it was extremely dangerous and impossible to handle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Oskar_Nobel
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As said from a documentary about Alfred Nobel, aired on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel, the explosion was caused by Alfred's nitro-glycerine.

Making it is one thing, staying alive is another.
« Last Edit: 28/08/2007 00:18:22 by another_someone »
 

Offline Carolyn

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Thanks Alberto & George!

Sorry Nic, better not tell you anymore 'cos its upsetting people.
Anyway, there are loads of "how to" sites if you really want to know.
Chemistry used to be fun but its too serious now.

I hope that chemistry is still fun for you and for Nic...but it should also be taken seriously.

I hope you stick around here and continue to contribute, however you should be careful with the information you post. 

Encouraging anyone, and in this instance, a 14 year old kid to go to a "how to" site to make something explosive that could injure or even kill, and possibly destroy their home is NOT a responsible or wise thing to do.
 

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