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I certainly wouldn't say "everyone" should try thermite reactions.Presumably the reason sulfur was chosen instead of something like iron oxide is that the sulfur is relatively easy to clean from the final product. Iron might be more problematic.Did you wash and dry your sand before using it? I would imagine the purer the products, and the finer the powder the better. Does the aluminum have to be "fresh"?
Your beach sand (from the ocean) would have salt, maybe other dirt, and other organics. I think I'd just rinse it a few times with plain water, perhaps first tap water, followed with a final rinse with distilled water.Aluminum will oxidize in air. I assume even aluminum powder will oxidize quickly to some extent. Although perhaps surface oxidation is just expected.I'm not sure how you acquire the reagents. If you are filing the aluminum off of a block or something, then I'd do it just before you're ready to use it. Heat from a grinding stone might make it worse.If you are getting an incomplete reaction, perhaps a touch more aluminum will help, or try changing other reagents.
Quartz, of course, is almost pure SIO2. So, perhaps looking for white sand?Glasses also have varying purity of SIO2, usually doped with other elements.I wonder what would happen if you added a little carbon.SiO2(s) + 2 C(s) → Si(s) + 2 CO(g)
There are other aspects to be explored as well -- what sort of container to use for the reaction, whether an inert atmosphere is required to prevent reaction between hot silicon metal and atmospheric oxygen and/or nitrogen, and probably one or two others. They are the sorts of issues where you could get good practical advice from the experience of a welder.
I certainly wouldn't say "everyone" should try thermite reactions.
Presumably the reason sulfur was chosen instead of something like iron oxide is that the sulfur is relatively easy to clean from the final product. Iron might be more problematic.
When it had reacted it formed one nice large lump of "metal" I then put that along with some smaller remains in water- If you do this, do not breathe this, it's hydrogen sulfide from what I have read, but I am unsure.
- and waited until all the bubbling had stopped, which took a good hour or so, which I filtered out and I got some pieces of Silicon which is sitting right now in Acid to get more of a look like in the video.
This is the reason for which "not everyone" should try these reactions If water reacts with Al sulfide to give the extremely toxic H2S, you can imagine an acid...
Hehe, yes you do make a valid case for why everyone probably should't do them, but still, if you venture away from civilization and just put it in a field and wait a few hours from a safe distance it should be fine, and when putting the silicon in the acid, would't the acid remove any left over Sulfur until only "pure" silicon "metal" remains, which reacts very very slowly with Hcl, so it would't produce any toxic gasses after the sulfur is gone, which would't take very long?