Production of Fuming Nitric Acid

Introduction

Nitric Acid is an extremely useful chemical and one of the three most used mineral acids in any common lab (the others being Sulfuric Acid and Hydrochloric Acid). It can be used to produce nitrate salts and to nitrate organic compounds. It has some nice properties which are illustrated in another post.

It is usually available as a 68% solution (azeotropic concentration). Such solutions are usually referred to as Azeotropic Nitric Acid. Solutions of Nitric Acid with concentrations greater than 86% are referred to as Fuming Nitric Acid. The name comes from the fact that said solutions fumigate when an air stream is applied.

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Synthesis of Ethyl Acetate

Introduction

Ethyl Acetate is a broadly used solvent. It has a sweet smell similar to pear drops (according to Wikipedia). I’m going to be making it using the classical Fischer Esterification reaction. This is an excellent synthesis to carry out when studying Organic Chemistry.

Ethyl Acetate has many uses, both as a solvent and as a reagent. It can be used to make Acetamide or Ethyl Acetoacetate, for instance. It has also gained some use as a Nail Polish Remover.

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Pure Silicon Dioxide from Sand

Introduction

Quartz is the second most common mineral in the surface of our planet. It also happens to be a crystalline form of Silicon Dioxide. The most common component of sand happens to be quartz. In this experiment we’re going to take sand, something everyone can get their hands on, and turn it into pure Silicon Dioxide that can be used in future chemical experiments.

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Nitrations

Introduction

Nitration is a common lab reaction. The theory behind it is a bit complex and I’m going to use this reaction in various synthesis. Because of it, I decided to write a post just about the theory behind Nitrations. Thus, any time I need to use it I can reference this post for a deeper explanation of the process.

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Benzoic Acid from the Oxidation of Toluene

Introduction

In this experiment I’ll be making Benzoic Acid from the oxidation of Toluene. Before starting, let me remind you that it is much easier and cheaper to simply buy Benzoic Acid or obtain it using other methods. This procedure was done to simply explore the chemistry behind it. However, it might be a good source of Benzoic Acid if you can’t find it anywhere.

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