Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

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Mark
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:15 pm

Seems I remember my brother once was electrolyzing some saltwater when we were making some hydrogen one day. He accidentally traced his finger in the solution, but pulled it out very quickly.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by El-Kablooey » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:17 pm

There is nothing unsafe about microwave transformers after you cut off the high voltage secondary and re-wrap a low voltage/high amp secondary.

And a battery charger is the best bet period. For the home electrolyzer anyway. When the transformer steps down the voltage, it multiplies the amperage. You cannot get more than 20 or so amps from your wall without tripping a breaker, step it down to 20 volts, that 20 amps becomes 120.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Hank » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:25 am

Hello- The next time you , in a pique of boredom, drill a hole in the base of a plastic soda bottle and toss in some combustable in order to make it fly, try this. Add some Magnesium powder to the Alcohol and roll the suspension around the interior of the battle, coating it. Low Earth Orbit.

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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by pezman » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:18 am

Cool idea.

Walmart sells magnesium blocks in the camping section as a little fire-starting kit. Basically, you scrape off a few flakes, spark it and get the fire going.

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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Anders Troberg » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:27 am

There is nothing unsafe about microwave transformers after you cut off the high voltage secondary and re-wrap a low voltage/high amp secondary.
I merely meant that if you know how to do that, you know how to handle mains power safely. The bottom line, in electronics or in rocketry, is always to make sure you know what you are doing. There is a certain danger, but it comes from lack of knowledge.

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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:31 pm

I used the fire starter block that Walmart sells to make hydrogen a few years ago. I put an inch long segment I sawed off into some methanol and it fizzed like an Alka-Seltzer in water.
But on another occasion it didn't do anything. Either the methanol this time had an anti-corrosion substance in it that inhibited the reaction or the oxide layer on the magnesium was to blame, it's been awhile. Best bet though is to use a freshly exposed surface.
I've bought very dry methanol through the mail, some from Walmart, and some from the race track boys.
I would be interested to hear some stories on the topic. Perhaps too, if your methanol were warmer, the reaction would go faster.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by El-Kablooey » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:13 pm

You could remove the water from methanol by letting some oven-dried epson salts soak in it overnight, the epson salts should absorb all of the water, leaving only pure methanol. Dry the epson salts either in your oven at 300 degrees for an hour or so, or do it the quick and easy way by putting it in your microwave until it stops fizzling and crackling. Either way you will end up with one chunk of off-white epson salt that looks absolutely nothing like it did before dry.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Dang911 » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:43 pm

As far as hydrogen forming in methanol, I really doubt that. I think you were using hydrochloric acid. Placing Mg in hydrochloric acid yields the most hydrogen for using the least amount of energy. A second best and cheaper method is to use Zinc. Although im still trying to perfect the electrolysis idea, if you want A LOT of hydrogen, NOW, use Mg and hydrochloric acid.

As far as methanol goes. WALMART SELLS IT?? What name is it sold under and how much for what quantity. I currently buy all my methanol from VP RACING FUELS. I get it for $5/gallon.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by El-Kablooey » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:14 am

What? Mark is right about methanol, and I don't know about Mg and HCl for sure but I'm pretty darn positive you get hydrogen chloride which is pure anhydrous HCl, and some really nasty shit you don't want to mess with.
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Re: re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:17 am

[quote="Dang911"]As far as hydrogen forming in methanol, I really doubt that.

How much was the bet?
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:23 am

You could use hydrochloric acid and zinc or magnesium but zinc would be cheaper.
One thing neat about magnesium methoxide is that it is used to dry alcohols. I wonder how you make magnesium methoxide? ; )
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Dang911 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:36 am

OK, so I looked it up in my chem book, you are right..... BUT, you will get a much better yield (the best humanly possible) with HCl and Mg.

Here is the reaction (balanced), 2HCl + Mg ----> MgCl2 + H2

So you DO NOT GET Hydrogen chloride, you get magnesium chloride!!

Again this reaction yields the most hydrogen humanly possible with any chemical reaction known to man at this time. Zinc yields slightly less, but it a lot cheaper, followed by aluminum, which would be pointless because it releases less hydrogen, and costs more than zinc.

MARK, whats the deal with Methanol at Walmart? How much, and whats it name as?
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:41 am

Another variable in the methanol/magnesium reaction would be the water content of the methanol.
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re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:46 am

Go to the automotive part and look for gasoline additives. You want to get a yellow plastic bottle that says HEET. You can read on the label a warning about containing methanol in small type. The bottle will feel taunt from the vapor pressure. Methanol is great for whistling bottles. Where I live it is about 75 cents for a bottle perhaps 12 ounces, I can't remember. At my race car place it is a little less than 3 dollars a gallon.
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Re: re: Plastic Soda Bottle + Alcohol = Rocket

Post by Mark » Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:14 am

[quote="Dang911"]OK, so I looked it up in my chem book, you are right..... BUT, you will get a much better yield (the best humanly possible) with HCl and Mg.

Here is the reaction (balanced), 2HCl + Mg ----> MgCl2 + H2

So you DO NOT GET Hydrogen chloride, you get magnesium chloride!!

Again this reaction yields the most hydrogen humanly possible with any chemical reaction known to man at this time.

In the above reaction you use 2 parts HCL and 1 of Mg.
Draw up the reaction of methanol, (CH3OH) and Mg, remembering that Mg has a valence of +2. Or just look at the formula for magnesium methoxide. It's one of those two parts to one part reactions.
Mark
Last edited by Mark on Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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