From: John Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 06/08/01-08:54:54 PM Z
I probably shouldn't reply to this, but ......
ken watson wrote:
> I have a process where I have discovered that I can use sulfuric acid to
> improve image quality. As most know there is a large charge to ship
> "dangerous" stuff across the country. AND, I see numerous car batteries (
> lead acid ) waiting in stacks at tire and other stores. Knowing that they
> started out with sulfuric acid in them I was thinking / wondering what it
> would take to re-cycle this material into a few images?
> SO here are the questions:
> 1. How do I refine the acid from the batteries to get relatively pure
> sulfuric acid?
Try your idea with dilute sulfuric first - conc. H2SO4 is truly nasty to work
with, and even diluted will quite readily take all your clothes to shreds and
leave you a few skin patches such as the ones I earned 20 years ago. Boiling is
a great way to concentrate it and also damage your lungs for life. Go ask a
battery shop if you want the straight stuff (and also some good advice on
> 2. How do I measure the purity / strength of the acid? Is pH the best
Get a simple hygrometer (like a large turkey baster with a graduated float) from
your friendly auto store (Checker, Pep Boys,...), pull up some acid (from the
battery) with the bulb, and see where the float floats.
> 3. I can not remember if a charged battery or a discharged battery has the
> most acid?
> I live in a 200 sq. ft house and plan to do this in my bathroom.....NO NO It
> will be done outside! Most likely in the garden where acidifying the soil
> would be an advantage.
I suggest not. You will undoubtedly acidify the knees and cuffs of your pants,
which will allow you to choose a new wardrobe. If you have children or
non-chemists around, they could be severly hurt or blinded by enjoying the
garden. If you really want to try this on some prints, FIRST, buy a large bag of
sodium bicarbonate (very cheap) for cleanup and to neutralize mistakes and the
errant, tiny splashes which always occur with liquid bubbles bursting. THEN,
work with a small amount at a table away from your house, with eye protection,
gloves, a bucket of water and the bicarb close by. ALWAYS add the acid to the
water, never the reverse.
BTW, we (at the USDA lab where I have (mis)spent 2/3 of my life) had a PhD
try to keep sulfuric acid to use on his soil at home. The plastic bottles burst
as the acid continued about its duty of digesting organics (cotton lint, in this
case), and sprayed 12-15 feet up onto a wall and ceiling. I got to clean it up.
- John Edwards, Tucson, Arizona ( I'm not a chemist, I just play on on TV)
p.s. - consider a friendlier acid
[replies from Richard Sullivan would be greatly appreciated at
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