[ExI] Ants to spike

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Oct 20 14:13:45 UTC 2009

> jameschoate at austin.rr.com
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Ants to spike
> ---- Anders Sandberg <asa at nada.kth.se> wrote: 
> > 
> > ...
> > Besides it is much more fun to actually do experiments 
> oneself. Which 
> > laws of physics have we actually tested at home, lately? (I 
> think my 
> > latest experiment was when I tried to extract lead from 
> paint chips by 
> > boiling them in vinegar and identify it by precipitating it 
> with salt; 
> > the experiment failed but smelled wonderfully of Chemistry)...

Anders, precipitating lead from paint chips can probably be done with
ordinary household chemicals, but not with vinegar.  Mineral spirits or
turpentine would likely be your best bet for getting the stuff into solution
to start with.  When you say precipitate it with salt, if you meant sodium
chloride, you can consult the periodic table and recognize that you would
form little or no lead chloride.  So I can see at least two things in this
approach that might explain your result.

I may look up and try to estimate the lead content of paint, which I suspect
is very low, then sketch a device to extract it from a solution using
electroplating.  As low as lead is in reactivity and with that +4 oxidation
state, don't get too optimistic.  Might need to figure out a way to extract
the paint, then evaporate the solvent, then try to separate the lead from
the rest of the goo that is left over.

Otherwise my guess is try to form a nitrate or a sulfide rather than a
chloride, then try to extract the lead nitrate or lead sulfide using a

Of course if you try to get either sulfuric or nitric acid, you may attract
the attention of the authorities.


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