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I need a strong oxidizer

  1. Feb 24, 2004 #1


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    I need a strong oxidizer to break down some copper but I don't have access to anything that would be restricted to a chem lab (such as concentrated nitric acid). Are there any common chemicals I could buy from a hardware store that are very strong and fast working oxidizers? Even just a concentrated source of nitrate would be good; I have lots of hydrochloric acid I could add to it.

    Don't say bleach. At only 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, it's very slow and quite expensive for how much one really gets (it's mostly just water).
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  3. Feb 24, 2004 #2


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    Instant cold packs contain ammonium nitrate.
  4. Feb 24, 2004 #3
    Fertilizers also contain NH4NO3, something like 13-0-0 if my memory is correct. KNO3 is also found in fertilizers, something like 46-0-13, it's also used in stump removers. Maybe H2SO4 would be useful here, most drain cleaners contain it (look for the ones in plastic wrapping), the one I bought is 98%, good oxidizer. KMnO4 is also useful, although I'm not sure where you might find this one (I've had a bit of trouble locating it). People say you can find it in small quantities at the pharmacy. People also claim it's a useful anti-bacterial agent used in pond treatment, check the pet store?

    H2O2 will also be a useful oxidizer. Maybe not in the concentration at most stores but you can purify it by freezing it and seperating the frozen water from the slurry concentrated H2O2, this will probably suffice as a strong oxidizer. Not speaking from experience here, but I've read some stuff on it.

    HCl will reduce nitrates to HNO3? I always thought sulphuric was the only acid strong enough to do this, I guess it depends on the concentration. How concentrated is it?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2004
  5. Feb 24, 2004 #4


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    It's not about trying to make HNO3 as a solid or gas or whatever that is, it's about getting those ions together.
    Have a look at this table http://myfiles.dyndns.org/pictures/redox.png

    [tex]2NO_3^- + 4H^+ + 2e^- ---> N_2O_4 + 2H_2O ------- +0.80v[/tex]

    nitrate + acid = strong oxidizer. Bleach (OCL-) is right above that reaction with +0.84v

    For most metals it would be, but not for copper. For copper to oxidize, the oxidizer must have an electrical potential of +0.34v or greater. H2SO4 only has a potential of +0.17v.

    About that fertilizer..... Would it be safe to add hydrochloric acid to fertilizer? There's a lot of weird chemicals in that and I really don't want to end up dead.
    I'll try looking for that KMnO4. When mixed with acid that is one heck of an oxidizer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  6. Feb 24, 2004 #5
    You need the crystalline fertilizers.
    Commonly sold as nitrate of potash (KNO3), nitrate of soda (NaNO3). I have never personally found any but I have yet to go to a garden supplier store.
    You will probably find this link very useful if you are concerned with the purity of your KNO3.

  7. Feb 28, 2004 #6


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    I saw KMnO4 not too long ago in a Sears. Check their water softeners section. I remember that caught my eye.
  8. Feb 28, 2004 #7

    You wouldn't happen to know any other details about this?
  9. Feb 28, 2004 #8


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    I just know that it is Kenmore brand. I've never purchased any so I don't know about the purity or other such properties, but here's a link showing they've got it: http://www.kenmorewater.com/productlist/maintenance-accessories/34415-34417.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  10. Feb 29, 2004 #9
    Sexcellent. Guess who'll be going to Sears tomorrow?! And to Kramer's, the garden store. OH YEAH. Gotta love the sabbath. PRAISE JESUS!
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