A potassium (which is almost sodium) story
Hey man...greeting from around the globe.
This is wrt a story I just had to tell someone and well as a fellow sci nut (no offence), I'm happy to share with u.
this happened around 5 yrs ago while i was still a high school student, let me
give u a little background about me. i was 16 doing my O's and well one of the
better chem students in my school...better as in I have a cert to say no 1s
better but that was in 1st yr. But anyways, I came around w/ an idea how to
"obtain" a fairly decent quantity of K (100grams). For personal experimentation,
as u know how teachers are. No one would allow anyone to temper w/ any sizable
quantity of K.
Well skipping to the interesting part, I placed aboutt .25 gram sample into a piece
of tissue paper in attempt to dry it off, it was soaked in kerosene for obvious
reasons. When i pressed the K and paper together i felt as if it was growing
warm which i for some reason thought was interesting. Being in a humid country
and i mean really humid....check out the humidity in Malaya. U get the idea.
The .25 gram sample literally blew up in my hand perhaps that as well as my
hands being sweaty.... Well I was a rebel scientist without a cause and at times
w/o thinking about safety. The funny part was what happened after it blew up. I had
1-2 degree burns on my fingers and couldn't figure out if I should run my
fingers under water. Laughs...it was the perfect dilemma. to cool off ya burns or
to risk ya fingernails being blown off...serves me right I reckon.
But in the long run I learnt how to treat chemicals of all types esp dangerous
kinds w/ a new found respect...and hey i aced my papers...and oh my chem teacher
somehow found out and I was forced to return the remaining sample... 60+ grams
but when she had to deal w/ the chemical she asked me for advice on it...
i did a load more test before and after this incident which came w/o incident (no pun
intended). Potassium in water...at various temperatures, w/ acetic acid, in air
different timings (could last for ages if you din remove the oil 1st...hence the
above incident), etc wish i had a camera tho...
Oh and do you know if you press a piece of potassium for just a few seconds till it
feels mildly warm in a piece of tissue you can throw it and it becomes a fireball?
Kool trick but well had some risky beginnings...
Presently I'm working on an advanced dip in Chemical Processing. w/ my sights on a Masters.
Hope u enjoyed reading this
D'john / potassium boy (ya the high school still remembers me by this name..