Monday, 19 August 2013

By on August 19th, 2013 in science kits

12:57 – Have I mentioned that I hate working with hygroscopic solids? I just finished filling 80 bottles with anhydrous calcium chloride, which is not just hygroscopic but deliquescent. Fortunately, the stuff is prills rather than powder. Prilling reduces surface area enough that I was able to fill bottles without going to extremes to keep the stuff dry. Also fortunately, I’d ordered ten 500 g bottles rather than one 5 kg bottle. That was pure chance; one 5 kg bottle cost more than ten 500 g bottles. But boy am I glad that I got the smaller bottles. I’d forgotten how much of a pain in the ass anhydrous calcium chloride is to work with, at least if you want it to stay anhydrous. As it was, I was able to open a 500 g bottle, quickly fill and cap sixteen 30 mL pharma packer bottles, and then move on to the next batch. I’ve also filled batches of petroleum ether and 95% ethanol, which I now need to label and tape the caps of.

23 Comments and discussion on "Monday, 19 August 2013"

  1. jim` says:

    How many molecules of H2O does 1 of CaCl2 absorb?

  2. OFD says:


    I dunno, that number just popped into my head.

    Nope. Wrong. Someone asked this six years ago:

    What is the hydrated cacl2 chemical formula?how many h2o molecules are there in hydrated cacl2?
    the base behind this question is what is the magnitude of dehydrating capasity of unhydrous cacl2.It means how much quantity of H2O can be bound by one gram of unhydrous cacl2?
    6 years ago

    Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

    Molar mass CaCl2 = 110.99 g/mol
    moles CaCl2 = 1 g / 110.99 =0.00901
    For CaCl2.2H2O for each gram of CaCl2 => 0.00901 moles there are 0.00901 x 2 = 0.0180 moles of water
    0.00180 mol x 18.02 g/mol = 0.325 g of water.
    6 years ago

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    How many molecules of H2O does 1 of CaCl2 absorb?

    The actual answer is undefined because it depends on data not supplied. Calcium chloride is deliquescent, which means it will suck water vapor out of the air until it actually dissolves in that water. The actual mass of water vapor that one gram of anhydrous calcium chloride will suck out of the surrounding air before the solution reaches equilibrium with the surrounding air depends on the temperatures of the solution and the air and the relative humidity of the air.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, that answer is so wrong that it’s a good example of why one can’t trust voters to make the right decision.

  5. OFD says:

    That’s about what I thought, being a recovering English major; note that it’s been posted on Yahoo Answers for six years, roughly the same length of time Barry Soetero has been CINC.

    80s here today, and sunny with blue skies. The pier is now fully visible again and operational and we see more boats berthed there if only for an hour or two. And one of our five kittens has already caught a mouse; these are the fastest-developing kittens I’ve ever seen and we wonder if it’s because they spent a longer than usual time with their mother after being born.

    Mrs. OFD serving a ten-day sentence in Montgomery, Alabama.

    And I’m off early tomorrow AM for the burial service three hours south of here of the recently departed 17-year-old.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sorry. That really sucks.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    This also sucks. They should hold him down and dry shave him. Required by law to keep paying him. He isn’t exempt from mil regs. Make him follow the rules or suffer:

  8. OFD says:

    It does indeed; more background details for those interested: she was born with fetal-alcohol-syndrome and adopted at age nine, after years of abuse. Adoptive parents separated a couple of years ago acrimoniously with mutual restraining orders, etc., bad scene, not conducive to any family stability, while her three sisters all got married and/or moved away. She’d been hoarding handgun ammo (still don’t know what kind of handgun and if I ask I get “Who cares?”) and just prior to her death had been watching the Military Channel on cable with her adoptive mother (herself a serious problem-person), a show about snipers and how they go for center-mass shots, i.e., to the heart. So shortly after that wonderful show with her marvelous mom she shot herself directly in the heart.

    There had also been two recent teen suicides, males, at her high school, dunno if she knew them or not.

    What also sucks is that judging from the responses to her online memorial fund she had tons of family and friends who cared deeply about her.

  9. SteveF says:

    Did anyone understand what RBT was talking about in today’s blog post? All I got from it is that hydrocephalic delinquents are a pain in the ass, which I already knew.

  10. jim` says:

    LOL, Steve. I’m trying to figure a way to dehydrate my down pillows on a regular basis without spending a fortune. It isn’t sunny in Seattle and dryers are $1.50 a pop. Silica beads don’t soak up enough water, and dehydrating them takes a couple hour$ in a hot oven. CaCl2 in a sealed box seems the way to go. What happens if you evaporate f the CaCl2 solution? Do you end up with some weird compound, or just the CaCl2?

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, calcium chloride will dry your pillows. Of course, you have to have the pillows and the solid calcium chloride in an airtight container, and the salt will eventually liquefy. You might want to use a large plastic jar with a bunch of holes poked in the lid to hold the solid.

    Any form of solid calcium chloride will suck water from the air, and will continue doing so until well after it starts to liquefy. You can renew the calcium chloride by pouring a thin layer into a baking dish and baking it in the kitchen oven to dry it. It doesn’t matter if you get it completely anhydrous. I don’t know if they sell the stuff where you are, but those ice-melt pellets are generally a mixture of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and perhaps some other stuff. If oven-dried, that stuff should work for you.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    Obamacare Strikes, and Forever 21 Cuts Employees’ Hours:

    Wow, at the time Obamacare passed, Rush stated that it was a plan for failure to get a Single Payer plan. I thought he was wrong and oops, he is right. Coming in from the employer side, I hate heath insurance. It is not just the cost ($488/month/employee) but all the options and all the variables.

    I’ve got a 55+ year old friend who just turned up with pancreatic cancer. And no health insurance. She’s unemployed and her husband make $20/hour on good day. There is no way that they can afford health insurance. But, she managed to get into MD Anderson Cancer Center through the ER. They admitted her and are going to file on her for SSI and get her into Medicaid. And I am glad of it.

    Her husband told me yesterday that he got her first bill for a stent in her bile duct (the tumor grew into it) and it was $55,000. I told him just to ignore it, they have no savings and no assets other than a fifth wheel trailer they live in, a 10 year old pickup truck and a H-D motorcycle that he is underwater on. I told him that it is his job to get her healthy and he agreed with me. I suspect that our church will be helping them out big time over the next couple of years and again, I’m glad we will be able to help.

    I would like to see some basic single payer plan in the USA that is funded out of people’s paychecks (i.e. Medicare for all). However, there needs to be an independent system that people can go to if they are willing to pay cash for their treatment.

  13. jim` says:

    Thanks Bob, I’ll give a shot. I’ve seen CaCl2 sold as a “closet dehumidifier” but wasn’t sure what it turned into after it absorbed the water. I’ll use a Rubbermaid storage bin and just burn off the water after every use, preferably before it has a chance to go into solution. That way the little prills will stay intact.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That should work fine. The calcium chloride isn’t changed when it sucks up water. It simply bonds with water molecules, which can be driven off by heat. The closet dehumidifier stuff is probably mostly or all calcium chloride. Sometimes, the manufacturers include a tiny amount of cobalt chloride, which is blue in anhydrous form and red when hydrated. When you dry such materials, they turn bluish. As they suck up water vapor, they turn pink.

  15. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “I’ve got a 55+ year old friend who just turned up with pancreatic cancer.”

    Wow, sorry to hear that, that one is a real bummer and people don’t often survive long.

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    Mrs. OFD serving a ten-day sentence in Montgomery, Alabama.
    She is only spending a couple of days, it just seems like 10.

    What is first prize in an Alabama spelling bee? Two days in Montgomery. What is second prize? Four days in Montgomery.

  17. SteveF says:

    Who’s a virgin in Alabama? The girl who can run faster than her brothers.

  18. OFD says:

    Nope, it’s a full ten days’ sentence. She flunked the spelling bee.

    I’ll be sure to tell her that virgin joke when she calls later so she can repeat it to her class of cops, firefighters, soldiers, gun nuts, still operators, and bartenders. (just guessing).

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    Make sure you give them Steve’s address… 🙂

    Whatever you say about Alabama ladies, they sure have sweet accents.

  20. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] he got her first bill for a stent in her bile duct (the tumor grew into it) and it was $55,000. [snip]

    But that bill, like all hospital bills, is fiction. On Saturday, I got the hospital bill for my older sister’s two day stay in the hospital in July; grand total $82,112 . But step one is the ‘Contractual Adjustment’ for her particular BC/BS of FL policy of $72,308.62, or just over 88%. Then Blue Cross paid 90% of what was left, so my sister’s estate has to cough up $1000. I would suggest that any bill where the first step was “Write off 7/8ths of the total” was as fraudulent on its face as is the attempt to collect the whole $88 grand from Mary Sue Uninsured. Essentially the same idea, with slightly differing percentages, from the ER doc that examined her when I took her in.

  21. Ray Thompson says:

    But that bill, like all hospital bills, is fiction.

    They bill like that because they don’t know what the insurance is going to pay is what I have been told. But I think it is more sinister.

    On a bill of $82K where the insurance deducts $72K the hospital now has a $82K loss to report on their books for people with no insurance who do not pay. The hospital may even be taking a loss of $72K on the people that pay the reduced insurance amount.

    Obamacare is going to make it worse. He knows it, congress knows it. That is why they have exempted themselves.

  22. Lynn McGuire says:

    I would suggest that any bill where the first step was “Write off 7/8ths of the total” was as fraudulent on its face as is the attempt to collect the whole $88 grand from Mary Sue Uninsured.

    Yup. The entire system is a freaking nightmare. Obamacare will make it better. Not!

  23. OFD says:

    One of our med bills from a local area hospital was for x dollars. We let it slide for a while and then they offered to cut a third off it. Mrs. OFD sez they pull this shit all the time, jacking up charges and seeing what the market will bear and who will end up paying.

    I told her that virgin joke and she’d already heard it but in reference to West Virginia; if you haven’t seen it, check the flick, available last I knew on Netflix:

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