October 20, 2004

        I was attempting to make bromine by a procedure I had used before, the reaction of sodium bromide with potassium bromate and sulfuric acid:

2KBrO3 + 6H2SO4 + 10NaBr  ---> 6Br2 + 6H2O + 5Na2SO4 + K2SO4

        So for every mol of potassium bromide 3 mol of Br2 are produced so I've always considered this a good reaction to make bromine.  Anyway, the weather was cool but I knew the reaction would heat up and I like to keep my bromine cool so it doesn't get everywhere.  So before even adding the H2SO4, with just the solid reagents in the container I added a bunch of crushed ice, and as I added dilute H2SO4 I kept adding ice.  When it was over I had the familiar bromine (very bottom, you can barely make it out) and above it a precipitate, I thought at first that it was sulfates crystallizing out of the solution, but when I removed some it immediately melted and released bromine, I had made bromine hydrate which is a crystalline compound stable at less then 4C.  It was an interesting side note to this otherwise normal reaction.

October 25, 2004

        A continuation of my experiments from May 22, here I once again tried electrolysis of lithium chloride in DMSO.  This time though I used a smaller power source over a greater period of time, it was less then 1 A therefore I did not expect, nor did I get any lithium metal.  However what I did get was an interesting precipitate, seen floating in the solution and a distinct separation between the solution that occurred.  Notice that the top turned a deep red and developed an intense smell, whereas nickel ions formed from the anode dissolving floated straight to the bottom and made their own layer there.  I am still wondering about the precipitate though, some condensation reaction, or even something really interesting like methyl lithium?  A very interesting reaction despite the fact I only have a small amount of direction as to what is going on.

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