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Weekend Project: Home Chemistry

The DEA sometimes needlessly restricts what we can and cannot do when it comes to chemistry. Watch as Phil Torrone and Bob Thompson foil the DEA once again!

To download Home Chemistry: Make Iodine MP4 click here or subscribe in iTunes.

@ The Maker store — The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments
For students, DIY hobbyists, and science buffs, who can no longer get real chemistry sets, this one-of-a-kind guide explains how to set up and use a home chemistry lab, with step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments in basic chemistry. Learn how to smelt copper, purify alcohol, synthesize rayon, test for drugs and poisons, and much more. The book includes lessons on how to equip your home chemistry lab, master laboratory skills, and work safely in your lab, along with 17 hands-on chapters that include multiple laboratory sessions.

30 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Home Chemistry

  1. Dean W. Armstrong says:

    Just remember to wear your safety googles.

  2. xLSDx says:

    The goggles do nothing!

  3. Samuel Gamlin says:

    now potassiums iodide will be made class 1

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it really necessary to post the same article to an RSS feed 4 different times?

  5. Phillip Torrone says:

    @Anonymous – can you email me and tell me what RSS reader you are using? i can’t replicate that problem.

  6. jkiniston says:

    I see the same issue with Google Reader.

    Four copies of this item and similar repetition previous days for the new kits.

  7. Chris Hepner says:

    I have this problem with Google Reader as well. It only occurs with the Make projects/videos, but it happens every time.

    If you could fix it, that would be awesome. :)

  8. Phillip Torrone says:

    ok, i’ll keep an eye on this, i think it happened because there were after-live-post edits, i’ll try to avoid those.

  9. gear head says:

    Great video. I know I’ve been really critical when it comes to the Make videos, but this is precisely the format, and the content and the message that I’d hoped all the weekend projects were like. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade but this little insight into chemistry was fascinating. It doesn’t have to be about making ‘canned’ projects, just as long as we’re learning something new it’s all good.

    Good to see Phil in front of the camera too, he scrubs up pretty well : )

  10. says:

    Love the video! As a total newbie to chemistry, I wonder what’s left over after you’ve filtered out and dried the iodine?

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    > what’s left over after you’ve filtered
    > out and dried the iodine?

    Nothing to be concerned about. The filtrate is a solution of primarily potassium chloride (the sodium-free salt substitute you can buy at the supermarket) plus small amounts of dilute hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide. You can flush the liquid waste down the drain with plenty of water.

  12. John says:

    I’m curious: I notice that in the video you didn’t actually do the final step of filtering the suspension, and if you can’t easily buy chemicals it’s generally illegal to make them.

    Would an American be breaking the law if the produced their own iodine in this manner? I assume O’Reilly’s lawyers had to clear this before it was published – did they suggest stopping before the final step, or was there a technical reason for it?

    Anyone got any resources on legality in other countries? I’m in the UK, and have no idea where to start looking to see which laws I should break first.

  13. Bob Darlington says:

    @Samuel Gamlin, “class 1” what? Do you mean Schedule 1? If so, that’s reserved for drugs, not chemicals.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I didn’t do the final filtering step because Phil wanted to keep the video to five minutes or less. It’s perfectly legal to complete the process, and it’s perfectly legal to possess iodine in whatever quantity. The only issue is that as a List I chemical, the sale of iodine is controlled to prevent meth lab operators from buying it without leaving a paper trail.

    As to the other comment, the DEA classifies iodine as a List I chemical (not a Schedule I drug). Under the Controlled Substances Act, List I chemicals are those that may be used in the synthesis of illicit drugs and are important to those syntheses, whicle Schedule I drugs are those with no accepted medical use and that have a very high abuse potential, such as heroin.

  15. anonymous says:

    Bob Thompson puts KI in water, then HCl, before adding dilute H2O2 he says you can add ANY oxidizer, like household bleach.

    Please do not take that seriously, HCl and NaOCl (bleach)makes Cl2 gas (that is chlorine gas). Although with the presence of KI, solid iodine (I2) will form in excess of any Cl2 – there will still be Cl2 produced if a hydrochloride is used, same will happen if you use TCCA, and also house hold bleach has NaOH in it which will neutralize the acid (depends on conc.)

    But nice little Vid, KI + dil. HCl + dil. H2O2 > I2

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