Author Topic: Strange color!  (Read 218 times)

Offline axkman

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Strange color!
« on: August 20, 2020, 07:22:45 PM »
Hi guys!

Today I tried to make a new batch. This time with some baking soda and dextrose from the start of the electrodissolution process.
First time i did it with baking soda. I did 30grams of baking soda in the oven for 2 hours on 200 degrees celsius. Then I put 3 gram of it in a 30ml bottle with 30ml distilled water.
I did a drop of the soda solution in 500ml distilled water and my ampmeter jumped to 6,5ma. Then i put some drops of dextrose solution in it.
I exprected the solution to be clear and becoming yellow because the reducing process is going while the electrodissolution process is happening.

BUT.. when i looked 30mins later, my water was having a very strange color. Do you guys what went wrong?


Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 08:24:29 PM »
How much dextrose did you use? You need nearly nothing.

I've noticed similar things with dextrose (cloudiness) and its directly attributable to the dextrose.  When I did a 20PPM run and added the dextrose after, thats what happened. Doing that with Karo or maltodextrin, not. I've never tried continuous reduction with dextrose (adding it at the start of the run). I do that all the time with Karo and/or maltodextrin and get great results.  The clearest is malto reduced with Karo holding a close second IMHO. And yes, either can be gel capped though the result will be a little darker with malto reduction which is normal.

Others here have sworn by dextrose (a.k.a. glucose - same sugar, 2 names - dextrose in foods, glucose scientifically) but my experiences differ.

Dextrose/glucose reduces VERY quickly and at least for me, I'm wondering if that might be part of the issue.  I've not done any experiments to figure out whats going on. After a couple failures, I simply moved to karo for gel capped and malto for naked and I'm a happy camper.

You made a little less than a 1M sodium carbonate solution. The procedure is to put the powder in the jar and add enough water to the level you're looking for. So adding enough volume of water once the 3g is in the jar to get to 30ml, NOT adding 30ml of water.  Unless what I said above is what you meant.

Even still, 1 drop is not enough. You need 20 drops per liter so 10 drops of 1M sodium carbonate. If you're running at lower currents, you might have to back off on that by 2-3 drops per liter so you can get the cell voltage high enough.  You don't want to back off much because reducing sugars need to be in an alkaline environment to reduce.  Distilled is usually a little below 7PH (slightly acidic) if its sat on the shelf in the store for any length of time beyond when it was made. It absorbs carbon dioxide from the air (yes, THROUGH the plastic - ALL plastics are porous, the transpiration rate just being modulated by the density of the plastic) which is carbolic acid in the water.  The 20 drops 1M/liter pushes the PH up to around 8-8.5 which is the perfect place for reduction. It also increases conductivity in the water but beyond this, it inhibits the silver ions you're pulling into the water during a run from plating out on the cathode.

If you only added 1 drop, its highly likely that your PH was too low and weirdness ensued.

Also, you didn't mention what your cell voltage was. It needs to be over 10V for proper manufacture. A little higher (even several volts) is GOOD, NOT bad. 10V is about an absolute minimum.

You also didn't mention if you're using a current limiter to maintain constant current through the cell.

Offline axkman

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 08:38:51 PM »
Hi!

Thanks for your reaction, appreciated!

I used quite some dextrose (2 tea spoon in 30ml distilled water) and then 8 drops of it. My dad told me there was no harm in using more dextro as reducing, it'll only make the end product taste sweeter. But if anyone here has other experiences, im all open for the information/advice :-)

I used lm317 current limiter which is put at 2.0ma  max current. The voltage over the cell is 17,62volts.

I still am a bit unsure about the sodium stuff. I read the articles on this site and recalculated to 30ml so i thought  put 10 grams of baking soda in the oven 200 degress celcius for 2 hours. Then 3 grams of it in 30ml to get my solution.

Whenever I dont use any sodium or electrolyte, my solution is always perfect clear. But the current then is very low and i have to run the process for hours to get it yellow. My dextro does reduce also without me using any elektrolyte/sodium so i was doing that so far. Just distilled water, silver electrodes and very low current for hours, then few drops of dextro solution to make it yellow.

Now im experimenting with adding dextro from the start and thought "lets try sodium too". But then my weird brew happened, haha!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 07:58:07 PM by axkman »

Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2020, 08:20:54 AM »
I don't recall how much dextrose to use but as I recall its a TINY amount.  Dextrose from what others have said creates the least clear Colloidal Silver. No clue why.

Search around the forum.  You might find some information as to how much dextrose to use.

If you have an LM317 in the TO220 big leaded package, be happy you can get it to work down to 6.5ma.  That part is only guaranteed to work down to 10ma (seriously).

The LM317LZ in the smaller TO92 leaded package can actually achieve 2.5ma but I'd be surprised if you couldn't push it maybe a little below 2ma.

I bought 20 of these from china (Aliexpress) a while ago and including shipping, I don't think it even cost me $1.  I haven't had the time to try one yet but soon.  I'm needing to make some Colloidal Silver and my current 2 transistor limiter is a little "touchy" and I need to make a new one.  It was a quick hack-together job but its served me well for perhaps the last 4-5 years and its made MANY GALLONS of Colloidal Silver.  Time for a new one.

If you dissolve the glucose in water/vodka (50/50), you can leave it in a sealed container out on the counter forever and it will NOT evolve life. We do that with Karo as its kind of hard to measure out drops of something thats about as gooey as molassas.  With 50/50 vodka/Karo, its almost water thin.

Can't you get Karo light clear corn syrup or even maltodextrin? If you have a beer/wine home brewing supply shop nearby, chances are good you can get maltodextrin there. You need more but it makes about the clearest product though it comes out a bit darker due to the amount of malto you need to use.

Malto is long chains of glucose molecules all hooked together. Only one end of that chain can reduce so necessarily you need a lot more chains to get enough reducing groups to reduce your IS to Colloidal Silver properly.  Malto is also a great stabilizer.  Karo, not - at least not for anything much over 20PPM.

Offline SaltyCornflakes

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2020, 02:15:15 PM »
Dextrose is about 8-12 times more powerful than malto, so divide by 10 and try it again. By your measurements, I calculated 6g for 30ml, which is roughly 11,66mg dextrose per drop. One drop should be enough for 500ml 20PPM. Two should not hurt. Basically you used 10 times the dextrose and 1/10th of the sodium carbonate required. ;)

I've heard it said on the forum that unlike maltodextrin, using too much dextrose can somehow mess up your reaction. Low PPM dextrose reduced should turn out perfectly fine as it's almost identical to Karo. Even better, actually, as it's a pure product and Karo is a consumer food item with some additives (?). I have to defer to the experts on Karo, but my experience with dextrose has been good.

Next to the alcohol method, you can also just use the powder which I find simplest - and since in this line of work having a fine scale is really useful anyway, I would go with that. Your sugar water will be fine as long as you don't keep using it for months and months. I would make a few batches with it, then toss it. Keep it in the fridge in the meanwhile.

Still, it appears strange that you got such a strong result. I'll try to replicate it. By the way, 6,5mA at 30 minutes puts you at 25ish PPM. If your goal was 20, you overshot. You have to be exact because you measure the additives either for PPM (reducer, stabilizer) or volume (sodium carbonate).
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 02:32:39 PM by SaltyCornflakes »

Offline SaltyCornflakes

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2020, 02:49:16 PM »
Okay, here's my finding so far:

With only 1 drop sodium carbonate, the solution is so nonconductive that my homemade generator (5,1mA constant at max 60V) struggles to deliver even 1,2mA at 60 V. I don't know how your generator works, but it's quite possible that it ran out of spec. If the distilled water was pure, and with just 1 drop sodium carbonate in, there is just no way that your generator delivered 6,5mA at 18V. It could maybe do that at several hundred V. It also depends on the size / spacing / submersion of electrodes as well as temperature. Using my conditions of tiny cathode (3mm copper wire submerged) and big anode (1/2 ounce silver coin, 3/4 submerged), electrodes about 4cm apart, room temperature, I get these numbers.

If you repeat this experiment, please do both current and voltage testing throughout using a multimeter. I am curious what you will find.

I am continuing the run with 10 drops sodium carbonate now, 90mg dextrose. At correct pH, my generator is delivering 5,1mA at 26V. I'm pretty sure the dextrose was not the problem.

Edit: After 30 minutes, just as the run was finished, the clear solution turned quickly yellow and then amber. It is slightly too dark and it is a bit turbid, but I did let it run for a while with the wrong pH and at 1,2mA 60V. This is mostly to show that it makes little difference whether you use 9mg or 90mg dextrose. But if you were to use 3g instead of 150mg in a gelatin run, things could be different.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 05:56:31 PM by SaltyCornflakes »

Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 07:53:42 PM »
This is a very useful post regarding amount of reducing agent required and how the results were obtained (the bottom post on page 2 if this doesn't take you there):

https://www.cgcsforum.org/index.php?topic=2546.msg21231#msg21231

Glucose: 0.8835mg
Maltose: 1.5865mg
Maltodextrin: 14.194mg

So 20 mg of silver requires so much glucose = ( 20 / 107.87 ) * 180.16 / 2 = 16.70 mg.

And 20 mg of silver requires so much maltose = ( 20 / 107.87 ) * 342.30 / 2 = 31.73 mg.

And 20 mg of silver requires so much maltodextrin ( 20 / 107.87 ) * 3062.17 / 2 = 283.88 mg.

So...

To reduce the about 12.5mg of silver you put into solution, it would take 20.84mg (call it 21mg).

And I'm sorry but NO affordable balance can measure down to even 1mg.  20mg is 0.02g. The best inexpensive scale (I have one - about $10 from China and they are VERY accurate) is 0.01g or 10mg.  The other issue here is rounding.  Even though these scales have more internal accuracy than this, they round the number so 20mg could be anywhere from 15mg to 25mg.  Their error, worst case is 0.5mg.

Its easier to just do the glucose in water/vodka thing.   A 2oz dropper bottle will last a VERY long time.  If you made a solution thats 1mg of glucose per drop (1/20 of 1ml) which would be 0.05mg/drop, the error becomes insignificant.

The problem is, when making higher PPM's, 320PPM for example would require 320 drops.

Offline axkman

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 08:11:19 PM »
Thanks for all the reactions guys, appreciated!

I modified my current generator and to my appreciation, my LM317 module I ordered from alieexpress is able to regulate 2ma right of the shelve! I only changed the standard resistor (between Vadj and Vout) from the standard 200 ohm resister to a blue bourns multistep potmeter of 10k that i pre-tuned to 620ohm. The output is now 2ma, I guess I'm very happy with that LM317 type aliexpress put on that circuit board haha!

I order a bottle of clear Karo syrop it should arrive tomorrow. So I can do some test with it. I would like to try to use my reducing agent right from the start instead of after the electrodissulotion/electrolyse process. I somehow hope that it prevents plateout on the electrodes because in my thoughts it should reduce the silver ions to silver particles before it can start plateout.
I am making a polarity switching device that switches +/- of the electrodes every 30 seconds, to prevent the plateout. Yesterday I changed the aligator clips on the electrodes every few minutes and I really see the plateout going away and starting to form on the other electrode, very neat!

I saw someone write he is a fan of dextrose as a reducing agent but in very low dose. Would it be possible for me to use very low dose of dextrose solution during the beginning of the process? Or should I better use a karo syrop solution for that purpose?

Offline axkman

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2020, 08:21:35 PM »
Also I have a question.

I have read on this forum sodium carbonate as electrolyse is not only used to increase conductivity of the solution but also to increase PH and reduce plateout and increase functioning of the reducing agent.
Is there any other benefit of using sodium carbonate? I am so tempted to do it without electrolyte as I've made a lot of batches before without any sodium bicarbonate and the solution was clear and yellow. My weird stuff (weird color of end product) only started when I started to use sodium bicarbonate.
Maybe I dont know exactly how to bake my Arm&hammer baking sodium bicarbonate in the over properly to get the desired end product: sodium carbonate.

Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2020, 08:23:45 PM »
This is a very useful post regarding amount of reducing agent required and how the results were obtained (the bottom post on page 2 if this doesn't take you there):

https://www.cgcsforum.org/index.php?topic=2546.msg21231#msg21231

For brevity (per  1mg silver):

Glucose:         0.8835mg
Maltose:         1.5865mg
Maltodextrin: 14.194mg

Per 20mg silver:

Glucose:         16.67mg
Maltose:         31.73mg
Maltodextrin: 283.88mg

A digital balance's true accuracy is the smallest amount it can measure.  For a 10mg balance, that inaccuracy is +/-5mg.  Thats not accurate enough for directly measuring the amount for smaller amounts of silver.  For higher PPMs, probably.

Make a solution of glucose in water/alcohol so that 1 drop is 1mg of glucose and just add enough (0.6g glucose in 30ml water) . For a 500ml 20PPM run you'd need 10 drops (I'd do 12 for "insurance"). Maybe make a 10x solution. (10mg/drop) if you're wanting to make 320PPM so you only have to add 32 drops.

Everything with making Colloidal Silver is a balancing act depending on how you choose to make it once you figure out what works best for you.

Offline axkman

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2020, 02:23:09 PM »
I made a small new batch with Karo solution now!

I'm amazed, the solution is clear and I used the karo from the start of the process.
Defenitely makes the end product more clear. But its noticeable that it goes up to +/- 20ppm; the kind of yellow of 20 ppm. When I used dextro solution  the same amount of time/current gave me way darker end product. Which I think is due to dextro as reducing/capping agent allows more ppm of silver colloids.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 02:29:02 PM by axkman »

Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2020, 02:29:01 AM »
I would think the color from glucose (dextrose - same sugar, 2 names) would be similar. Are you sure you used enough Karo? Put an extra drop or two in (it won't hurt anything) and see if the color gets darker.

If you're processing at room temp Karo takes a LOT longer to reduce than dextrose does.  Heat the result in a microwave until its around 120F and then let it sit and see if the color changes over the next 10-15 minutes.  If not, add a little more Karo and see what happens.

If you're using Karo 50/50 diluted with vodka (it will never go bad and doesn't need to be refrigerated - just keep it in a tightly sealed container) the following equation tells you how much to use (use a few extra drops - it hurts nothing and its a bit of "insurance").

PPM * water(ml) / 16000

So as an example, if you're wanting to make a liter of 20PPM, thats

20 * 1000 / 16000 = 1.25 drops (I'd use maybe 3 just for a little "insurance")

If you want the clearest you can get, try maltodextrin (carbogain but thats the expensive way to get it). Find a somewhat local home beer/wine brewing supply shop. They should have pound bags of maltodextrin for a few dollars.  A pound will last you a VERY long time.

One thing about malto. You WILL get a darker color. Thats because the reducing sugar is long chains of glucose molecules strung together where only the glucose molecule on one end of each chain can reduce. Thats why you need more - longer chains for the correct amount of reducing groups means more weight.

Offline axkman

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2020, 02:37:43 PM »
Mm, interesting!

But does mean that the color becomes more orange/darker with Kyro or Maltodextrin duo to longer chain of molecule, will that also mean that the silver nano particle size will be bigger?

I read some articles on this forum that the +/- 14nm particles 20 ppm will be having a baby shampoo yellow color, but when the ppm goes up it will look a bit more brownish.
But when the silver nano particles are bigger the color becomes more orangy in color. With my kyro experiments the color looked defenitely more orangy.

Offline cfnisbet

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2020, 03:28:50 PM »
It is unlikely that this is the case, but if you want to check, make a small test batch (250ml) with karo or golden syrup as the reducing agent. If the colour is bright yellow, you will know that you are on the right track.

Offline Gene

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Re: Strange color!
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2020, 09:16:04 PM »
Karo reduced 20PPM should be more "light beer" color, not orange.

Be careful though because, depending on what you're using for you manufacturing container or perhaps what you're using (glass) to observe the color, glass can add a tint to it, especially Mason jars. That is CHEAP glass. They make it thicker so it survives the temperature excursions that canning inflicts on the containers.  You can't really see it but there is a slightly yellowish tinge to this glass and then too, with the thing being slightly curved with four very curved corners, it can cause all kind of color "artifacts".

Put some in a clear normal glass or a shot glass and look at the color there.

Maltodextrin (NOT Karo!) is longer chains of glucose molecules where only one end of that chain can reduce.  THIS is why its a much better stabilizer.  The longer chains of glucose tend to cause the color to get a little darker but not substantially but noticable.

Karo is a mix of glucose and maltose.   Maltose, also know as malt sugar is a disaccharide just like table sugar (sucrose).  That means its two molecules of glucose joined at the hip (wink) - you get what I mean.

Maltodextrin chains are always much longer than 2 molecules.  Maltodextrin is typically composed of a mixture of chains that vary from three to 17 glucose units long.

Maltodextrins are classified by DE (dextrose equivalent) and have a DE between 3 and 20. This number is the glucose equivalency.  Its a percentage.  Glucose is 100%. Maltodextrin varies from 3% to 20%. That means even at its shorted length, its only 1/5 as effective, weight for weight, compared to glucose.

So you can see how you'd need MORE Maltodextrin to do the work of glucose.

The issue is, unless you can find a source for maltodextrin that sells single DE rated maltodextrin (you can in Europe apparently - a friend who makes Colloidal Silver got single DE number maltodextrin) what you get is mixed bag - a random mix of maltodextrins with various DE numbers.

For sure, Carbogain which many use is mixed bag.  The maltodextrin you'd get from a beer/wine homebrewing supply shop is just as mixed bag. Cheap though.  When I bought a pound (4 or 5 years ago), it was about $3 US.

The numbers I posted earlier in this post came from the last post on page 2 of this topic (in case the link doesn't take you there):

https://www.cgcsforum.org/index.php?topic=2546.msg21231#msg21231

The number for maltose is for worst case (17 glucose units).  This will cover everything since you have no clue what the average DE number of what you have is. Sure, you could be using much more but without knowing the DE number the only thing you can assume is worst case.