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Sulfuric acis as a pickle


#1

I was curious I believe that sulfuric acid is “pickle” and used in
etching and is used in car batteries. Is the sulfuric acid out of an
old car battery too contaminated for use in jewelry?

Rick


#2
I was curious I believe that sulfuric acid is "pickle" and used in
etching and is used in car batteries. Is the sulfuric acid out of
an old car battery too contaminated for use in jewelry? 

Keep your acid pure. Contaminated acid causes delays in producing
your pieces. I recycle a lot of things, but I wont recycle that.

Just an aside… I used to boil sulphuric acid in my back yard, it
was an attempt to make faux ivory from potatoes… just ended up with
potato and concentrated acid soup.

Regards Charles A.


#3

You then will have to measure the Pb (lead) deposition on your
pieces. That acid is contaminated with the lead from the cells. Why
go to that problem when all you need is Phdown from a pool supply
store (a many year supply is less than $10).

John
http://rasmussengems.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#4

Car battery acid is OK. Probably needs diluting with a bit of water.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO ADD THE ACID TO THE WATER never the other way
round. If you add water to the acid the reaction can be quite
violent depending on the strength of the acid you are using. I use
car battery acid and dilute with about 30% water and warm it up it
acts much quicker when warm.


#5

Rick, car battery sulfuric works fine as a pickle. Keep plenty of
baking soda around to clean up any spills and don’t get it on your
person. It is wicked stuff. Have fun. tom arnold


#6

Used battery acid will contain lead, and will contaminate your work.


#7
I was curious I believe that sulfuric acid is "pickle" and used in
etching and is used in car batteries. Is the sulfuric acid out of
an old car battery too contaminated for use in jewelry? 

Possibly not, but getting it out of the battery safely would be a
problem. I use battery acid as pickle, but I buy it from a local auto
parts store. Here in Memphis, a 6-qt container of 65-per-cent
sulfuric acid costs about $12 USD. I have had no more problem with
with diluting battery acid than with using Sparex or pool chemicals.
Diluted 4:1 with plain water, the result is 14.9-percent, and 5:1 is
12.14-per-cent. A standard mixture of Sparex is equal to about
12-per-cent acid. I usually mix mine a little on the “hot” side.

I do take a little more care with liquid acid. I typically wear
latex gloves, and a denim apron. My sleeves are rolled well up. I
wear safety glasses, so I usually don’t use goggles or a face shield.
I dilute the acid near my sink, and have an open container of sodium
bi-carbonate nearby. I know that some on this forum would recommend a
full shoulder-to toe rubber apron, high rubber gloves, rubber boots
and a full face mask, and all work done under a fume hood to dilute
acid. I believe that the level of protection which I choose is
adequate and practical. Go to an automotive battery shop, and
observe the level of protection used by the mechanics. Sometimes they
will wear gloves and some type of eye protection, but usually not,
and usually no apron of any kind.

I will decant 65-per-cent acid into a beaker in the amount of
one-fifth (or one-fourth) the volume of my pickle pot. I then put
the remaining 4-fifths (or 3-fourths) water into the cold pickle pot.
I then slowly add the acid to the water in the pot. A quick stir with
a plastic spoon and the pickle is ready to be heated. All this taking
the reasonable precaution of working carefully. Clean up afterward
so no stray drop of acid can get on clothing later.

As an additional benefit, using 65-per-cent acid is cheaper than
either Sparex or pool chemicals, and doesn’t have the “goo” that I
associate with Sparex.


#8

Yes, definitely so. It will contain lead, iron and other salts which
will leave a coating on your silver that will be very difficult to
remove. You can buy battery top up acid and it will be fine as it
will be diluted sulphuric acid od the right concentration.

Nick Royall


#9

Rick,

Don’t do it!

  1. There’s too much lead dissolved in the sulfuric acid. The lead
    will contaminate your work in progress.

  2. The acid level is far too concentrated, making it extremely
    unpredictable to handle, as well as dangerous.

  3. Old car batteries can have hidden cracks which could leak at any
    time.

Ever read the book, “Do You Love Me, Junie Moon?” What happened to
her could happen to you.

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#10
Here in Memphis, a 6-qt container of 65-per-cent sulfuric acid
costs about $12 USD. I have had no more problem with with diluting
battery acid than with using Sparex or pool chemicals. Diluted 4:1
with plain water, the result is 14.9-percent, and 5:1 is
12.14-per-cent. A standard mixture of Sparex is equal to about
12-per-cent acid. 

I cannot imagine why anyone would mess with battery acid, either
new, or, even worse, contaminated with lead from a used battery.

As was said, Ph Down is cheap, but I prefer citric acid. I bought
several pounds of it a few years ago on line… I think it was 5lbs,
for $10, though I have not used it up, so I’m not sure of the
current cost. It is food grade, works absolutely fine, produces no
nasty fumes, and does no worse than sting if you get it in a cut or
abrasion.

It does not make sense to waste money, but no more does it make sense
to make things more hazardous to (maybe) save a trivial amount!

Noel


#11

Rick,

Ina a word… “YES” car battery acid is much too contaminated to use
as “Pickle”… and “Pickle” can mean a lot of things. There are
commercial formulas and even many shop recipes that are more health
and environment friendly that the old acid / water pickle. AND…
while not eating everything in your shop at the speed of sound they
do a better job. Do a little research before you jump in too far.

Good Luck. Dan.
http://www.dearmondtool.com


#12

I use sulfuric acid as a pickle – one part battery acid to 3 parts
water. I don’t use old stuff from batteries. Rather I buy it new from
an auto electrician. It’s cheap, works quickly without heating and
lasts for ages but safety pickle it is not.

All the best
Jen


#13

I wouldn’t use battery acid either for the same reasons. But someone
mentioned using sulphuric acid and potatoes to try to make an
imitation ivory here. I think the recipe is potatoes, nitric acid
and some camphor.

At least that’s what I read once a long time ago.

Barbara, on a little island in Canada that grows fantastic potatoes
but since the rush to low-carb, can use other initiatives for usage.