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A MOST appropriate blog title..

One for the books, if the book is Great Horror Tales of Chemistry anyway.  5 years old, but quite appropriate for the month which contains Halloween.



February 23, 2010

Things I Won't Work With: Dioxygen Difluoride

Posted by Derek

The latest addition to the long list of chemicals that I never hope to encounter takes us back to the wonderful world of fluorine chemistry. I'm always struck by how much work has taken place in that field, how long ago some of it was first done, and how many violently hideous compounds have been carefully studied. Here's how the experimental prep of today's fragrant breath of spring starts:

The heater was warmed to approximately 700C. The heater block glowed a dull red color, observable with room lights turned off. The ballast tank was filled to 300 torr with oxygen, and fluorine was added until the total pressure was 901 torr. . .

And yes, what happens next is just what you think happens: you run a mixture of oxygen and fluorine through a 700-degree-heating block. "Oh, no you don't," is the common reaction of most chemists to that proposal, ". . .not unless I'm at least a mile away, two miles if I'm downwind." This, folks, is the bracingly direct route to preparing dioxygen difluoride, often referred to in the literature by its evocative formula of FOOF.
(more)



(update - the blog it was in moved, so updated the link to the still quite interesting article...)

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
kjn
Oct. 3rd, 2015 08:06 am (UTC)
A while back I found the following collection of stories about working with explosive compounds, mostly from the 19th century: http://www.logwell.com/tales/menu/index.html.
kayshapero
Oct. 4th, 2015 05:28 am (UTC)
Ah yes, the joys of Nitroglycerin... Looks interesting, thanks for the link!
(Deleted comment)
kayshapero
Oct. 4th, 2015 05:29 am (UTC)
No question! Like the author I'm impressed, from a very safe distance. One can only HOPE none of his experiments are repeated... once is more than enough. :)
seawasp
Oct. 3rd, 2015 12:57 pm (UTC)
I love Things I Won't Work With. I was first introduced to it through the entry for Chlorine Trifluoride ( "Sand Won't Save You Now")
kengr
Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
The current week of Skin Horse has them in a bit of a Mad Scientist lair. And one of said scientists is running around with a gun that sprays fluorine. The fluorine being carried in a clear tank on top of the weapon, The weapon looks *way* too much like a Super Soaker!

kayshapero
Oct. 4th, 2015 05:32 am (UTC)
EEP!!!
kayshapero
Oct. 4th, 2015 05:42 am (UTC)
No kidding. See that account further down that page of the infrequent laboratory accident and the sandstone bucket? :)

Got a few (lesser) stories myself, like the prof who kept a full sized green pressurized O2 cylinder at the front of the room, and liked to set off small explosions during lectures to keep our attention - I usually sat up front in class, but in that one I sat in back next to the exit!
xinef
Oct. 4th, 2015 12:05 am (UTC)
Yikes. Nor a bit of chemistry I'd like to do. Etching ceramic with HF isn't much fun either, by the way.

Edited at 2015-10-04 12:05 am (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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