Technically, I suppose, it is not necessary to make the following stock solutions of any particular strength, but it is much easier for a novice to copy what is being demonstrated if they can duplicate the method precisely, and this means a precise concentration of a given chemical.
In order to make all types of CS, you will need a small amount of the following stock solutions.
Electrolyte: The earliest makers of IS understood that some form of electrolyte was advantageous, but they made a serious error in using common salt (Sodium Chloride). This meant that the IS was heavily contaminated by Silver Chloride, and if this is ingested in any quantity, Argyria will almost certainly result. DO NOT USE COMMON SALT as an electrolyte while making IS or CS.
Fortunately, we have much better alternatives. The electrolyte can be made from Sodium Hydroxide or Sodium Carbonate (washing soda). We will use Sodium Carbonate in subsequent notes, as it is much safer.
WARNING; Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda) is used for cleaning drains by dissolving fat and protein and washing it away. YOU are made of fat and protein. The presence of excess concentrations of Sodium Hydroxide is easily detectable by a soapy, slimy feeling on the skin. Sodium Hydroxide is EXTREMELY CORROSIVE and can cause instant blindness. You must take great care and use protective clothing, gloves and eye protection when handling Sodium Hydroxide. I take no responsibility for anyone who handles Sodium Hydroxide incorrectly. As it is just as effective and far safer to use Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) as an electrolyte, I recommend that you use Sodium Carbonate as your electrolyte rather than the Hydroxide. The use of the more corrosive chemical is noted for historical research purposes, as it works, and as you may be in a situation where only this chemical is available. In case of accidental splashes, wash away the hydroxide immediately with copious amounts of cold water until the “soapy” texture is gone. For extra safety (except in the eyes), you may consider rinsing the area with common vinegar, which will neutralise remaining traces of hydroxide.
The purpose of the electrolyte is four-fold;
- The electrolyte speeds up the process considerably. Without an electrolyte, it takes between twelve and twenty-four hours to make a gallon of CS, with the current starting from almost nothing, and accelerating until the current reaches the set-point of the generator or constant-current power supply. With an electrolyte, this process starts at full speed from the beginning.
- As the process starts at, or close to, the set-point of the constant-current PSU, the current effectively stays steady all the time. The amount of Silver liberated and therefore the ppm of Silver can be accurately determined as a result. This is much more efficient.
- The electrolyte tends to keep the Silver from reaching the cathode and therefore being wasted by plating itself onto the cathode.
- The electrolyte raises the pH of the DW (makes it alkaline); this allows glucose or fructose reducing agents to work.
To make 1 Molar Sodium Carbonate – preferred electrolyte
Dissolve 12.4 grams pure food grade sodium carbonate in enough distilled water to make 100 ml solution.
To make 1 Molar Sodium Hydroxide: Dissolve 4 grams pure food grade sodium hydroxide in enough distilled water to make 100ml solution. See warning above.
Cinnamon Extract: To make Stabilised (capped) CS, one of the most easily-available and effective reducing and capping agents is cinnamon extract. There is possibly also a synergistic effect with the cinnamon, as cinnamon is a known anti-viral.
To make cinnamon tincture, take a teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, pour it into a 250 ml miniature bottle of cheap vodka, cap it and shake vigorously. Allow to stand for a least twenty-four hours and then filter it or decant the liquor off from the remaining sediment. This red liquid is the cinnamon tincture.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup or Partially-inverted Glucose Syrup: This can be made, but fortunately can be purchased ready for use, as “Karo” in the USA, and “Golden Syrup” in the UK. I am sure other countries have imports of one or the other. Only a drop is needed. The easiest way to put it into the hot DW is to use a wooden stirrer of the type given away in coffee shops. Dip the end into the syrup and when it is put into the hot DW, the air in the pores of the wood bubbles out and disperses the syrup into the body of the DW. If you cannot obtain either of the syrup products, then you can buy glucose or fructose from the baking section of a supermarket, or from a home-brewing supply house. Again, only a drop per litre is needed.
To make 1 Molar Glucose or Fructose: Dissolve 18 grams of glucose or fructose in enough distilled water to make 100 ml solution.