Mostly Bollogs, I'm afraid

But occasionally, a glimmer of truth.
If you find one, please let me know.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

An amateur chemist's guide to footshots

As I have claimed previously, I have an O level in chemistry, and a first class hours degree in bullshit.

I have undertaken some research using some household chemicals, some not-so-household chemicals, and a handy mass-spectrophotometer and NIR infralyser which we just happen to have at work. Please don't tell them I've been using it, I'd probably get told off, and that would be really scary as I am a quiet, unassuming kind of a guy whose feelings are easily hurt.

Told you about the bullshit, didn't I?

Anyway, I have performed this experiment. I shall see if I can remember how you write up experiments. It will, on initial glance, appear to be very boring, but please stick with it.

I guarantee that the conclusion will be worth it.


To establish whether certain compounds can be absorbed and subsequently redistributed into the environment by the application of Nitrous Acid (HNO2) in its various states and morphisms.


That certain substances, such as nicotine, can be taken up (sorbed) by Nitrous Acid and then released later into the atmosphere. I think they can.


Take some Nitrous Acid, then apply it to said compound (nicotine). Let the Nitrous Acid (HNO2) decompose into Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), and Water (H2O) and measure the residual compound with a spectrophotometer, checking this result against the measurement from a Near InfraRed (NIR) analyser.


Whoopee Doo! There was nicotine left.


When you get some nicotine and use Nitrous Acid to "unstick" (desorb) it from its natural surrounding, and the Nitrous Acid subsequently decomposes, the nicotine is released into the environment.

Nitrous Acid is naturally present in the ozone budget of the troposphere. It follows therefore that in small concentrations it occurs at ground level at standard atmosphere temperatures and pressures (1013.2 hectopascals, 0 - 30 degrees C). Nitrous Acid is very unstable, especially in its CIS form, thus nicotine which might be on curtains, furniture etc would be redistributed into the environment at the drop of a Chemical Hat, for instance when it gets damp.

Nicotine is a very dangerous drug.

The nicotine used in this experiment was found in very large quantities in Nicorette tablets and patches. I propose that such substances be banned from sale in the U.K. as the "secondhand" nicotine from them can, and will, be released into the house/car/aircraft/hospital where these products are being used.

Perhaps someone would like to run with it? I don't mind fighting governments, but I've heard some scary stories about people who get caught messing with multi-trillion dollar business with no morals.

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