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Posted on Poppers Guide's Forum

Topic created by YesYes
on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 at 20:58

YesYes said on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 at 20:58...

So...can folks share the best way to apply? Meaning - i saw someone say that they use a mask. can anyone post a link to ebay please? cotton balls are a pain after the 1st application and direct from the bottle is a drag too having to get the cap back on. someone has to have a consistent way to apply that can be stowed away and reintroduced w/o hassle...right??

The Professor said on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 at 21:12...

some use glass beads instead of cotton; the beads won't absorb poppers like cotton will, but they WILL increase the surface are, and therefore the vapor generation.

Charlie Chuckles said on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 at 22:01...


I am intrigued by the glass bead concept. I, too, am not a fan of cotton ball method. Never heard of using glass beads, but sounds good. Would you be so kind to elaborate some more? Such as what size beads (like those small craft beads?), what kind of container (sippy cup?), to wash or not between dosings, etc.

The Professor said on Thu, 23 Sep 2021 at 22:46...

I saw this idea on the popperpigs subreddit; I can find a pic, but from what I remember, it looked like a nebulizer mask:


except the hose attachment to the nebulizer was not there, and instead of meddicine in the cylinder below the mask, the chamber was filled with glass beads. He'd pour some poppers into the chamber, and the surface area of the beadws does the rest

I wouldn't reccomend a PVC mask, or to attach the mask to your face.

higher quality masks (silicone) are available (about $50).

you don'[t really need a mask or the chamber, just glass beads in a sippy cup would work; the idea is to provide more area for generating more vapor

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 17:15...

Thank you Professor.

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 18:20...

no problem; I've update the guide btw; it now contains everything the reddit guide contained, plus a few explanatory posts from questions that have come up in the PopperMakers forum.

I still plan on re-working the contents, but getting them transcribed to a PDF should give people a good start.

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 19:55...


Don't want to hijack the thread, but with the design of the forum, I apologize in advance so my comment isn't buried.

This is incredible, especially for someone like me. Thank you. I had to go learn about mols and conversions and try to sort it out with spreadsheets and more, so for someone curious this is priceless. I learned a lot in the process though. It's amazing it's all in one place, even the refining NaNO2. I was thinking of "playing around" with some FCC NaNO2 using a sand bath with an evaporation dish. Not sure what you think of that?

One other question I have is something from page 5: "...40% NaNO2 solution." I have spent way more time trying to figure this out than I want to acknowledge. None of my calculations add up, but I am certain it's because I don't know what I don't know. Can you point me in the right direction? 40% by weight to? 40% of mols to? Does that include mols of water? I've tried every which way and can't figure it out.

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 20:19...

Are the AA pellets recommended @1/8"? According to BASF literature, there is little difference between sizes other than crush strength (probably not important in this application), however, it stated that "1/8 and 7 x 14 Tyler mesh sizes are recommended for use in liquid dehydration and other mass transfer limited adsorption applications."

Also for AA regeneration, I found a couple different techniques?
Temperature between 180-350C.
Temperature raised to 280C for 4 hours. Heating rate of about 50C per hour.
Temperature of 200C.

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 20:56...

Hope I am not hijacking the thread. I will be waiting inside of Professor Poppers ass for now. Bye!

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 21:09...

Not me, very easy to impersonate here :/

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 21:18...

I forgot to pull the explanation of a solution from the PopperMakers forum; i'll do that in an upcoming revision.

In a solution, you have the solvent (in this case, water) and the solute (in this case, NaNO2)

there are three types of solution, (m/m, v/v, m/v)

In the case of water as solvent, 1ml of water = 1 gram, so m/m and m/vol are the same

solution concentration = solute/(solute + solvent) X 100

in a simple case,

40g NaNO2/(40gNano2+60gH2O) X 100 = 40%
40gNaNO2 / (40gNaNO2+60ml H2O) X 100 =40%

so 40 grams of powder into 60g of water

I'f you are doing a full molar batch, i suggest 1.05 mol of powder

1.05 mol of powder is 72.5 grams

a 40% solution of NaNO2 is

40% = 72.5 grams / x X 100

72.5g/X X 100 = 40
40X = 7250
x= 181.25 (this is the entire solution weight, to calculate the solVENT weight, subtract the solute weight

solvent = solution - solute

181.25 - 72.5 = 108.75ml of H2O

which satisfies the original
solution concentration(%) = solute/solute+solvent X 100

72.5g/(72.5g + 108.75ml) X 100 = 72.5/181.25 X100 = 40%

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 21:23...

yeah, it's trivial to impersonate others here; and has been happening often.

If you are only needing molecular sieve to dry liquid in a bottle, the smallest bead size will have the quickest adsorption rate.

The various bead sizes are available for different drying chamber back pressures. The larger the bead, the lower the back pressure, but the slower the adsorption rate.

This is important if you are drying a continuous stream of, perhaps, natural gas, but has no relevance to static volumes.

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 21:28...

re the various drying methods.

It's MOST efficient to dry at, perhaps, 350C or above for 4 hours or so, then cool the beads in a vacuum chamber.

You probably don't have that kind of equipment.

using household appliances (stove, toaster oven) you probably won't be able to get hot enough, or will scorch or crack the sieves.

That's why I recommend buying them pre-activated (or talking a student or prof to dry them for you).

The best results I've had was with the microwave drying method, but only after breaking a few beakers while trying to get it to work.

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:04...

TY. I am still left a little confused here for full molar reaction (p.6):
"Add 145 ml distilled H2O to the reaction vessel. add 72.5g (1.05 mol) of NaNO2"

I'm getting a 33% solution with 72.5g solute + 145ml solvent?

solution concentration(%) = solute/solute+solvent X 100

72.5g/(72.5g + 145ml) X 100 = 72.5/217.5 X100 = 33%

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:24...

Popchef included a bit extra H2O, I believe, in order to dilute the HCL? I'm not sure though, I'll have to look at it when I'm home. I've been transcribing the wiki he had set up to a pdf file, but there may be errors, 9 haven't checked.

Regardless, extra water is not a bad thing, it provides more heat sink mass

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:40...


Thank you. I've been racking my brain well before my initial comment trying to explain the 40% solution sentence from p.5 with the quantities for the solution on p.6. Been sitting here going huh. But, I don't know what I don't know so I've been thinking that there's something I'm missing...

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:49...

p.6 There's also DW listed separately with the HCL:
20 ml DW + 90.9 ml [1.1 mol] of 37% HCL

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:54...

I think i figured it out; in the forum, he mentions adjusting the reactant amounts to yield more or equal to 120ml (for those interested in bottling into 30ml containers).

a 1 mol batch (ratios 1:1.05:1.10 alcohol-NaNO2-HCL) yields ABOT 120ml crude yield, which will be less after neutralization, so he bumped everything up.

using 95g of NaNO2 (1.372 mol) a 40% solution would ask for 145ml of water.

SO it looks like he spec'd a water amount that was expecting 95g of NaNO2

but he wrote the correct amount of reactants for a 1:1.05:1.10 batch, and the wrong amount of water (he used the amount from a 1.37mol batch)

the amount of water isn't a deal breaker; too little and the reaction will be harder to control; more will just provide better heat sink (lower temperature swings with each drop of acid).

I hope that makes sense

The Professor said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 22:57...

yes, THAT's the dilution of the 37% HCL; I'd suggest that too; the lower concentration of HCL hitting one spot in the reaction vessel would possibly generate enough heat to cause foaming; diluting it helps to keep the reaction more stable.

Charlie Chuckles said on Fri, 24 Sep 2021 at 23:36...


Am I correct then that: to compensate for neutralization and arrive at the 4x30ml final yield, the formula should be bumped up 30.66% from what's listed in the guide, excluding the # for the NaNO2 solvent/DW?

In other words, if the #s for 1 : 1.05 : 1.1 batch are:
91.5 ml (1.0 mol) Butyl alcohol
108.75 ml DW + 72.5g (1.05 mol) NaNO2 (40% solution)
20 ml DW + 90.9 ml (1.1 mol) of 37% HCL

Then, a 30.66% increase would be 1.31 : 1.372 : 1.437:
119.6 ml (1.31 mol) Butyl alcohol
145 ml DW + 95g (1.372 mol) NaNO2 (40% solution)
26 ml DW + 118.8 ml (1.437 mol) of 37% HCL

The Professor said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 00:37...

It's hard to suggest final reactant amounts for a specific target yield. Focus on getting GOOD yield first.

After you have a controlled reaction, yes, you can bump the whole thing up or down to reach a specific target. Different lengths of dwell tike during neutralization will eliminate different amounts of crude yield, so what works for one person to land at precisely 120ml, for example, might not be enough, or too much for the next.

The guide is trying to be inclusive, but not too specific, e.g. the neutralization step call for slowly sprinkling Baking soda into the crude yield +20ml water.

The other guy here ridicules that process, but consider that the guide mentions 20ml water and 20g baking soda. That will neutralize up to 20% HCL, but if YOUR process leave less than that dissoved in the nitrite (and it should), then you can get away with sprinkling a few grams at a time until fizzing stops; likely only adding 10 grams or so.

Vazrious makers will have various amounts of dissolved HCL, so the guide tries to accomodate that

The Professor said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 00:39...

dwell ti8ke is dwell time; the longer you spin the crude nitrite, water and baking soda, the more nitrite is dewstroyed.

Charlie Chuckles said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 01:57...

Thank you for your advice and explanations, much appreciated.

Charlie Chuckles said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 17:13...


Pg. 9 mentions 'man of ohm amyl.' I can't figure this one out and I've tried and tried for more than a week ;-)

The Professor said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 18:56...

Man of Ohm, was a vendor on ebay; I guess the point is, don't pay bottom dollar for alcohols; they are likely tainted or diluted or adulterated in some fashion.

Don't pay excessively high for them either; not much to go wrong with an alcohol; they get more dilute as they age, and a bit more acidic (due to becoming diluted) and none of that matters much for this preparation.

Charlie Chuckles said on Sat, 25 Sep 2021 at 19:14...

Thank you. Gotcha, I now see it's all one word.

Charlie Chuckles said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 04:59...


Is it best to dry with MS in a low-head space container? I assume drying a final yield of 100-110 ml in a 125ml Erlenmeyer would mean yes? Consequently, drying half that should be done in an appropriately sized container half that of a 125ml Erlenmeyer to limit headspace?

The Professor said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 16:57...

Headspace isn't critical for drying; if you think it is making a difference, you can always squirt some argon gas (wine saver or similar product )420 preserve) into the flask before closing it. I haven't had a difference.

The Professor said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 17:01...

Ok the other hand, of you are a chemist, then you might be familiar with the method of sealing a solvent in a Schlenke flask, evacuating the flask, and only drawing solvent through the super in a syringe. That would keep a drying alcohol extremely dry, under vacuum and over MS at all times.

You don't need to get that involved

Charlie Chuckles said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 17:45...

Ok, thank you. Appreciate your comments.

May I pose another question? Assuming identical conditions and stabilization during the long-term storage phase (drying has already occurred), does it make any difference to decomposition whether the nitrite is kept as a bulk or divvied into smaller bottles?

Wondering if one method has advantages over the other, especially during a period of experimentation.

The Professor said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 18:36...

nitrites decompose with exposure to heat, oxygen and water. They also fall apart, back into their original eractants.

Alkyl nitrite is VERY fragile; that's why the highest purity comes from the slower and colder reactions.

In storage, heat is hopefully taken care of (cool, dry place)
Oxygen and water vapor will be found in the headspace above the liquid.

I'm not sure what you mean by long term storage; are you talking a few days (as in post processing) or a few months (as in trying to preserve the nitrite between uses?

Charlie Chuckles said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 19:17...

My apologies, I should have been clearer.

For example, if I am experimenting with different batches for personal use while learning the process, and prefer not to have many little vials, but want to save them to see how they age over time, would it be bad to store different batches in larger 4 oz bottles on Kcarb and MS/AA in a cool dark place? Or will it age differently when split into smaller vials assuming the same stabilization and storage conditions?

The Professor said on Sun, 26 Sep 2021 at 20:20...

As long as you minimize open headspace above the liquid, you should be ok. I don't see that aliquoting into several smaller bottles would have any advantage.

If you are storing too see how they age, I'd suggest giving the liquid its best chance.

0.5-2.0% w/v potassium carbonate will prevent gas buildup in sealed containers. For improving shelf life (unopened bottle sitting on a shelf, waiting for first use), that would be ideal.

Filling under vacuum (or with inert argon gas (wine preserve or 420 preserve)) also practically doubles shelf life.

For use (intermittent exposure to Oxygen) an acid sink at 10% w/v is recommended. This CAN be more k-carb, but baking soda is cheaper.
I haven't found the need to go above 10% w/v of acid sink; PWD was using 40% in their 'regular ' strength products (for decades). Then the madness started with 'black' and 'gold' and 'platinum variants. They cut the acid sink down to 20%. YMMV, but i suggest starting at 10% w/v.

In this aspect, it's a BIT like the makeup industry. A company called the ordinary, for example, makes a facial serum with 10% niacinamide.

Niacinamide is one of the few ingredients in skin care that has well documented evidence of its efficacy). The research shows that 4% is the sweet spot for effects; anything above that is just compounding possible side effects (a burning sensation ).

Even though niacinamide at 4% works well, the ordinary's 10% is wasting the other 6 percent, and people are tricked into thinking the excess is working better, when it isn't.

Charlie Chuckles said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 01:15...


The FoodSaver jar sealer arrived and works amazing to vacuum seal mason jars. I was skeptical it would actually work, but it really takes some significant force to pop the lids off.

Nitritespecialist said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 16:41...

@Charlie.....the real test is whether or not you can get consistently good poppers over time using whatever method you choose. I wouldn't put much weight on your initial results, even if they seem good.

If you start to see too much variation, in odor and effects as well as longevity of potency, be mindful that you won't be able to conclusively find the problem UNLESS you are able to test product and reagents for purity and composition. Otherwise, every guess/theory becomes a mad stab in the dark. Even ten good brews in a week or two is NOT enough time to prove that you know enough to forever make similar brews. This is because problems will arise eventually and if the problem is a reagent issue, you won't be able to know for sure without being able to test each reagent for purity and any impurities present. Also, you might think, based on subjective odor and effects, that what you made today is the same as what you'll be making months from now. But it could be strikingly different and you won't know why unless you can test the composition.

Just words of caution. But by all means...go ahead and try.

Charlie Chuckles said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 17:11...


Thank you for your comment. I am going into this fully prepared to fail miserably. I appreciate your perspective and it has rightly tempered my expectations that it will not be easy and that I'm likely to fail. I hope that I won't, but I do very much appreciate your comments to re-center my expectations so that I don't attempt without considering the good possibility that there will be reagent problems - and that it will be difficult (maybe impossible) to pinpoint the source.

The Professor said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 17:12...

yeah, pretty neat gadgets eh?

They don't draw a very strong vacuum, but it will be suitable for prolonging longevity of the reactants.

Charlie Chuckles said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 17:55...


Thank you for tipping me on to the FoodSaver jar sealer.

For the liquid reagents, are the plastic bottles that they come in sufficient for storage at normal temperatures in your opinion?

I found a site that lists reagents and different plastics at 20C & 50C. At 20C, it only lists the following reagents of concern as having "little to no damage after 30 days of constant exposure:"
Amyl alcohol, pure with Polymethylpenetene containers
Hydrochloric acid (35%) and Isobutanol (pure) with Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) containers

Neither of those plastics look like something they are sold with.

Otherwise, no incompatibility is shown with other Butyl, Propanol, Propyl group alcohols and other plastics.

Is it your opinion that the liquid reagents of concern, especially alcohols, are OK being stored in the containers in which they are shipped?

The Professor said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 19:09...

I personally store in glass containers; polyethylene would be another choice

Charlie Chuckles said on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 at 19:25...

Ok, glass was what I was originally thinking would be best, which is probably why the larger (more expensive) chemical companies sell them in glass.

Charlie Chuckles said on Tue, 28 Sep 2021 at 19:06...

Professor, I posted a question about some MSs here:

The Professor said on Tue, 28 Sep 2021 at 19:27...

thanks for the alert; I answered in the topic

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