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DIY tip on Sodium Nitrite oxidation

Posted on Poppers Guide's Forum

Topic created by Anonymous
on Thu, 13 Jan 2022 at 21:46

Anonymous said on Thu, 13 Jan 2022 at 21:46...

Above 380C it(sodium nitrate) decomposes into sodium nitrite NaNO2 and oxygen gas. Further heating of the nitrite (a white or pale yellow solid) will lead to it breaking down into Sodium oxide and nitrogen oxides:

2NaNO3 → 2NaNO2 + O2

2NaNO2 → Na2O + NO + NO2

If your sodium nitrite has gone bad, it can be heated in a skillet, until it melts and drives off the O2 it has captured, which means it has partially turned into NITRATE. If you take it too far, the nitrite will itself decompose....so be mindful.

I have tired it and it makes a HUGE difference once the SN has gone bad.

Anonymous said on Sat, 15 Jan 2022 at 19:39...

From the Sciencemadness Discussion Boards.....A member discusses how he made IBN.

Isobutyl nitrite is a non-polar, highly flammable, volatile, solvent and vasodilator. For this reason it used in the treatment of cyanide poisoning. It has the chemical formula C4H9NO2 and is an ester between isobutyl alcohol and nitrous acid, It has a density of 0.87g/ml, a boiling point of 67C, and is slightly soluble in water; but generally forms a yellow, oily, organic layer on top of water.

Using this procedure, designed and performed by the author, a percent yield of 88.2% (33.6ml) can be reported. The product is a pale yellow hydrophobic liquid with a density of 0.85 grams per ml (+/- 0.15 grams) that had a faint smell of almonds (do not deeply inhale!).

It is prepared by the addition of aqueous alkali nitrite to a solution of isobutyl alcohol and concentrated hydrochloric acid. The solution is kept chilled by a ice bath. The isobutyl nitrite may be removed by either distillation (recommended) or decanting/pipetting the organic layer. Once collected it is dried and washed with bicarbonate and anhydrous magnesium sulfate.


40 ml Of 31.45% hydrochloric acid (0.3213 mols) is stirred in a flask of between 200 and 150 ml with 30 ml of 99% isobutyl alcohol. The flask is then placed in a ice bath above a magnetic stir and a thermometer added. In another container, a solution of sodium nitrite is prepared with 22.4 grams of the salt, of 99% purity, and 35 ml of distilled water. Both solutions are left to cool to 10C. Once cool, the nitrite solution is administered drop wise to the reaction flask with stirring. Upon addition a greenish-blue liquid briefly forms (presumably nitrous acid). This liquid quickly disperses. If oxides of nitrogen can be seen forming than the addition is being conducted too quickly. The temperature must be kept bellow or at 10C to prevent the loss of product. Before all the nitrite is added, a white sparkly layer will form bellow the top yellow layer. When about 90% of the nitrite solution is added this white layer will disappear and be replaced with an arctic blue-green layer, with the top organic layer remaining unchanged.

Note: This is white layer is thought to be composed of fine droplets of isobutyl alcohol in water. When all the alcohol has been reacted away the blue-green color is due to excess nitrous acid in solution.

The solution is left to stir for one hour. Do not reflux.

The top yellow organic layer was removed by pipette and added to a clean 250ml 24/40 rbf. Also to this flask is added 10g of sodium bicarbonate powder. The flask was set up for simple distillation with heat supplied by steaming the bottom of the flask. The solution is distilled to 90% completion. In total 28.3 ml of yellow hydrophobic distillate was collected.

Next the solution left after the reaction, after the organic layer was removed, was also distilled under the same conditions. From this 5.3 ml of distillate, with the same properties as described above, was collected. The product should be dried with anhydrous magnesium sulfate.

Conclusion and Discussion

In total 33.6 ml was collected. This represents a 88.2% yield (38 ml being the theoretical).

In the future the organic layer should not be collected and distilled separately. Instead the reaction should be conducted in a 250 ml rbf and once the reaction is finished a distillation apparatus constructed around it.

Anonymous said on Sat, 15 Jan 2022 at 19:44...

I performed this reaction today, using the exact same amounts except I used amyl alcohol and I added the mixture of alcohol/acid to the salt solution. Notice the ratio of muriatic to the alcohol. 40 mls acid to 30 mls alcohol. I also used colder temperatures. Outdoor temperature of 20F and ice bath. This additional acid plus melting the sodium salt gave me a good smelling yield with strong effects. A tell tale sign is that the powder preservative I use in the finished bottle looks like a Christmas snow globe when you swirl it. Big dry flakes that settle very quickly, leaving a very transparent liquid popper.

Isobutyl Addict said on Sat, 15 Jan 2022 at 20:56...

Where can I buy Isobutyl alcohol?

Anonymous said on Sun, 16 Jan 2022 at 13:57...

@Isobutyl......the two tips I mentioned are by far the hardest part to discover when making poppers. Melt the sodium nitrite until it bubbles and gives off any O2 it's collected and add sufficient acid to make your popper fully react and be done. Hint: it shouldn't be bubbling when it's done, but up until that point, it will form large bubbles and look very active. It also shouldn't give off large amounts of visible orange gas. If it does, it's likely the sodium nitrite has too much nitrate in it. Being super cold doesn't matter if the two previous tips are not followed. And make sure to rinse out all that acid after it's done reacting. Your airways will thank you.

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