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Thread: Zinc Removal with Sulfur Report

  1. #1
    Boolit Master arcticbreeze's Avatar
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    Zinc Removal with Sulfur Report

    Well I got up this morning in search of sulfur and found some. So I ran home set up my smelting pot and turkey fryer and started melting 40 of my 80lbs of zincified lead. Warning, Warming, Warning Sulfur is combustible and did ignite after all the moisture sizzled out and the fumes are real bad. I was up wind with a nice easy breeze but some swirreled around an hit me. It was an acid phosgene type smell and my nostrils burned for about 10 minutes. Good news is it does seem to have worked. After doing all of this I melted some of the lead into my bottom pour pot that I had just cleaned out real well so as not to re-contaminate and casted some of the pettiest boolits I have in a long time. Here are some pics of what came out of 40lbs of lead and some boolits from that lead. The slag/Zinc that came out weighed 4lbs 9oz.







    Last edited by arcticbreeze; 09-19-2009 at 12:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master R.M.'s Avatar
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    Them are some good looking bullets. I'd say you've solved the problem.
    Thanks for the report. I know a good many of us can reclaim our contaminated alloy now.
    How did it affect the hardness? Did it just remove the zinc, or did it remove some of the tin and antimony also?
    R.M.

    The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike..........Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Arcticbreeze,

    How much sulfur did you use of the whole operation? How much lead were you able to retrieve from the original 40 lb.?
    It would be useful to develop some rules of thumb so as to not waste sulfur, over do the stink factor, etc..

    Thanks for being a brave early experimenter.

    Hugh
    Last edited by sciguy; 09-19-2009 at 02:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master testhop's Avatar
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    i use sulfer for pepper plants.
    i buy it in 5 lbs bags at the farmers assotion. cheep

    A GUN IN THE HAND IS BETTER THAN A COP ON THE PHONE

    crime dont pay as will as politics

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    it certainly looks as if it worked !!
    I`ve been doing the hi temp cool down & skim off thing .
    at what temp do ya add the sulpher???

    Thanks for the report!!
    Last edited by GP100man; 09-19-2009 at 01:43 PM. Reason: addition & spelun
    GP100man

  6. #6
    Boolit Master hiram's Avatar
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    It might be a good idea as a precaution to do an initial fluxing with sulphur to clean zinc out in case there is a small amount in there you don't know about.
    Rich or poor, it's good to have money.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Initially, this sounds great! Where did you come up with the idea/info to try this? As long as the sulphur is not pulling out the tin & antimony this should be a great fix for zinc contaminated lead. More info please.

    Trifocals
    NRA life member

    "Never give in except to convictions of honor and good."
    Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Boolit Master arcticbreeze's Avatar
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    Trofocals

    The idea came from a post from Sciguy

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=62957

    As far as the amount I used 12oz total but I put probably about 3-4oz at a time until the reaction stopped. My experiment was pretty unscientific. I kind of went in to it already convinced it wouldn't work. I did not use a thermometer but I added the first batch when it was slightly slushy. I believe this would have been a temp at which the lead was molten and any zinc over the 1.6 percent soluble amount would still be non-molten. I did not use any resin after but did flux with beef tallow after. (My neighbor thought I was grilling steak) However I believe that step is not crucial to the zinc removal. I believe I could have fluxed with any carbon material at that point. Anyone that is going to try this I would suggest using a 6-8ft long 1x2 to stir with as I did. There did appear to be some moisture in the sulfur but it stayed on the top and did not sink. I did not attempt to stir it in until all of the sizzling stopped. While stirring was when it ignited. The fumes did seem to be pretty toxic so please be careful. As far as the amount of lead I only weighed the skimming so I would assume that was my only loss in weight. As far as tin loss I don't know but the castability dramatically improved so I think it was insignificant. But even if I lost some it was still better compared to the problems casting lead with zinc in it.

    Marc

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    From the whiteish ?(is that a word) appearence of the boolits I'd guess the 2% of zinc that will alloy with lead isa still there. In my experience that amount does no harm and may even be helpful. As stated, this is just a guess.

  10. #10
    Good Thread ! Whiteish is a word, I use frosted,have been told caused by wrong temp and/or sb going to surface of mold when cast.
    I need a little help also if that's possible. I melted 50 lbs diver "tank" weights,(10 lbs. each) had No froth and maybe,4 oz. skim total, very,very low skim weight. Weights scratched with finger nail, cast good for no tin added but heres the problem.
    .50 cal mold that drops 388 grains consistent with pure pb,1% tin now drops 356 grains? and still pretty soft?
    dangest thing unless there is a WHOLE lot of tin and little if any SB
    I only buy pure sheet but couldn't pass up the price on these. I know any type of ballast weights could contain anything and these didn't have the real dark (old) lead look. they were un-tarnished persay.
    any ideas?
    Thanks in advance for your time!
    Dan

  11. #11
    Boolit Master peter nap's Avatar
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    Great Post!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Anti-Socialist Texan


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    Looks like this could be an excellent subject for a Sticky.

    Thanks to Sciguy for posting the idea and Arcticbreeze for the first Grand Experiment (with nice pics!). This may prove to help a lot of people turn their doorstops into boolits!

    Just need a little bit more research, I think I could establish some additional scientific conclusions, specific percentages, before and after lab analysis, etc. if I could get, say 1,000 pounds of zinc-contaminated WW alloy donated to me for testing and shooting purposes!

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Does this method produce better results than one achieves through holding the temperature below zinc's melting point and skimming off the zinc dross?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    A physics teacher I spoke with about this said sulphuric acid( Battery acid) would work to identify zinc wheelweights. The zinc would react the lead would not.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Careful when burning sulfur. I would use a respirator. Your slag should contain zinc sulfate.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltaenterprizes View Post
    A physics teacher I spoke with about this said sulphuric acid( Battery acid) would work to identify zinc wheelweights. The zinc would react the lead would not.

    Maybe muratic acid would let you know as well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Muriatic acid will not produce the same reaction.
    Drain cleaner, Rooto, is the best pure sulphuric acid found in hardware stores. Battery acid is diluted.
    You should be able to digest the zinc with the Rooto. The remaining "sponge" will be a more pure lead.
    I am not sure, but other elements will also digest out of the alloy as well.
    Heat, by specific gravity, will seperate but not completely remove the zinc. Acids will remove the elements. If any other elements are digested by the acids there are other methods that drop out individual elements.
    With silver, Karo corn syrup drops out pure silver after processing. Go figuire.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by castingagain View Post
    I need a little help also if that's possible. I melted 50 lbs diver "tank" weights,(10 lbs. each) had No froth and maybe,4 oz. skim total, very,very low skim weight. Weights scratched with finger nail, cast good for no tin added but heres the problem.
    .50 cal mold that drops 388 grains consistent with pure pb,1% tin now drops 356 grains? and still pretty soft?

    Dan
    Dan, lead is the heaviest and softest component. The heavier the boolit from a known mold the more lead and the less of lighter elements. Castability can be somewhat of a measure of tin. If the mold doens't fill out, or the base doesn't fill out, this suggests it needs more tin or more heat if you want a soft boolit. When my camera is charged and I have a few minutes I'll do a tutorial on my most problematic mold, my 457122. Heat balance is the issue with this one.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
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    I've put Muriatic Acid on some slag I thought had some zinc in it and it sizzled pretty good.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Excellent information!

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