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    • Thread Starter

    I bought a chemistry set for my sons last weekend and the instructions stated that, to do all the experiments, more copper sulphate and aluminium potassium sulphate (APS) would have to be purchased. The copper sulphate is not a problem, but the APS appears to be available in two forms: APS 12-WATER LR and APS 24-water LR. The APS in the chemistry set is 24-water (LR is not mentioned), but the type available from a supplier is 12-WATER LR. Would the 12-WATER LR be okay?

    Also, can anyone suggest a UK chemical supplier that sells small quantities of chemicals? The smallest weight I've found so far is 500g.


    Well 12-water is AlK(SO4)2•12H2O

    and 24-water is K2SO4•Al2(SO4)3•24H2O

    If you are dissolving them, I can't foresee any problems with the difference in reactivity they're all just [K+][Al+][SO4(2-)]•xH2O salts.

    I don't know what the LR refers to, though.

    These are cheap chemicals and so finding suppliers of small amounts will be difficult. Sigma-Aldrich supply 12-water in 100g so that's a bit better :p:
    • Community Assistant
    • Study Helper

    Community Assistant
    Study Helper
    When I were a lad... (eeeh by gum)

    I remember resourcing all of the chemicals I could from whatever place that had tham.

    Many chemicals can be obtained directly from chemists (if you have a friendly one nearby). Just go in and ask if they can provide you with a few grams of X and you may be surprised.

    The older traditional shops are by far the best (don't bother witrh Boots etc)

    When I was about 14 I visited over forty in different towns to get some ammonium dichromate and eventually (in Hartlepool actually) I found a chemist who was prepared to sell me some. Volcanos (carcinogenic) galore!

    A few years later it appeared in the analysis section of the A level I was doing. Needless to say I recognised it woithout the tests. Apply a match and bingo...

    Other useful resources

    Gardening shops:

    Sodium, potassium and calcium nitrate by the sack (saltpetre, chilean saltpetre and bengal saltpetre)
    Sodium potassium phosphate and other phosphates (not very interesting)
    Sodium chlorate (nowadays watered down with sodium chloride, but that can easily be removed by recrystallisation)
    Copper sulphate (used for antifungal agent)
    Iron (II) sulphate

    Hardware shops:

    Ammonia solution (880 available)
    Potassium permanganate
    Conc HCl (spirits of salts)

    Plumbing suppliers:
    Concentrated methanoic acid solution (used to de-rust central heating systems)

    With a bit of imagination the list is virtually endless.


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