A potassium (which is almost sodium) story

Hey man...greeting from around the globe.

This is wrt a story I just had to tell someone and well as a fellow sci nut (no offence), I'm happy to share with u.

this happened around 5 yrs ago while i was still a high school student, let me give u a little background about me. i was 16 doing my O's and well one of the better chem students in my school...better as in I have a cert to say no 1s better but that was in 1st yr. But anyways, I came around w/ an idea how to "obtain" a fairly decent quantity of K (100grams). For personal experimentation, as u know how teachers are. No one would allow anyone to temper w/ any sizable quantity of K.

Well skipping to the interesting part, I placed aboutt .25 gram sample into a piece of tissue paper in attempt to dry it off, it was soaked in kerosene for obvious reasons. When i pressed the K and paper together i felt as if it was growing warm which i for some reason thought was interesting. Being in a humid country and i mean really humid....check out the humidity in Malaya. U get the idea. The .25 gram sample literally blew up in my hand perhaps that as well as my hands being sweaty.... Well I was a rebel scientist without a cause and at times w/o thinking about safety. The funny part was what happened after it blew up. I had 1-2 degree burns on my fingers and couldn't figure out if I should run my fingers under water. Laughs...it was the perfect dilemma. to cool off ya burns or to risk ya fingernails being blown off...serves me right I reckon.

But in the long run I learnt how to treat chemicals of all types esp dangerous kinds w/ a new found respect...and hey i aced my papers...and oh my chem teacher somehow found out and I was forced to return the remaining sample... 60+ grams but when she had to deal w/ the chemical she asked me for advice on it...

i did a load more test before and after this incident which came w/o incident (no pun intended). Potassium in water...at various temperatures, w/ acetic acid, in air different timings (could last for ages if you din remove the oil 1st...hence the above incident), etc wish i had a camera tho...

Oh and do you know if you press a piece of potassium for just a few seconds till it feels mildly warm in a piece of tissue you can throw it and it becomes a fireball? Kool trick but well had some risky beginnings...

Presently I'm working on an advanced dip in Chemical Processing. w/ my sights on a Masters.

Hope u enjoyed reading this
D'john / potassium boy (ya the high school still remembers me by this name..