Author Topic: Western civilization is a health hazard  (Read 7563 times)


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Re: Western civilization is a health hazard
« Reply #165 on: April 05, 2022, 10:17:39 pm »

Russian forces on Tuesday reportedly struck a tank of nitric acid in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, sparking panicked warnings for residents to protect their faces and remain indoors.

Serhiy Gaidai, the head of the Luhansk regional administration, issued a video address warning residents the toxic fumes can cause “severe damage.”

“Prepare protective face masks soaked in soda solution. When applied locally to the eyes, nitric acid causes severe damage with extensive necrosis of the cornea and conjunctiva, leading to loss of vision,” he said, urging those living near Rubizhne to remain indoors and seal up their windows.

“This chemical is very toxic and we don’t know where the toxic cloud will go. We will be monitoring the air and waiting for rain,” he said.

So, which civilization introduced nitric acid into the world? Yep, same one as usual:

In the 17th century, Johann Rudolf Glauber devised a process to obtain nitric acid by distilling potassium nitrate with sulfuric acid. In 1776 Antoine Lavoisier cited Joseph Priestley's work to point out that it can be converted from nitric oxide (which he calls "nitrous air"), "combined with an approximately equal volume of the purest part of common air, and with a considerable quantity of water."[32][a] In 1785 Henry Cavendish determined its precise composition and showed that it could be synthesized by passing a stream of electric sparks through moist air.[30] In 1806, Humphry Davy reported the results of extensive distilled water electrolysis experiments concluding that nitric acid was produced at the anode from dissolved atmospheric nitrogen gas. He used a high voltage battery and non-reactive electrodes and vessels such as gold electrode cones that doubled as vessels bridged by damp asbestos.[33]

The industrial production of nitric acid from atmospheric air began in 1905 with the Birkeland–Eyde process, also known as the arc process.[34] This process is based upon the oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen by atmospheric oxygen to nitric oxide with a very high temperature electric arc. Yields of up to approximately 4–5% nitric oxide were obtained at 3000 °C, and less at lower temperatures.[34][35] The nitric oxide was cooled and oxidized by the remaining atmospheric oxygen to nitrogen dioxide, and this was subsequently absorbed in water in a series of packed column or plate column absorption towers to produce dilute nitric acid. The first towers bubbled the nitrogen dioxide through water and non-reactive quartz fragments. About 20% of the produced oxides of nitrogen remained unreacted so the final towers contained an alkali solution to neutralize the rest.[36] The process was very energy intensive and was rapidly displaced by the Ostwald process once cheap ammonia became available.

Another early production method was invented by French engineer Albert Nodon around 1913. His method produced nitric acid from electrolysis of calcium nitrate converted by bacteria from nitrogenous matter in peat bogs. An earthenware pot surrounded by limestone was sunk into the peat and staked with tarred lumber to make a compartment for the carbon anode around which the nitric acid is formed. Nitric acid was pumped out from a earthenware[37] pipe that was sunk down to the bottom of the pot. Fresh water was pumped into the top through another earthenware pipe to replace the fluid removed. The interior was filled with coke. Cast iron cathodes were sunk into the peat surrounding it. Resistance was about 3 ohms per cubic meter and the power supplied was around 10 volts. Production from one deposit was 800 tons per year.[37][38]

Once the Haber process for the efficient production of ammonia was introduced in 1913, nitric acid production from ammonia using the Ostwald process overtook production from the Birkeland–Eyde process. This method of production is still in use today.