Tiny Mining

Day three – diary

filed under: Lead written by: Martin
Context: > >

The strip test for today (sensafe) shows no difference over other days:

It could be interesting to try one test strip with a known PPM sample of lead, also perhaps the Kolisko/silver nitrate process too.

I took down the silver nitrate papers – one of them (without the dot) was a test for a much smaller amount of added urine. The dot looks like a comet or planet in close-up:

I might need to re-scan it at a higher resolution but it brought back to me the relation of augury – divination by entrails, by comets, by planets to mining and metals. That there is always this connection of the inside and the outside (of the earth, of the body), it does not need to be re-invented but maybe contemporary media/technology forgets this.

I conducted the voltammetric test – it’s worth recording that the pH of the sample is around 3.5 (I added 500uL of acetic acid in steps to go up to say 2ml total to reach this pH. The result is still negative for lead or other metals:

I made a time-lapse video of this process.

Lunch: 200g smoked salmon, tuna salad.


Unfortunately now I break one rule as I need to work with lead (solder externally) but hopefully no ingestion. This is one reason why I assigned this metal for self-study. Also as I had used led with the potentiostat to familiarize myself with the procedure and to calibrate.

Later, I attempted the distillation of breath in a small test-tube. I wrapped the junction between the glass breath in tube and the test-tube with silver foil and placed this in a plastic beaker full of ice cubes, which slowly melted. I inhale outside the tube then breathe into the tube. Repeating this many times for different camera setups.

I also wanted to try the strip test on a known sample – say 1PPM of copper. As I have a 1000PPM stock solution I would need to dilute 0.2mL in 200mL distilled water. I will try this now.

Some success as the 1PPM copper solution did certainly register with a deep magenta/purple colour – I realised that you need to fold the strip back on itself so looking to white plastic through the window.