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citric acid

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Philip Burley23/09/2019 17:26:26
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A couple of weeks ago I made a mix of citric acid from powder , I used it for cleaning some copper parts before I soldered them . Today I took the lid off to use it again and found it contaminated with a lot of small black balls of something . I would have thought that the mildly acid solution would kill off any fungus etc Any ideas what this might be ?

Phil

Neil Wyatt23/09/2019 17:52:17
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Probably fungus... citric acid a.k.a. vitamin C isn't very toxic and in dilute form it's probably even food source for some things.

Neil

Michael Gilligan23/09/2019 18:02:55
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 23/09/2019 17:52:17:

... citric acid a.k.a. vitamin C ...

.

dont know Really ?

MichaelG.

.

https://www.uwhealth.org/files/uwhealth/docs/pdf/kidney_citric_acid.pdf

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 23/09/2019 18:03:19

Michael Cox 123/09/2019 18:16:10
517 forum posts
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Vitamin C is ascorbic acid.

SillyOldDuffer23/09/2019 18:30:52
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Posted by Philip Burley on 23/09/2019 17:26:26:

A couple of weeks ago I made a mix of citric acid from powder , I used it for cleaning some copper parts before I soldered them . Today I took the lid off to use it again and found it contaminated with a lot of small black balls of something . I would have thought that the mildly acid solution would kill off any fungus etc Any ideas what this might be ?

Phil

Fungus and bacteria having a feast probably. Citric Acid is common in many fruits and edible. The crystals are fairly resistant to hungry bugs but add water and Citric Acid goes off just like a rotting Lemon or Lime.

'Acid' always sounds a scary but most of them are weaklings. Citric is one of the mild organic acids: it's not in the same league as Sulphuric, Hydrochloric, or Nitric which are strong mineral acids.

Dave

Philip Burley23/09/2019 18:52:38
136 forum posts
3 photos

So should I dump this and mix some fresh , or carry on using it , Will it still have the cleaning effect ? Should I have made a stronger mix ?

Phil

JA23/09/2019 19:03:43
793 forum posts
44 photos

I would guess it is a fungus or some form of lower life. These can turn up in unexpected places such as in petrol and aviation fuel.

Why don't you just try using your citric acid. It will either work or not work. What ever it is will not eat your copper.

Fungi are more likely to be killed by copper than citric acid.

JA

Edited By JA on 23/09/2019 19:05:47

Howard Lewis23/09/2019 19:05:31
2389 forum posts
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Amazing where fungi will grow.

At school, we found that the winchester of fuming sulphuric acid had a white fungus growing in it. In THAT environment?

Try out your solution on a some metal. If it works satisfactorily, use it.

If it doesn't, dispose of it safely

Howard

Hacksaw23/09/2019 20:35:12
414 forum posts
173 photos

If it tastes mouldy it probably is

Bandersnatch23/09/2019 22:11:12
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 23/09/2019 17:52:17:

citric acid ....... it's probably even food source for some things.

Like humans?

wink

Michael Gilligan23/09/2019 22:51:57
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Posted by Philip Burley on 23/09/2019 17:26:26:

A couple of weeks ago I made a mix of citric acid from powder , I used it for cleaning some copper parts before I soldered them . Today I took the lid off to use it again and found it contaminated with a lot of small black balls of something . I would have thought that the mildly acid solution would kill off any fungus etc Any ideas what this might be ?

Phil

.

Possibly aspergillus niger, which [oddly enough] is used in the production of Citric Acid

Photos, or a rough estimate of size might help.

MichaelG.

James Alford24/09/2019 07:25:59
357 forum posts
72 photos

I used citric acid to pickle copper a lot a while ago. It regularly grew mould on the surface, irrespective of the strength of the solution. However, it worked just as well with or without the fur coat. It just looked a bit grim.

James.

Clive India24/09/2019 07:54:51
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188 forum posts

Adding a small amount of bleach fixes the mould problem for me.

Edited By Clive India on 24/09/2019 07:58:27

thaiguzzi24/09/2019 09:23:13
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Posted by Philip Burley on 23/09/2019 18:52:38:

So should I dump this and mix some fresh , or carry on using it , Will it still have the cleaning effect ? Should I have made a stronger mix ?

Phil

Nah, add a double Vodka in there, it'll be fine...

Neil Wyatt24/09/2019 09:51:07
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Posted by Michael Cox 1 on 23/09/2019 18:16:10:

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid.

D'oh! Engage brain before keyboard...

Michael Gilligan24/09/2019 10:25:04
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 24/09/2019 09:51:07:
Posted by Michael Cox 1 on 23/09/2019 18:16:10:

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid.

D'oh! Engage brain before keyboard...

.

Sulking ... Why does Michael Cox get the credit ?

sad

JA24/09/2019 12:57:04
793 forum posts
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Posted by Howard Lewis on 23/09/2019 19:05:31:

Try out your solution on a some metal. If it works satisfactorily, use it.

If it doesn't, dispose of it safely

Howard

If it just citric acid I guess you pour it down the sink.

My pickling acid, made from powder bought from CuP Alloys, is now a nice green colour since used acid is returned to bottle. I guess the green is copper citrate. I would think the powder I bought contained a biocide since I never had anything grow in the liquid.

JA

Tim Stevens24/09/2019 17:07:28
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1095 forum posts

I wonder if the 'mould' seen by Howard Lewis was actually crystals of SO3, and not a fungus at all. Fuming H2SO4 is so eager to combine with the tiniest speck of water that it would not make a good environment for anything living - mould, germ, or virus. Just because it looked fluffy, do not be misled.

Cheers Tim

Clive India25/09/2019 09:03:15
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188 forum posts
Posted by Clive India on 24/09/2019 07:54:51:

Adding a small amount of bleach fixes the mould problem for me.

Just a reminder wink

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