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Name: Camp Wesley Woods
Status: Educator
Age: 20s
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Question:
We are re-working our geology class for our environmental education program. One of the activities we have is a burn station for different elements. Can you recommend any minerals that would work well with a blow torch?
Also, would you recommend burning nickle nitrate?



Replies:
For safety reasons I would not recommend taking a blow torch to any chemical substance. It might explode. It might give off toxic or irritating gases-- any fluoride containing minerals [and there are lots of them] for example might give off extremely toxic F2 gas. It might produce respirable particles of metal that could enter the lungs and cause serious effects.

The products of reaction with a blow torch should be thoroughly researched before the torch is ever turned on. This is literally dealing with fire.

Vince Calder



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