[meteorite-list] Silica Gel Drying

From: capricorn89 <capricorn89_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:49:02 2004
Message-ID: <001601c142f3$fa1ee760$df36b2d1_at_earthlink.net>

Manufacturers' recommendations suggest 300 degrees in the oven to dry silica
gel. (Yes, do not let the oven cool with the silica inside!)

The process is ADSORPTION, not absorption. This is an action in which water
molecules are attracted to and held on the surfaces of the silica. The
highly porous nature of the small particles create an almost unbelievable
total surface area. I found the following interesting statistic:

"The internal structure of each small silica gel granule is composed of a
vast network of inter-connecting microscopic pores, which attract and hold
moisture by a phenomena known as physical adsorption and capillary
condensation. (It sounds ridiculous, but a single teaspoon of Silica Gel has
an internal adsorptive area equivalent to a football field, including the
two end zones."

While a tempting idea to recycle, I would opt to replace silica packets
rather than try to recharge them to be sure to protect valuable specimens,
but that is a personal option. It is very inexpensive product for what it

Non-indicating (no blue chloride) 10 g. packets, shipped in tight cans,
available from my website. Also, indicating cards, but I prefer use the
Radio Shack thermometer/hygrometer #63-1013 ($ 24.00) available at your
local radio Shack on your corner. Having an instant digital readout is
great. I have one in the corner of each of my enclosures. (As a service
for anyone outside the U.S. who cannot get one elsewhere, I will trot down
to my local R.S. store and get one (and pass it on to you at my actual cost)
for anyone who places any order with me.)

Ron Hartman

 ----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Blood <mlblood_at_home.com>
To: John Gwilliam <jkgdiver_at_primenet.com>
Cc: <thomas.kurtz_at_stud.fh-hannover.de>; Michael Groetz <mpg444@yahoo.com>;
Meteoriten-Mailingliste <meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 3:56 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Silica Gel Drying

> Hi John, Rob & List members,
> I can tell y'all are not cheffs! Most microwave ovens have
> the ability to set the degree of heating capacity prior to setting
> the timer.
> Typically, there is a "defrost" setting - which is typically
> 50% of full power - but normally, you can also choose the
> % of power, from 10% to 90% in 10% incraments (100%
> is what you get if you DON'T set it otherwise). A little
> experimenting here would prove usefull.
> However, except for hot summer days, I believe a
> standard gas oven is superior & given enough time,
> even just the pilot light would drive off the moisture,
> though there is no reason not to set it at 190 as reccommended.....and
> cooling down in the oven in the zero
> humidity environment caused by the pilot light is certainly
> the way to go - however, one really must not pull a Martin
> and end up with dessicant cookies!
> Happy drying, Michael
> --
> My friend in NJ photographed & compiled the following outstanding
> 5 pages of photos of the disaster, the heros and the healing in NY:
> http://www.notkin.net/disaster.htm
> --
> Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain
> Security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
> ...Thomas Jefferson
> --
> Michael Blood Meteorites for sale at:
> http://www.meteorite.com/Michael_Blood/catalog.htm
> Show your support at the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund -
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Received on Fri 21 Sep 2001 07:20:16 PM PDT

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