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How to make your own home-made Ferric Chloride for etching PCBs [Chemistry]
posted December 5 2012 10:37.52 by Giorgos Lazaridis

I can assure you that making homemade Ferric Chloride is just not worthy... You can get a kilo of this staff for as little as 2 Euro from a chemistry shop. The very same substance is sold in the price of gold in electronic shops, into fancy air-tight bags in the form of sweet little granules - Same thing, only 7 times more expensive...

BUT for the sake of science and to feed your curiosity (and creativity), you can make FeCl in you kitchen. Well, not precisely in your kitchen, but certainly in your home. The following video is from Nurd Rage

Get 20g of iron. This can be in the form of nails or steel wool. It's best to use iron that's rusting, that indicates it doesn't have other metals like zinc or chromium that's normally used to prevent rust. To the iron add 100mL of water and 100mL of 12M hydrochloric acid. The iron will start reacting with the acid to produce hydrogen gas and ferrous chloride. If the reaction is proceeding too slowly for your liking you can heat up the mixture. A flask of cold water on top is useful to reduce evaporative losses.

Once the ferrous chloride solution is made it needs to be oxidized to ferric chloride. The fast way of doing this is to add 200mL of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Do this slowly with lots of stirring as the solution will heat up a lot. If it gets too hot to hold (about 60 celsius) stop and let it cool before adding the rest of the peroxide. If you don't want to use peroxide the slow and cheap way of oxidizing it is to bubble in air using an aquarium pump. It can take several days but it has the added advantage of keeping the solution concentrated.

After oxidation you'll have a solution of ferric chloride ready for use.

[Link: Nurd Rage]

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