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Mbkcd

what % is YOUR trichloroacetic acid?

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I found this website a couple months ago and am still wading through all the great info you all have made available. I'm mainly just lurking and making note of all of these treatments that are getting raved about, but the posts about TCA have really interested me.

What's weird is that lots of people reporting buying 100% TCA are receiving a liquid. This is, by definition, not 100% pure trichloroacetate. TCA has a melting point of over 130 degrees celsius. In pure form, it should be in a solid state, probably fine white crystals.

If you haven't guessed, I'm a chemistry major 8-[ If anyone else is interested, I'd be happy to run some titration experiments on the TCA that you are receiving from various vendors. (Titration is basically measuring neutralization of an acid against a base, or vice versa. In this case, I would test dissolved TCA in a known amount of water and titrate it against an NaOH solution, whose molarity is easy to experimentally determine).

After all is said and done, I should be able to determine the exact concentrations that everyone is receiving when they order "50%" or "100%" TCA products. I'm gonna place an order of the so claimed 100% after I get back from break, and will test it, but would be fun to test TCA samples that are coming from various suppliers.

I know I know, by now you're saying this sounds like too much work when the product just works. If there's no interest, I'll just test my own and write back. If there is interest, I would need samples of about 1-2 grams each. (approx 32 grams to each ounce) and you can PM me for mailing details.

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Hey, that would be really helpful. I have the solid form - and I'm not sure how much to dilute it to get results like everybody else.

I think the 100% liquid TCA is 100% weight/volume.

Can you determine purity with a photospectrometer?

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Generally when something is said to be xx% of one compound or another, they will specify by weight, volume, or mole ratio. (a mole is basically 6.02 x 10^23 molecules, so it's comparing number of molecules).

I am not very familiar with photospectrometry, but I did 30 seconds worth of research and I don't think it would have any applications here. Generally spectrometry (ultraviolet, mass, nuclear magnetic resonance) deals with determining the identity of an unknown sample. Since we can safely assume you're receiving TCA, I don't think any of the above methods would help much.

Titration is basically using an indicator (phenylphthalein in most cases) to indicate when a solution changes from acidic to basic. You slowly drop measured amounts of acid or base into the opposite solution, and when it is completely neutral, the solution will change color. If you do it carefully, you can get a pretty accurate idea of what concentration your unknown solution is at. I've got access to a couple chemistry labs, so distilled H20 and the apparatus for performing this experiment would be easy to come by.

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Besides concentration, I'm worried about the purity of our TCA because we don't really know where it's coming from or if it is approved for use on skin. There might be some other things in it that are toxic/irritating. We just don't know because we're desperate people and buying it from a sort of grey market and praying.

I don't think any company in the US would be allowed to sell 100% TCA for use on skin to the general public - so we have to do the safety checks ourselves... sad.gif

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Mbksd - Thank you - I have PMd you and can send you samples of 50% and 100% that I would like tested. I think most of us bought from the same supplier so it will save others having to send off to you as well.

Much appreciated! biggrin.gif

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