electronic_cigarette
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9 Month Research Update, re: PlatinumCoils & Smelling Ammonia/Formaldehyde (long Read) https://ift.tt/34GtkTw

I really like e-cigarettes, not just on a visceral level, but also on an intellectual and public health level.

There are powerful forces who don’t like e-cigarettes, and too bad for them. It is the best way to quit smoking we’ve ever come up with, and boy have we tried.

The real risk associated with e-cigarettes is long-term side effects. For people who vape daily, e-cigarettes are the mother load of chronic exposure. Regardless how “safe” or “non-toxic” certain chemicals are labeled, I don’t see a viable way of testing this over a lifetime or on such sensitive tissue as the lungs. This is compounded by the variety of different ways e-cigarettes work, and the rainbow of chemicals used as flavoring agents. We really need to be careful what we’re vaping. The flip side of no-regulation is… the government and scientists do not have your backs on this. Personally, I don’t use flavoring compounds. I use 3 ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and nicotine in my RDTA setup. I also use Japanese Organic Cotton.

Even then, there were a couple things that annoyed me, specifically a smell of formaldehyde/ammonia I was getting from the coils, and also what metals we are using in our coils.

To this effect, I did two things 9 months ago I made a post over in r/chemistry about this. It got a lot of interest, but I was hoping for more feedback on the matter.

Smell of Formaldehyde/Ammonia

This one really scared me. I noticed that as my vape juice got towards the lower end of the bottle, I would get really harsh hits, and a very distinct smell of ammonia/formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is what’s used to fix/preserve dead organisms/organs (think: animals in jars). You don’t want to do this to your lungs. Suspects are: the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine in the base, the coils, the nicotine, or the cotton being used. I’ve called various e-cigarette suppliers (even those in Europe), manufacturers, and chemists. I didn’t get an answer until I spoke to someone at liquid-barn (where I buy my supplies, as they distribute swiss-made nicotine). He finally gave me an answer that made sense: the Nicotine is oxidizing or reacting in some other way. He said exposure to air and heat is the killer for nicotine, and you should store it and handle it with absolutely MINIMAL exposure to air and heat. He even suggested ordering your nicotine in the winter so when it ships across the desert or wherever it doesn’t get hot. As soon as you get it, throw it in the fridge or freezer.

I have since followed the advice, and the smell of ammonia/formaldehyde has decreased DRAMATICALLY! Also if your bottle of nicotine has gotten harsh THROW IT OUT and mix/buy a fresh batch. I will reach out to u/xanat0z who shared his concern for aldehyde formation in e-cigarettes. This chapter isn’t up, but for now the best advice is simply this: avoid all air/warmth exposure for your nicotine and your vape juice. Store it in the fridge/freezer. If you’re diluting from a larger batch, pull out what you need to mix, close the bottle, and immediately put it back in the freezer. I was using VG as a base for my 10% nicotine, and have since switched to propylene glycol because it maintains its low viscosity at freezer temperatures (VG turns super thick).

Platinum Coils

Coils are another potential chronic health hazard. We take metals for granted, but they are not benign elements. Metals can be very very toxic, as is commonly known with Lead and Mercury. The metal arsenic is a straight up deadly poison.

Nichrome wire, as the name suggests is an alloy of nickel, chromium, and commonly iron. Considering the route of exposure while vaping (directly into the lungs – directly into the bloodstream). Furthermore, because of the heating, we’re often exposed to the much more soluble oxides of these metals, again directly into the bloodstream. Iron is actually healthy and necessary for our normal biological functioning.

Nickel is not. Although it is filtered by our kidneys and largely considered nontoxic, from wikipedia:

Nickel is not a cumulative poison, but larger doses or chronic inhalation exposure may be toxic, even carcinogenic, and constitute an occupational hazard

Chromium has similar potential for toxicity in its VI oxide state. More info from Wikipedia_toxicity).

In comes Platinum.

Most of us know the ritual, once a week or so you have to replace your coils because they’re oxidizing and getting covered in crud. I used to burn my coils, but I found they wouldn’t last long after doing so (like 2 days) before getting harsh and shitty again.

Exactly 10 months ago I bought 1’ 4” of 24-gauge 95% platinum 5% Ruthenium platinum wire. Link to product and supplier for $64. This stuff isn’t cheap – it’s a precious metal. Don’t waste it.

Why spend $50 for 1 foot of wire? Platinum is a noble metal. It doesn’t rust/oxidize*. Since installing the coil 10 months ago, I have had to replace it exactly ONCE, and that is today: what inspired me to write this post. Whenever it starts getting covered in cruddy crap, I’d remove the cotton fire it, everything burns off, and it returns to its BRAND NEW SHINY STATE. All I replace is the cotton about once a week. This has saved me HOURS of heartache and pain.

Furthermore, its resistance to oxidation means I am getting a SIGNIFICANTLY lower dose of metals than I would with the Nichrome wire. Why it’s oxidized now after 10 months, I am not sure. Although it is a noble metal with very low reactivity, that reactivity is still nonzero. My guess is Platinum Oxide has formed at the surface. I could theoretically clean it with Piranha solution (a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acid that can react with and remove the Platinum Oxide). For now I’ve simply removed the coil and installed the other one I had prepared (I initially wanted to run 2 coils, but the resistance was too low for my mod).

Anyway, there is still a risk of platinum toxicity, but my research suggests this effect presents a low-risk for e-cigarettes. It looks like it’s primarily an allergic reaction, and occurs with halogen-platinum salts. There are no halogens in the e-cigarette setup. Still I would urge further research to this effect.

Also I’d like to add, a coil wrapped around a #0 screwdriver 7 times has a resistance of about 0.1 Ohm. I’d guess it’s about 5 inches long.

Rhuthenium is a higher risk for toxicity. Ruthenium Oxide is very toxic, however the concentration of ruthenium in the coils is very low (5%). It is also very volatile, so I expect most of it would burn off with the initial firing of the coils before use, or during subsequent dry firings. Still, maybe I’ll explore running 100% pure platinum coils.

Anyway, I’m super tired, and I apologize for the laziness of my writing. I hope this information is useful to some of you, and feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments. If this is all a bit over your head, I’ll summarize in the tl;dr below. Basically: freeze your nicotine/vaping solutions until use. Don’t expose it to air as much as you can. Buy platinum coils, they expensive, but a $15 coil will last you 10 months.

tl;dr I did a lot of research into the health of e-cigarettes. Two conclusions: 1. Store your nicotine in the cold (Fridge/Freezer) and minimize all exposure to air. 2. Platinum coils are amazing and you should get some.

I really like e-cigarettes, not just on a visceral level, but also on an intellectual and public health level.There are powerful forces who don’t like e-cigarettes, and too bad for them. It is the best way to quit smoking we’ve ever come up with, and boy have we tried.The real risk associated with e-cigarettes is long-term side effects. For people who vape daily, e-cigarettes are the mother load of chronic exposure. Regardless how “safe” or “non-toxic” certain chemicals are labeled, I don’t see a viable way of testing this over a lifetime or on such sensitive tissue as the lungs. This is compounded by the variety of different ways e-cigarettes work, and the rainbow of chemicals used as flavoring agents. We really need to be careful what we’re vaping. The flip side of no-regulation is… the government and scientists do not have your backs on this. Personally, I don’t use flavoring compounds. I use 3 ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and nicotine in my RDTA setup. I also use Japanese Organic Cotton.Even then, there were a couple things that annoyed me, specifically a smell of formaldehyde/ammonia I was getting from the coils, and also what metals we are using in our coils.To this effect, I did two things 9 months ago I made a post over in r/chemistry about this. It got a lot of interest, but I was hoping for more feedback on the matter.Smell of Formaldehyde/AmmoniaThis one really scared me. I noticed that as my vape juice got towards the lower end of the bottle, I would get really harsh hits, and a very distinct smell of ammonia/formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is what’s used to fix/preserve dead organisms/organs (think: animals in jars). You don’t want to do this to your lungs. Suspects are: the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine in the base, the coils, the nicotine, or the cotton being used. I’ve called various e-cigarette suppliers (even those in Europe), manufacturers, and chemists. I didn’t get an answer until I spoke to someone at liquid-barn (where I buy my supplies, as they distribute swiss-made nicotine). He finally gave me an answer that made sense: the Nicotine is oxidizing or reacting in some other way. He said exposure to air and heat is the killer for nicotine, and you should store it and handle it with absolutely MINIMAL exposure to air and heat. He even suggested ordering your nicotine in the winter so when it ships across the desert or wherever it doesn’t get hot. As soon as you get it, throw it in the fridge or freezer.I have since followed the advice, and the smell of ammonia/formaldehyde has decreased DRAMATICALLY! Also if your bottle of nicotine has gotten harsh THROW IT OUT and mix/buy a fresh batch. I will reach out to u/xanat0z who shared his concern for aldehyde formation in e-cigarettes. This chapter isn’t up, but for now the best advice is simply this: avoid all air/warmth exposure for your nicotine and your vape juice. Store it in the fridge/freezer. If you’re diluting from a larger batch, pull out what you need to mix, close the bottle, and immediately put it back in the freezer. I was using VG as a base for my 10% nicotine, and have since switched to propylene glycol because it maintains its low viscosity at freezer temperatures (VG turns super thick).Platinum CoilsCoils are another potential chronic health hazard. We take metals for granted, but they are not benign elements. Metals can be very very toxic, as is commonly known with Lead and Mercury. The metal arsenic is a straight up deadly poison.Nichrome wire, as the name suggests is an alloy of nickel, chromium, and commonly iron. Considering the route of exposure while vaping (directly into the lungs – directly into the bloodstream). Furthermore, because of the heating, we’re often exposed to the much more soluble oxides of these metals, again directly into the bloodstream. Iron is actually healthy and necessary for our normal biological functioning.Nickel is not. Although it is filtered by our kidneys and largely considered nontoxic, from wikipedia:Nickel is not a cumulative poison, but larger doses or chronic inhalation exposure may be toxic, even carcinogenic, and constitute an occupational hazardChromium has similar potential for toxicity in its VI oxide state. More info from Wikipedia_toxicity).In comes Platinum.Most of us know the ritual, once a week or so you have to replace your coils because they’re oxidizing and getting covered in crud. I used to burn my coils, but I found they wouldn’t last long after doing so (like 2 days) before getting harsh and shitty again.Exactly 10 months ago I bought 1’ 4” of 24-gauge 95% platinum 5% Ruthenium platinum wire. Link to product and supplier for $64. This stuff isn’t cheap – it’s a precious metal. Don’t waste it.Why spend $50 for 1 foot of wire? Platinum is a noble metal. It doesn’t rust/oxidize*. Since installing the coil 10 months ago, I have had to replace it exactly ONCE, and that is today: what inspired me to write this post. Whenever it starts getting covered in cruddy crap, I’d remove the cotton fire it, everything burns off, and it returns to its BRAND NEW SHINY STATE. All I replace is the cotton about once a week. This has saved me HOURS of heartache and pain.Furthermore, its resistance to oxidation means I am getting a SIGNIFICANTLY lower dose of metals than I would with the Nichrome wire. Why it’s oxidized now after 10 months, I am not sure. Although it is a noble metal with very low reactivity, that reactivity is still nonzero. My guess is Platinum Oxide has formed at the surface. I could theoretically clean it with Piranha solution (a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acid that can react with and remove the Platinum Oxide). For now I’ve simply removed the coil and installed the other one I had prepared (I initially wanted to run 2 coils, but the resistance was too low for my mod).Anyway, there is still a risk of platinum toxicity, but my research suggests this effect presents a low-risk for e-cigarettes. It looks like it’s primarily an allergic reaction, and occurs with halogen-platinum salts. There are no halogens in the e-cigarette setup. Still I would urge further research to this effect.Also I’d like to add, a coil wrapped around a #0 screwdriver 7 times has a resistance of about 0.1 Ohm. I’d guess it’s about 5 inches long.Rhuthenium is a higher risk for toxicity. Ruthenium Oxide is very toxic, however the concentration of ruthenium in the coils is very low (5%). It is also very volatile, so I expect most of it would burn off with the initial firing of the coils before use, or during subsequent dry firings. Still, maybe I’ll explore running 100% pure platinum coils.Anyway, I’m super tired, and I apologize for the laziness of my writing. I hope this information is useful to some of you, and feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments. If this is all a bit over your head, I’ll summarize in the tl;dr below. Basically: freeze your nicotine/vaping solutions until use. Don’t expose it to air as much as you can. Buy platinum coils, they expensive, but a $15 coil will last you 10 months.tl;dr I did a lot of research into the health of e-cigarettes. Two conclusions: 1. Store your nicotine in the cold (Fridge/Freezer) and minimize all exposure to air. 2. Platinum coils are amazing and you should get some.

Submitted October 09, 2020 at 09:03AM by FriedChicken
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