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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have seen and know of a couple people using toluene in their tanks as a thinning agent for silicone. Lowes didn't have it but they do have this stuff called Xylene. No idea exactly what it is. Even as a chemistry student in my 5th year i haven't even heard of this... Any ideas?

I looked at it online and it seems like a product of toluene? No clue.

Any ideas or suggestions on whether it would act the same way as toluene or not?

Thanks,
Wayne
 

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xylene is almost identical to toluene, it just has 1 more methyl group off the benzene ring. It is a mix of 1,2-dimethylbenzene, 1,3-dimethylbenzene, and 1,4-dimethylbenzene.
Comparable to toluene, and is used as a thinner of paints when slower drying is required. Because it exists s a 3 isomer mix, the physical properties of each isomer contribute to how it behaves as a whole.
 

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We use xylene to prepare histology slides for immunohistochemistry. While I haven't tried it with silicone its properties as an organic solvent should be similar to toluene (at least for our purposes; organic chemists may disagree). Just be careful with these solvents; they are toxic and flammable so make sure there is enough ventilation (we only use it in a fume hood).
 

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never heard of xylene? its commonly used in amateur chemistry as well, in the process of alkaloid extractions.

james
I was thinking the same thing. No offense to the OP, but as a 5th year chem student you should be able to just look at its structure and know a lot about the reactivity/properties of the molecule. Im not even done with my 1st year of organic chem and I can tell a lot about it. Sholdnt you be in analytical chem in your 5th year? past p-chem, past transition metal chem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm in my 5th as a dual major. My main major is physics. Not chemistry. Currently chemistry is my minor til i finish the physics which i have a year left. The scheduling between the two sciences is nearly impossible. I looked at it more after i posted the thread. The thread was posted during a research paper break. It is basically just the combination of all the isomers which just lowers the boiling point. It is basically the same as toluene just takes a little longer to evaporate. so as long as the silicone still hardens back up it shouldnt be a problem. But yes i have only done gen chems organics and analytical. Physics is a lot more. Which is why i dont have a problem hardwiring anything. :p

Thanks for the help though.

Ill have tank updates soon. I just finished the clay background and planting. Just gotta get the pictures up.
 

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The fact that both of these chemicals are available over the counter really just horrifies me. I'm a chemist and I won't touch them without the right gloves (yeah, I do research to find which gloves work with the nastiest of my chemicals) and in a fume hood. Paranoid? Yes. Also not into dying of cancer at age 40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wear gloves when i work with anything. Usually if it isn't toxic its disgusting. So either one usually requires gloves. haha

Yeah you can get practically anything now adays though. FisherScientific! yay!

-Wayne
 

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The fact that both of these chemicals are available over the counter really just horrifies me. I'm a chemist and I won't touch them without the right gloves (yeah, I do research to find which gloves work with the nastiest of my chemicals) and in a fume hood. Paranoid? Yes. Also not into dying of cancer at age 40.
Well hey if we couldn't get our hands on toluene and certain strong acids how else could we make our favorite trinitrated compound?
 

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Hey guys,
I have seen and know of a couple people using toluene in their tanks as a thinning agent for silicone. Lowes didn't have it but they do have this stuff called Xylene. No idea exactly what it is.
I worked in the petrochemical industry for several years, specifically in paint manufacturing. Xylene is a major ingredient in a large number of enamel paints and also functions as a thinner or in a clean up role for those paints. Most likely it will work fine for your application.
 
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