Any interest in determining nicotine--by DVAP

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by DVap, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Hi all.

    I've seen a few posts here and there in the DIY e-liquid section from folks asking if there is a way to determine if the bulk (500 mL - 1000 mL) e-liquids contain the advertised concentration of nicotine.

    There are many way, most of them far outside the reach of DIY'ers. These is one very accurate way within the reach of DIY'ers. I've been a chemist for 22 years, and if there's interest, I'll be happy to detail how to do it.

    Post if you're interested.
  2. SLDS181

    SLDS181 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I'm sure theres lots of interest :D
  3. isande

    isande Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I'm interested.

  4. wasdiscovered

    wasdiscovered Full Member

    The only people that might not be interested are the people we are buying from.
  5. KevinD872

    KevinD872 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I'm sure I'm speaking for all DIYers when I say 'of course we are interested!'

    It'd also be nice to know exactly how much we absorb per puff or cartridge of juice. There are estimates, but nobody seems to be really sure other than that the absorption rate is apparently less than regular smoking. I have heard 1 mg absorbed per "real" cigarette but that they can actually contain as much as 8 mg per cig. So a pack & a half per day smoker probably gets about 30 mg of nicotine per day.

    Using 11 mg juice and using an average of say, 3 carts per day at 15 drops per cart = 45 drops (approx). It's been said that 20 drops is approx. 1 ml, so that means I probably take in about 24.5 mg per day. But how much do I REALLY absorb? This doesn't really matter, and most would say to vape as much as you want to make you happy, which is fine with me. But it would still be nice to know. :)
  6. KevinD872

    KevinD872 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Yeah.... I'm sure! lol
  7. Richie G

    Richie G Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    If I may answer your question with a question of my own, DVap...

    Have you performed this test on your liquid and if so, what were the results?
  8. need_2quit

    need_2quit Super Member ECF Veteran

    count me in, if it doesn't involve a lot of chemicals and lab equipment. I want to diy juice from tobacco and to be safe to use, I'd want to know how much nic is in it.

    appreciate the offer :)
  9. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I tested on some of that Chinese "Marb/USA Blend" we've all seen. It was spec'ed at 18 mg, it came out so close to 18 mg as to be no difference. I knew the procedure would work.. I was just surprised to see how well those Chinese folks nailed it.

    Right now, I'm cursing. I had the whole procedure typed out, and I hit the wrong key and sent it all to /dev/null.

    I'll redo it within a day, but for a taste, here's the equipment list. Nothing here that should get anyone placed on any government watch lists, we're e-smokers, we're already on their watch lists anyway.

    1. 50 mL burette w/stopcock, 0.1 ml subdivisions
    (can be had for under $20).
    2. 250 mL erlenmeyer flask (or suitably sized glass container).
    3. 25 mL graduated cylinder, 0.5 ml subdivisions.
    (under $10 on eBay or elsewhere)
    4. 0.1% bromothymol blue, aqueous solution.
    (around $5, they'll sell it to anyone, it's in kiddie science kits).
    5. 1000 mL volumetric flask (or 1L plastic bottle marked with a Sharpie)
    6. 0.1N HCl solution, 1 liter (you make this from 32% muriatic acid)
    7. Distilled water, 1 gallon.
  10. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Kevin, I can't help with the absorption/vape. That sort of testing is far outside my expertise.

    The only thing I can point to is a bunch of research that indicates that smokers do a remarkable job at self-maintaining their desired nicotine levels.
  11. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Hey Dvap, here's 2 for ya.

    1) Very interested!

    2) Who is a decent supplier for the labware? Recommendations would be appreciated.
  12. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    [outdated procedure edited out - see post #26 in this thread for updated procedure to determine nicotine in e-liquid]
  13. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Hi OTD...

    Just try eBay or search on Froogle. The only critical piece of labware is the burette. While, I recommend a burette clamp and ringstand, anybody sufficiently creative can come up with something to hold the burette still over the flask during the titration.

    I also highly recommend the 250 mL erlenmeyer flask since it's wide bottom and narrow mouth is designed to allow swirling without splashing. You could do it with a jelly-jar, but you'd have to be much more careful.

    Good luck!
  14. bearscreek

    bearscreek Super Member ECF Veteran

    Okay, so (if correct, and it probably is) that would be a way to verify that you got what you paid for, but I'm not sure that could be related to an unknown juice, as in DIY extraction from homegrown tobacco, snus, etc. Right?
  15. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    It could be related to an unknown juice. You would start with say 10 mL of the juice and find the volume of acid to reach end point. You would then know moles of acid used to reach end point. moles of acid used to reach endpoint = moles of nicotine present in the 10 mL of liquid.

    so if it took 5.7 mL of 0.1N acid to reach endpoint with 10 mL of an unknown liquid, 5.7 mL of 0.1N acid = 0.00057 moles of acid. Therefore, there are 0.00057 moles of nicotine in 10 mL of liquid. 0.00057 * 162.26 = 0.0925 grams (92.5 mg) nicotine in the 10 mL of liquid, or 9.25 mg/mL.

    Warning.. and something I didn't consider enough... with colored e-liquids, especially the typically yellow to yellow-brown liquids bromothymol blue may appear green when it would be otherwise blue (blue and yellow makes green, remember that?), in this case, you might have to slow down and the green to yellow transition isn't so easy as with a clear liquid. Titrations are ALWAYS easier to judge endpoints in an otherwise colorlesss solution.
    Hannypoo likes this.
  16. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I've just had a very surprising result with a very well known e-liquid.

    I've run it twice now, with an identical result.

    I'm heading into the lab for a late night session at the 5 decimal place balance to confirm what I'm seeing. More to come.
  17. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    [edit: ignore this post. This turned out to be a bad idea]

    Warning.. don't start buying all that equipment. I've come up with a procedure that works on a smaller scale with an endpoint that can be read easily, even with colored e-liquids. It is an order of magnitude simpler and cheaper than version 1.

    Isn't science fun?
  18. BlondieLocs

    BlondieLocs Super Member ECF Veteran

    I'd love to see that research, DVap!
  19. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    [edited out for stupidity]

    When I ran the USA Mix 18 mg at work it came out 17.8 mg/mL.

    I also ran the well known e-liquid I mentioned earlier, I ran it three time. Got results of 27.3 mg/mL, 27.8 mg/mL, and 28.4 mg/mL. This liquid is sold as a 36 mg/mL liquid. That an average approx. 3/4 of the label concentration. No, I will not reveal the identity of the liquid. I don't have enough of it left to do the work required to convince myself my method is foolproof, not until I order more. (I've got to have SOMETHING to vape with after all!) I also don't feel like I should stand behind the methodology (and likely piss a certain supplier off) until I can get my hands on some more e-liquid to check results at various levels. Right now, I've got high precision, and I'm guessing I have accuracy based on the USA Mix result being so close to the label concentration, but short of titrating known standards, assuming accuracy is not a sound scientific assumption.

    (But the un-scientific part of me thinks it's solid) :sneaky:
  20. DVap

    DVap Nicotiana Alchemia Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Just Google "smokers" and "self-titrating" :)

Share This Page