Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Trying to crack the original formula- why was kerosene used?

In my quest to figure out exactly what the original formula is, one thing I haven't figured out is why they used Kerosene in the mixture.  It seems like it was a very small part of the mixture, something like 7% by volume.

But what was the point?  Did it act as a preservative, or enhance the flow, or help to bind everything together?

Speculations?

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Yes, that tracks perfectly with what I'm saying.  You're making less viscous wax.  Which means that it has relatively more resistance when travelling through the fluid.

I believe that the china stuff is really basic- lots of solid ingredients which means that its more viscous and a higher melting point.

52% chlorinated paraffin is used in Chinese lamps. I am using perc. Chlorinated paraffin is honey-like and highly viscous. Perc like water. This way our wax is getting softer. Like your left picture. For this reason, I use an oily or plasticish wax like beeswax.

I tried to make the flow look like this.

Right. 

I believe that 90's lamps were also using chlorinated paraffin, but with much higher (likely 72%) chlorine content.  That stuff is *really* dense, which means they were likely adding a bit of mineral oil to balance it out, which also means its less viscous.

(I do not believe that 90's lamps contain perc at all- mainly due to the video that has been circulating of the factory in which it was made.  They had giant vats of molten lavawax in the open air, people just nonchalantly scooping it up in cups, pretending to drink it... clearly it was nontoxic, therefore it *must* be chlorinated paraffin that was providing the weight, not perc.)

But to make sure it rises, because its much heavier than its 52% chinese modern counterpart, they had to add a lot of PG (again, viscous).

I think that is the "magic". 

I'm trying to get one of the vendors on Alibaba to sell me a sample of 72% chlorinated paraffin- I just don't have the money to be throwing at a whole 250kg barrel of the stuff (which is most of their minimum order quantites)

How were you able to gather this information? If we had a break down of the Chinese formula, the 90's formula, and the original formula that would help.

Tevfik Dogruman said:

52% chlorinated paraffin is used in Chinese lamps. I am using perc. Chlorinated paraffin is honey-like and highly viscous. Perc like water. This way our wax is getting softer. Like your left picture. For this reason, I use an oily or plasticish wax like beeswax.

Unfortunately, the turkey is not sold less than 250 kg. For this reason, continue to perc. I know it is 70 - 72% chlorinated paraffin solids.

I have reached this information as a result of my research from msds. I saw short chain chlorine paraffin being used in one msds today. Previously medium chain chlorinated paraffin.

Autumn said:

How were you able to gather this information? If we had a break down of the Chinese formula, the 90's formula, and the original formula that would help.

Tevfik Dogruman said:

52% chlorinated paraffin is used in Chinese lamps. I am using perc. Chlorinated paraffin is honey-like and highly viscous. Perc like water. This way our wax is getting softer. Like your left picture. For this reason, I use an oily or plasticish wax like beeswax.

Small update:   Thanks to Tev and Autumn for this info because I never would have thought of this.

It's been mentioned that one thing which causes wax opacity is the reaction of Surfactant and Paraffin- I suppose this could explain why some modern formulas get more opaque as you run them.  But, mixing Surf and Wax sounded counterintuitive to me so I never thought to do it.  Well guess what!

This is a jar of only mineral oil (LP) and a couple drops of pure SLS, just swirled around a couple times.  It became cloudy almost immediately!  Look how opaque it is!

Now, this isn't immediately useful, because its just LP and SLS.  When it makes contact with water, the water clouds damn near instantly.  But what's interesting there, is that it clouds in a similar way as I have seen some modern lamps do- it has little streams of "smoke" that leech into the water.

I am going to toss some paraffin and micro and perc in this jar to see what happens when it solidifies and cools.  I think probably THIS jar is a lost cause, because while I haven't experimented with this whatsoever before, I feel like I put too much SLS in there and it's probably done for.

Really excited about this development though!

If used in dense or large amounts of surfactant, the resultant emulsion at a clouding of the water. Right now this is your wax.

Ant Bee said:

Small update:   Thanks to Tev and Autumn for this info because I never would have thought of this.

It's been mentioned that one thing which causes wax opacity is the reaction of Surfactant and Paraffin- I suppose this could explain why some modern formulas get more opaque as you run them.  But, mixing Surf and Wax sounded counterintuitive to me so I never thought to do it.  Well guess what!

This is a jar of only mineral oil (LP) and a couple drops of pure SLS, just swirled around a couple times.  It became cloudy almost immediately!  Look how opaque it is!

Now, this isn't immediately useful, because its just LP and SLS.  When it makes contact with water, the water clouds damn near instantly.  But what's interesting there, is that it clouds in a similar way as I have seen some modern lamps do- it has little streams of "smoke" that leech into the water.

I am going to toss some paraffin and micro and perc in this jar to see what happens when it solidifies and cools.  I think probably THIS jar is a lost cause, because while I haven't experimented with this whatsoever before, I feel like I put too much SLS in there and it's probably done for.

Really excited about this development though!

Yes you're right- too much (and I think I used too much here but this was just a "see what happens" thing) and it will emulsify.

But re-watching the old video from the 90's, I am quite convinced that they were added surfactant directly to the wax:

https://youtu.be/EG8IV43DkOE?t=38

Notice how the tanks of how wax have foam on the top?  I have never seen that before when making my waxes- and now that I have my SLS-added formula on the stove, it's foaming on top!

I watched the video. I'm thinking. They were not added surfactant directly to the wax. Not foamy liquid wax.

Ant Bee said:

Yes you're right- too much (and I think I used too much here but this was just a "see what happens" thing) and it will emulsify.

But re-watching the old video from the 90's, I am quite convinced that they were added surfactant directly to the wax:

https://youtu.be/EG8IV43DkOE?t=38

Notice how the tanks of how wax have foam on the top?  I have never seen that before when making my waxes- and now that I have my SLS-added formula on the stove, it's foaming on top!

1:  It seems ok so far.

2:  I want to try some other brands first.  I got the generic kind, maybe that's my issue.

3:  I think "snakeyness" is caused by a lot of factors, and I think kerosene does help to achieve that, but not on its own.

4:  I am sticking with micro for now, because that is what was used in the OG recipes.

5:  I think so.  I still want to mess with it some.

6:  I am using two types of surfactant now- Sodium Laurel Sulfate mixed with distilled water, and TritonX-100.  Both can be purchased on Amazon.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been doing research (well, fed research mostly) and have purchased some various new types of waxes, and am waiting for those to arrive before I continue.

BR4X said:

Ant:

1. do you like beeswax?

2. are you done with petroleum jelly because of clouding?

3. does kerosene work to make the snakes? / why can't we just use more liquid paraffin? (this is a question I think you want answers to as well)

4.Micro vs Bee?

5. is vybar out?

Both of you:

what SPECIFIC surfactant are you using and where do you buy it?

.. I'm sure I have more questions. I got a lot more reading to do

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