A week or so ago I posted on a newish scam where plain silica is being sold as ORME, the elixir of life. The synthetic process for this is quite simple. The modern day alchemist takes a quantity of Dead Sea salt, which is 20% silica. This is not soluble in water but can be dissolved in alakali. The alchemist dissolves his salt in Sodium Hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda. Neutralising the pH of this solution, by the addition of acid, will cause the silica to precipitate out as a white gel. This gel is what is sold as ORME, having magically acquired gold in the process, and in a "high spin state" too.
Now any GCSE chemistry student knows about titration. Ensuring that the amount of acid is exactly right to neutralise the alkali without leaving a surplus of either the acid or the alkali.
But lets remember that the people making this stuff are not exactly Nobel prize winning scientists. They're odd little gnomes who believe in transmutation and other pseudoscience, who've made the stuff in their kitchen, as if they were making fudge. The likelihood that these loons are going to be able even to understand, let alone perform, proper titration is pretty unlikely.
So if you buy ORME from one of these airheads bear in mind that it could well still be contaminated with Caustic Soda, or battery acid, neither of which you really want to be gambling with ingesting.
How about a nice local story for a change?
9 hours ago