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davidcpowers

I am looking for something like rewoquat or a good substitute sold in the US, for breaking down shale and such?

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caldigger

David, I'm not sure if this is what you are after, but in the small scale mining industry there is a product called "Clay Be Gone" it is added to water and breaks down the adhesive properties of clay so clumps dissipate into a slurry ( it dissolves the clay/ might break down shale as well).

Can be found at most retailers that sell mining supplies.

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FossilDAWG

Hi Caldigger,

 

Are you sure about that?  I googled "Clay be Gone" and all the links I checked out (all gold panning related) talk only about it causing clay suspended in water to drop to the bottom of the pan, which I assume is a surface tension related effect.  None mentioned breaking up clay or shale.  However, that might be due to the specific application to gold panning.

 

Years ago there was a product called "Quaternary O" that was widely used to disaggregate shale.  It only worked on certain types of shale, depending on the chemical bond between sediment particles, but on some materials it worked great!  I used to use it to clean up Verulam Formation fossils and it was fantastic, the shale just melted away.  It was a quaternary ammonium sulfate compound, I recall, and it was used for cleaning concrete and similar surfaces.  Unfortunately it has not been available in years.  However there may be similar quaternary ammonium cleaners available, but someone would have to obtain and test samples.  Because of their industrial applications, most were available only in the 45 gallon drum size when I tried to check them out a few years ago.

 

Don

 

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SailingAlongToo
57 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

Hi Caldigger,

 

Are you sure about that?  I googled "Clay be Gone" and all the links I checked out (all gold panning related) talk only about it causing clay suspended in water to drop to the bottom of the pan, which I assume is a surface tension related effect.  None mentioned breaking up clay or shale.  However, that might be due to the specific application to mining.

 

Don

 

 

Sounds like a polymer flocculant

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Ptychodus04

I've used potassium hydroxide with varying results on shales. The softer ones are more reactive to it but be very careful. It is a very strong base and will cause all kinds of bodily damage if handled wrong.

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caldigger

In the applications I have seen it used, it broke down clay balls in the material so as to be able to run it through a sluice without the sticky clay taking the gold with it.

I've never used it myself, since I tend to do a different type of gold extraction. 

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davidcpowers

I'm sorry for my silence. I was seeing any reply notices on my page.

Ptychodus04

I had thought about using potassium hydroxide. But, most of these fossils are Mississippian marine with calcium parts.

Caldigger I will look at "Clay Be Gone."  The shale is a mudstone. After soaking the rock in water, some of the rock will scrub off with a toothbrush.

 

FossilDAWG I know about Quaternary O. That has been off the market for year.  I'm looking at  quaternary ammonium cleaners none address applications I am interested in.

 

 

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Paciphacops

@Mediospirifer posted this in the KOH thread.

 

"Your recommendation of Rewoquat is appreciated! I checked on the web for further information, and it appears that here in the US it's marketed under the name Varisoft."

 

 

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KimTexan

I once saw a recommended method for removing matrix from the North Sulfur River fossils. The matrix there is largely shale to clay among other things. It is a calcium based matrix. I saw it in the Dallas Paleontological Society newsletter.

It was a combination of Calgon water softener and peroxide. I haven’t tried it, but it kind of makes sense that it would have some effect on the calcium component of the clay or shale. I’ll see if I can find the reference when I get gone this evening to see if it had the specific application of the two.

I keep meaning to try it, but I keep forgetting to by calgon when I’m at the store.

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KimTexan

It appears that there are numerous formations of Varisoft. If you find the one that is equivalent to the formulation of Rewoquat you use please let us know.

 

It only makes sense that if there are various formulas of the one it would also be the case for the other. I have asked questions on here regarding this very topic of something that will help soften or dissolve clay and shale. It would make prep of so many things so much easier.

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davidcpowers

KimTexan

Kim Texan I thought I had found a seller of Rewoquat  from fossil prep supplier out of Germany. But can't ship to US. I have been reading the formulation differences between Rewoquat  used as fabric softeners and detergents  and the mentioned Varisoft by

Paciphacops.

  Varisoft is used to condition hair . Following the Rewoquat connection is a linked family of VARIQUAT® which are used in fabric softeners and detergents and hair conditioners. But there are maybe twenty differing formulations.  I have not been able to find products with these listed in them.

The use of Calgon with its active ingredient Zeolite  along with peroxide may well disrupt the bonds in shale and clay rocks.  I will see if I can formulate a mix that works on my shales.

 

 

 

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KimTexan

If you can find the manufacturer's site you can probably find the formula in the SDS or MSDS which will tell you the chemicals in it. It may not give the ratio of them though. Manufacturers are required by law to provide an SDS for all chemicals.

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