Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
First, Virginia ham is cured with Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite, not with Borates! Again, chemicals are being mixed up and this mixup can cause a deadly accident if someone tries to make their own cured ham.

Second, Patrick, I read your posts, you did not read mine. I said that you could concentrate impurities in BOTH the solid Borate that does not dissolve and in the saturated liquor.

Kirk has described a sound laboratory method above. I described a scenario which you obviously did not read or understand in any way. It is a hypothetical case illustrative of what I'm saying to you.

I didn't say Virginia ham, I said Smithfield Ham. If you've never seen one, there's no use trying to describe it. I wasn't talking about the particular substancesto be removed, but about the method of removing...washing, in essence.

I know you can concentrate insoluble substances in the remaining solid and soluble substances in the saturated liquor. That is the purpose in making the liquor. When you dispose of the liquior, that disposes of most of the soluble impurity, leaving only that in the liquor adsorbed by the undissolved borax. When I make the SECOND batch of saturated liquor, It will have less soluble impurity than the first, in the example I provided, by a factor of at least 16.

I have accomplished two things by this rather simple procedure: I have a solution with less soluble impurity than if it had been made by dissolving the raw borax, whatever grade it started as, and I know the weight percentage of borax decahydrate with a certainty greater than you know the weight percentage of the dry powder, no matter what its grade, for the simple reason that sodium tetraborate could be in any of three states of hydration in the powder, but only one in the saturated solution. You can buy the NF Powder grade, which has as its only impurity =<20 ppm heavy metals and you will see that the guaranteed percent of Borax Decahydrate is 99.0 to 105.0. That uncertainty is due to the uncertainty of the water content, not the borate. Thus, if I have a saturated solution whose weight percentage I know to be between 3.95 and 4.05, I know as much about my measure of borax decahydrate as you would by weighing the powder directly. The slope of the curve vs temperature in that vicinity is about 1.6 wpc/decree C. How do you know the water content of the batch of AR you got after you've had it a while?