Creating Amber

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Creating Amber

Postby zetreque on June 25th, 2017, 8:56 pm 

For a long time now I have been curious about how amber is created. If someone were to attempt to create some, does anyone have any insight into this?

I'm just starting out on researching this finally but I'm reading that amber goes through molecular polymerization from heat and pressure over time. Converting monomers to polymers and driving off terpenes. Is there any way to speed up this process?
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby zetreque on June 25th, 2017, 9:35 pm 

Trying to learn about polymerization. If one were attempt to make amber would they try to find a hardener substance? Perhaps one that mixes into the resin or a vapor exposed to it.

Then experiment with temperature and pressure.

What kinds of naturally occurring substances that would be naturally found when amber is formed that one could try to increase the amount of as a hardener?
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby BioWizard on June 25th, 2017, 10:27 pm 

Could using a cross-linker help?
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby zetreque on June 25th, 2017, 10:49 pm 

When the tree resin resides in the ground for millions of years, it hardens as moisture is lost and as some of the hydrocarbons cross-link (polymerize) to form longer chains. Pine resin has a relatively low cross-linking capability, so the process is slow and limited. The resulting amber is still chemically similar to the original resin, but it contains more of an essentially inert hydrocarbon mass, which is what gives it the hardness and glass-like nature that is appreciated when using amber for decorative items. Amber still contains some of the larger terpene molecules (4). In a single study of Baltic amber reported in 1877, but repeated by most modern authors, it was said to have 3-8% succinate (succinic acid), which is probably a derivative of the original simple terpenes.
http://www.itmonline.org/arts/amber.htm
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby wolfhnd on June 26th, 2017, 6:31 pm 

https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/ ... eate-amber

Sorry about linking to another forum but I have grown lazy. The point also being that original ideas are practically nonexistent. I sometimes wonder if I have ever had an original thought other than some maladaptive mutation resulting from the near infinite variations in experience.
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby zetreque on June 26th, 2017, 10:19 pm 

Unfortunately that was regarding fake amber. I have access to a lot of tree sap in the near future and looking for experiments to perform on it and things to do with it.
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby zetreque on June 27th, 2017, 2:27 am 

It appears Succinic Acid might be a good hardener.
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ac501073k

After decades of reasonable hypotheses, this study has provided direct molecular evidence that communol and ozol moieties within the polylabdanoid macromolecular structure of Class Ia and Class Id resinites are cross-linked with succinic acid


What is communol and ozol moieties?

moieties = each of two parts into which a thing is or can be divided.
ozol = ?
communol = ?

Since I don't have the time or easy ability to acquire Succinic Acid I'm going to try to come up with some simple low tech experiments just for fun.

Like exposing the sap to different oxygen limited environments, and/or different heat.

On the other hand, fractional distillation might be fun.
Also read something about dissolving in acetone then drying out.
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Re: Creating Amber

Postby wolfhnd on June 27th, 2017, 1:10 pm 

Sounds like fun, keep us informed of the results.
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