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Current Goal: Sulfuric Acid

Copper chloride path to sulfuric acid
NOWA? Substance Status
NOWA Salt water Pending
LIBR Distilled Water Pending
LIBR Sea salt Pending
NOWA Limestone Pending
LIBR Calcium oxide Pending
NOWA Malachite Pending
LIBR Copper (II) oxide Pending
NOWA Urine Pending
LIBR Ammonia Pending
LIBR Ammonium chloride Pending
LIBR Copper (II) chloride Pending
NOWA Sulfur Pending
LIBR Sulfur dioxide Pending
LIBR Sulfuric acid Pending


For each material we set as a goal, we will include our reasons for producing it. Sulfuric acid is an essential industrial chemical. It is vital for production of many compounds. Its importance to modern chemistry cannot be overstated. So much so, that total production capacity for sulfuric acid is a reasonable estimator of the industrial level of a country. Thus, producing some must be an early goal.


  • Since vanadium bearing materials are uncommon, the most accessible catalytic method of producing sulfuric acid is the so-called copper chloride method.
  • Once a small amount of sulfuric acid is available, it can be used to produce hydrochloric acid and produce more copper (II) chloride, which can make larger batches of sulfuric acid, etc.

Next Goal


  1. What is NOWA-CL?
    There's a video on that question.
    NOWA stands for Naturally Occurring Widely Available. The CL stands for Chemical Library. This project is about documenting the technological steps involved in developing a library of chemical compounds that can be made with simple equipment from materials that are naturally occurring and widely available. There's no need to order chemicals from supply houses, or obtain them from over-the-counter products. Once a chemical has been produced in quantity from naturally occurring widely available sources, we add it to our "library". Then we can use that material to produce new materials. The important part is to demonstrate that they can be produced from these sources with minimal equipment: what the chemical industry refers to as "small-scale" or "laboratory" synthesis.
    The documentary part of this project will include two main products: the text on this wiki and the videos on YouTube.
  2. So it's a recipe book where people can learn how to make chemicals?
    Definitely not. See the warning on our front page. Chemistry equipment can be dangerous by itself. Many materials (including the ones we work with here) are dangerous: toxic, flammable, corrosive, etc. These operations should not be repeated or reproduced except by people who are sufficiently qualified to do the work and handle the materials safely.
  3. Isn't there a kind of chicken-and-egg problem? What is your equipment made of?
    That's a good point. We assume that the equipment itself (glassware, supports, heat sources, etc) are available at the beginning. The equipment itself may not be naturally occurring, but it's widely available, accessible, and relatively cheap. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that the process is the important part, not the chemicals you start with. It's the knowledge, not the resources, that enable the science.
  4. There are already too many wikis out there. Why start a new one? (aka Why not just put this information in Wikipedia?)
    1. Aggregating and disseminating this information was the purpose of this project, and wikis are an excellent way to do both of those things, so that part is straightforward.
    2. Wikipedia is specifically not a textbook, guidebook, or instruction manual. That means it isn't appropriate to build out those entries with much of the data in this wiki. To whatever degree it makes sense for both projects, sharing of data is welcomed and encouraged. NB: A lot of the numeric data in this wiki comes directly from either Wikipedia or its underlying sources.


ANY pursuit can be dangerous to the inexperienced, unprepared, or incautious. That is definitely the case with the reactions, extractions, and syntheses this project entails. Do not repeat them unless you are sufficiently informed, prepared, and equipped to handle these materials and safely do the work shown.


NOWA-CL at YouTube NOWA-CL at Facebook NOWA-CL at Patreon

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