Heres some interesting facts about the chalk we all use while lifting them heavy weights!
First of all, my chalk is made of magnesium carbonate, I dont know what you guys use, it may be that or calcium carbonate.
Our chalk can be prepared quite easily. All you need to do is mix some Sodium carbonate solution (Sodium carbonate is one of the few water soluble carbonates) with magnesium in solution (you can add magnesium sulphate to solution to get the magnesium ion) and a precipitate will form. This white fine powder is weightlifting chalk! You can than filter it and wash it with water to remove any soluble materials. While slightly damp it can be formed into cubes and than can be dried in an oven. It than comes out as chalk!
Whats good about using a carbonate for weightlifting is its solubility in water. Carbonates in general are very insoluble. As a result, the powder wont dissolve in your sweaty hands when you lift giving you a better grip!
Thats all for now.
But some people (ie. non-chemists like myself) may have trouble getting a hold of the NaCO and Mg needed, since we don't know what they could be more commonly known as, if we were to attempt make chalk from scratch. =]
I'll stick to buying it straight up for $2.
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Calcium carbonate could be used instead of magnesium carbonate. The reason why we use calcium carbonate to fight heartburn is because the carbonate acts as a weak base and gobbles up hydrogen protons bringing the pH up to normal levels in your throat.
Carbonate can be found in baking soda. Magnesium can be found in almost all industrial metals and even sea water. And your chalk