Where can I buy some Xenon?

Xenon might be fun at a party. It will make your voice do deeper and balloons will sink like stones.
Where can I buy some? How much will it cost? How does its price compare with that of helium?

If you’re just looking for a dense gas, sulfur hexafluoride is even denser. That said, I don’t know where to get either.

You can get some from this place in Reno.


From here http://www.chemicool.com/elements/xenon.html $120 per 100 gram, but doesn’t list any vendors. Be careful breathing elemental xenon, XeO[sub]3[/sub] and XeO[sub]4[/sub] are highly explosive. :eek:

A welding supply place might sell you some. Sulfur hexafluoride, that is.

Fight my ignorance: isn’t this very dangerous? It’s denser than oxygen so surely some of it will remain in the lungs?

Any compound of xenon will be highly unstable, but elemental xenon is pretty close to the most stable you can get. You’re not going to be encountering any xenon compounds unless you’re making them yourself, anyway, so the warning isn’t really necessary.

No; just breathing in and out mixes it plenty well with ambient air.

OP: use SF6 instead, it’s way cheaper and easier to get hold of, and about equally safe to breathe.

I have read on this very board that after breathing a denser than air gas, one should invert one’s self (stand on your head or such) for a while to be sure the gas drains properly. There isn’t much of a risk, but the average chemistry professor lives by the motto of better safe than sorry.

I’ve also heard that since Xenon is more dense than air, it can settle in the lungs and be difficult to exhale, potentially leading to asphyxiation. I’ve heard similar stories about breathing “canned air” keyboard cleaner, which does not contain gases at atmospheric ratios.

I found several sources of xenon a few weeks ago and got quotes. It’s a specialty gas, used in industry, and it is starting to be used as an anesthetic. But it is very pricy indeed - the anesthetic application always involves a special machine to recycle the xenon. I think the small lecture bottles, which might be 2.5 liters, were on the order of $700 (though I can’t remember confidently). Krypton is also pretty dense and about half the price.

Is there a standard pressure for this type of gas? 2.5l could be any amount of Xenon. Check utube for a video link of a guy trying Xenon. No wonder he took in so little. Its very expensive and sounds difficult to get rid of when you breathe in too much.
Any comparisons in price to helium?

Check out www.airgas.com You have to call for pricing, but airgas has just about everything.

And do note that, like helium, it doesn’t actually lower the fundamental frequency of the voice, just it’s formants. In other words, you sound like someone with a deeper voice, not a lower one. Or, another way to put it–a higher speaking male would sound more like a female whose voice has been lowered to the male’s pitch, rather than a lower speaking male.

It pains me to remember this, but my Father worked in the refrigeration business and often had tools and supplies laying about.
My friends and I discovered that inhaling Freon would cause a noticable drop in the pitch of your voice.

I was like 14 or 15 at the time.

inhaling compressed gas is a hazard because of its being under pressure and its temperature. it depends on many factors but serious injury is possible.

Mythbusters made use of sulfer hexafloride a couple of years ago - Adam demonstrated what it does to your voice (of course), but the actual use was to fill a glass tank with the stuff, and then float a small aluminum foil boat on top of it. Because SH6 is a colorless gas, the boat was floating on, apparently, thin air. Very cool.

I was attempting to play off the fact that humans inhale oxygen, and exhale carbon dioxide. :slight_smile: I realize there are a couple extra oxygen atoms in those xenon oxides.

Huh, that’s cool. How long would it take the gas to dissipate?

ETA: I’m tired and decaffeinated, but could someone explain to me what the difference in expelling the gas (cited as 5 times heavier than air) and expelling air with something weighing the equivalent resting on your chest would be? Or, for that matter, expelling air through water?

canned air has killed people inhaling it.