Natural Vitriol

We know that some brothers have difficulty in getting natural Vitriol for the alchemic and spagyrical works.

In my country (Portugal) we have pyrite and calcopirite mines 200 km from our residence.

Those mines are located at Alentejo in Aljustrel, but at present, they are closed and it is not possible to find anymore native vitriol of such pure Mars quality as found inside the mines on stalactites formations that weigh more than 2 kilograms each.

However, outside of the mines, the pyrite that was removed from inside the mine gathers and it is abandoned to the intemperate weather. The rainwater drags the natural pyrite sulphatization and forms small lakes with thousands of litres of saturated water of Mars's salts.

purified vitriol

Crystallised vitriol

The mines being far away, we reached the conclusion that we were able by the same process, to produce a natural vitriol exposing the pyrites to the intemperate weather and collecting later the salt saturated liquid.

For that, we acquired at a junk-dealer an iron-enamelled bathtub and place it in the out doors with about a hundred kilograms of pyrite. Because of the sulphatization of the pyrite by the intemperate weather, the rainwater dissolves that sulphate and remains in the bathtub a Vitriol saturated water that will be drained later.

If it rains too much, cover the bathtub with a plastic to avoid the water excess. As soon as the weather improves the bathtub will be uncovered and the content is again exposed to the weather. In the summer, as it doesn't rain as much, pour on to the pyrite, rainwater collected in the spring and kept in 50 litre plastic barrel.

When you see that the water is saturates of salt, open de bathtub drain to drain the water and after, crystallise the salt.

Mars' pyrite:

pyrite mineral

If you intend to have Hungarian Vitriol instead of pyrite, use Calcopirite, which is, a Mars and Venus sulphide but this is a little more difficult to find.

However, you can join commercial Venus vitriol to the pyrite to obtain Roman Vitriol. It is not very advisable under the alchemic point of view but if there is no other solution, you have at least, a natural salt to dissolve the commercial.

By this process, you can easily obtain a natural Vitriol that you need without having to travel to the mines because you will haven't the ore on the outside of all mines with the conditions in which the small artificial lakes have been forming.

Don't worry about the pollution because the mother water originating from the sulphate dissolution before used should be filtered by cotton where all the dregs insoluble in water will be retained.

If you reside in the city and you need to collect rainwater, do it in the spring preferably during thunderstorm days, and placing on the window outside a big plastic basin well secured on the inside of the room. It isn't advisable to collect the rainwater in the first days of rain because it is impregnated with dusts and residues that are in suspension in the atmosphere and deposited on the roofs.

Keep it in large 5 litre glass bottles, which will preserve some years if it is not polluted with organic material.

Later we will explain in another article how the Vitriol is purified but if you need to make it, let me know.

Rubellus Petrinus

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P.O. Box 8520, 3542AD
Utrecht, The Netherlands
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