As an immigrant who couldn’t speak English when I first came to America at the age of 9, I would keep myself busy by building things like Thermite, which is basically mixture of rust and aluminum. Thermite is a great detonator for various bombs like TNT and whatnot, also used as emergency flashing guns.
Anyways, enough about me making thermite as a 9 year old, that was just plain, great chemistry fun, glad I didn’t lose an arm or leg during the process. This can be great for removing rust on any of your garden equipment you haven’t used for years.
Here’s how to remove rust with an electrolytic rust removal system you can make. Basically, you apply bunch of electricity to it as I have learned, well, the details over here.
How this works:
Several other sites do a better job of explaining the chemistry of this – but basically you set up a conductive solution and insert some sacrificial anodes. You hang your rusted tool in the solution and attach it to the negative end of the power supply. You attach the positive end to the anode and turn on the power. The current travels through the solution and in the process flakes off the rust – the flaking/softening occurs because of the reaction at the surface of the good steel that pushes the rust off.