TUTORIAL - How do I calculate how much nicotine I need to use???

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by rupert, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    EDIT: I recommend using proper safety equipment and knowledge of proper handling procedures. When using nicotine concentrations above 100mg/mL please endeavour to wear protective equipment, such as latex gloves.
    I personally do not condone the use of nicotine base above concentrations of 100mg/mL under any circumstances, and pure (99.9%) nicotine should never be purchased for the safety of yourself, those around you, and those having to package/courier the base materials.




    I wrote this up for a mate, but it might be useful for all making their own liquids, making up doublers, or even adding nic to pre-made liquids.
    I tend to trust my own math more than using other sources, so do this to make sure I am on point. This will not go into detail about calculating PG/VG ratios, or concentration percentage calculations (though I may do these as tutorials if warranted). It is solely based on calculating your end nicotine strength.


    So... how much of my nicotine solution do I need to add to any given volume to get it to my desired strength?
    Great question.

    This is a relatively simple method, and can easily be done with the use of a simple calculator without much knowledge of mathematical theory (but it helps to understand the reasoning).

    Basically, when you are adding nicotine to an e-liquid, you already know all of the variables required to calculate the final volume (in millilitres) of your nicotine base to get your desired end strength.

    You already know:
    1) The concentration of your nicotine base solution (in milligrams per millilitre) - if you don't know this, you definitely should NOT be using your nicotine base.
    2) The end concentration you want your liquid to be (also in milligrams per millilitre). - typically 3, 6, 12, 18, or 24 milligrams per millilitre, these strengths can also be known as percentages as such - 0.3% 0.6% 1.2% 1.8% 2.4%. This tutorial will use 3mg/mL, but this value can simply be subbed out in the below equations.
    3) The total volume of your end product e-liquid. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using the standard small bottle size of 30mL. Again, this can simply be subbed out for larger (or smaller) volumes if you want to make a 1mL or 1000mL bottle.

    So, you know the above, but what you don't know yet - how much volume of my nicotine base do I need exactly to reach my end desired result?....

    Well, this is a simple two step calculation.
    Bear with me, it is REALLY simple. Once you know the equation, you can apply it for any volume, of any strength, using any concentrate of nicotine base solution.

    To construct our equation we will denote our known and unknown values as follows:
    A = Final nicotine strength required in milligrams per millilitre - this is the end result you want, like when you buy a liquid at 12mg/mL.
    B = Final volume of solution - this is the end volume you want to end up with, like 30mL in a bottle of the same size.
    C = Total nicotine required in your mix, measured in milligrams only - unlike A and B, you don't know this yet.

    So, the variable C is what we need to find in the first step of this calculation, as follows:

    EQUATION 1

    [​IMG]

    Now, lets plug some values into this to make it make a bit more sense.

    I want my end strength to be 3mg/mL, in an end volume of 30mL of e-liquid.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So we have:

    [​IMG]

    And we can see that there is a total of 90mg of nicotine required in the 30mL of solution.
    If you are a math nerd, you can see how the units cancel each other perfectly, and thus we know it is correct.

    CONGRATULATIONS!
    Step one is complete.

    Now, we know the following values:
    C = Total nicotine required in your mix, measured in milligrams.
    D = The concentration of your nicotine base solution, measured in milligrams per millilitre. As per point 2 above, you already know this - its written on the bottle......

    What we don't know is:
    E = The total volume of your nicotine base required to reach the desired end strength, measured in millilitres.

    We can construct the second equation using the outcome of the first equation above, as follows:

    EQUATION 2

    [​IMG]

    Now, as I need 90mg of nicotine in my solution, and I have a 36mg/mL base, I know that:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And plugging these into equation 2 we have:

    [​IMG]

    BOOM!

    We now know that we need a total of 2.5mL of our nicotine base added to our mix to make our desired strength of 3mg/mL.
    Again, we know it is sound as all of the units cancel out appropriately.

    You can simply substitute any of the values as needed to get your required end result, doesn't matter if you have 100mg/mL nicotine base, are mixing 1litre of e-liquid, or want a final strength of 24mg/mL.
    The above method will allow you to calculate any of these in a simple two steps.


    EXAMPLE 2
    Lets try it with a different nicotine base, for a different volume and different end strength:

    STEP 1

    [​IMG]

    and thus:
    STEP 2

    [​IMG]

    Happy days!

    I hope that this helps anyone aiming to run through these calculations. After a couple of runs, it becomes second nature to calculate this.



    EDIT: Information credited to Steve Thomas:

    You may see on websites that you can purchase 10% nicotine or 20% nicotine liquid.
    These percentages refer to;
    10% = 1000ml (1 litre)of 100mg.
    20% = 1000ml (1 litre)of 200mg.

    10% DOES NOT MEAN MIX YOUR LIQUID 10% NICOTINE.

    When using calculations for these types of liquids keep in mind you are using 100mg or 200mg liquid.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
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  2. laurie9300

    laurie9300 Armature Boy

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    Excellent tutorial rupert, thank you for going to all the trouble. Definitely something people need to know!

    Unfortunately the gifs do not present very well in tapatalk.........

    [​IMG]

    Is it possible you convert them to jpegs? They show much better. If not, I would be happy to convert, and host them for you?
     
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  3. Jennifer

    Jennifer Pyjama Queen

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    OMG, this post scares the bejeebes out of me. It triggered flashbacks due to my high school maths post traumatic stress disorder issues.

    This is why DIY is not for me, far too traumatic.

    But thank you so much Rupert for your incredibly informative post. It will be very helpful for people who are interested and undamaged by early childhood maths trauma.
     
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  4. crispernator

    crispernator Senior Member

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    I will just use ejuice me up maths is not a strong point
     
  5. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Thanks Laurie, and Ill give it a go mate :)
    The equations are spat right out of LATEX, so they are automatically saved as gif's. Ill see if I can save as JPEGs :)


    @Jennifer I know the full story can be daunting, but the point is that the calculation boils down to two simple equations:

    {end desired nic strength} x {end desired volume of e-liquid} = total nicotine required
    then
    [total nicotine required] / [strength of nicotine base] = volume of nicotine base you need to add.


    The showing of units etc is good practice, and it is my job as a scientist to educate, show my working and confuse.....

    ...in fact, forget the educate and show working... :D

    Once the basic precepts of balancing units is known, anything can be devised in an equation. Its one of the beautiful things about maths (and there are not too many beautiful things about maths!)
     
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  6. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Which works great (well, I disagree that it is great, but lets just agree that it is for now), until you want to mix up a base of flavour concentrates at 80% of total volume, so you can add differing nic amounts etc etc.
    Or if you have more than five flavours in a mix?
     
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  7. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

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    Your OP is one of the scariest things I have seen for a while rupert. Seriously intimidating. :D I think I will have to stick to an online calculator too.
     
  8. laurie9300

    laurie9300 Armature Boy

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    Maths comes easily to me, so I have never used a calculator.

    Using 100mg/ml Nic also makes this calc dead easy...........

    Want 6mg juice? 0.6ml per 10ml

    Want 12mg? 1.2ml per 10ml etc.

    But for me, it's essential to know why, and you have demonstrated it perfectly!



    Now what's the square root of -1 (I know..........)
     
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  9. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Thanks Laurie :)

    Oh, and the answer is:

    i

    :sillygrin:
     
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  10. laurie9300

    laurie9300 Armature Boy

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    Ooooooo now I feel all fractally!
     
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  11. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

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    The nic is easy, it is the other three to eight ingredients which complicate things.
     
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  12. laurie9300

    laurie9300 Armature Boy

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    Your not wrong there, @rupert, you got a formula for concentrates?
     
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  13. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Sure do mate :) Il look at putting something together, but it won't be tonight.
     
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  14. Jimmy Jazz

    Jimmy Jazz Member

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    Looks like output from LaTeX2HTML? If so, you can set $IMAGE_TYPE to make png - otherwise PDFTeX produces scalable output from the same source.
     
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  15. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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  16. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    Nice work Rupert :)
    Unfortunately many members will see the pics aren't working(pics arent showing for me on my PC) & skip the content of the post. :(
    You could try writing the equations in MSpaint using the text tool & a suitable template, which could easily be turned into .jpg files, save them to your own file, then upload them using a image hosting site like xomf -Image host then post the links from xomf :)

    I always try to "dumb it down" when explaining how to DiY & it is why I love 100mg/ml strength nicotine because it makes it very simple to understand, even more so when you break it down into 10ml amounts.
    You want 18mg/ml, no problem, it's a simple equation:

    First find out how much nicotine you need in total thus:
    18mg per 1ml
    so to make 10ml: 18 x 10 = 180mg total nicotine

    So to find out how much 100mg/ml to add to a 10ml bottle is now easy:
    [180mg / 100mg/ml] or simplified: 180 / 100 = 1.8ml needed

    Then suppose you want to make a 30ml bottle:
    30 / 10 = 3 lots of 10ml
    3 X 1.8ml (100mg/ml nic) = 5.4ml needed

    Showing all the complex equations & "professor stuff" is great for proving the equation but most people want a KISS equation that just works.
     
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  17. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Many thanks Noe. I'll look at fixing up the images :)

    Not sure what you mean by "professor stuff" exactly, as this is high school level stuff at best :)
    Simply telling everyone to get 100mg base because it is easy to calculate isn't going to be the best option for everyone IMO, particularly as the higher the nic conc, the increase in risk when working with it.

    While I agree that the KISS method is always good when it can be used, the intent if my OP was to provide anyone who needs it the method to calculate any nic level, in any volume from any base nic.

    The equations can be used for any of the above irrespective if volume or concentration. I give this to the forum for anyone to use where required.
     
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  18. Judith

    Judith Mostly harmless

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    Here are some recent links for toxicity of nicotine. We do not need to wear protective equipment when using 100 mg nicotine. We just need to keep it out of the reach of children and pets and wash it off with water if it is spilled on our skin. Nothing dramatic compared to a lot of other household products.

    A history of nicotine toxicity research. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880486/

    An article from Dr Bernd Mayer with general information. http://www.bernd-mayer.com/electronic-cigarettes-and-nicotine-poisoning/

    Some research funded by ECITA in the UK. http://www.ecita.org.uk/ecita-blog/how-toxic-e-liquid This is the link to the research itself which is for the technically minded. http://www.ecita.org.uk/sites/default/files/u41/bibra EU_Classification_of_nicotine_mixtures_acute_oral_and_dermal_toxicity.pdf

    An interview with nicotine expert Dr Le Houezec.
    https://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/ashtray-blog/2013/12/houzaq-interview-nicotine-eliquid.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
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  19. rupert

    rupert Crazy Chemist

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    Very interesting indeed Moonshine!
    Great to have those links. Definitely elaborates on the info in MSDS.
     
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  20. Noe

    Noe Adorably quirky ... QUIRKY Noe! VCA Approved Post Whore

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    Yep many people use stuff like Mortiene or Raid & spray it about like there is no tomorrow, this stuff gets on surfaces & does not degrade quickly, it also covers anyone in the room sprayed in the stuff, yet a little 100mg/ml nicotine spilled on the skin scares the bejeezus out of most of them.
    There's many other household cleaning products etc. that are far more dangerous but no one seems to care about those being used & abused, most people dont wear gloves when using ammonia or bleach products but it is more readily absorbed into the skin than 100mg/ml nic in PG or VG base is & more harmful than nicotine is when absorbed.

    As with everything it's the dose that makes the poison, I have used higher than 200mg/ml nicotine & have deliberately applied it to my skin to see what would happen, I left it there for over 15minutes with no ill effects besides my skin being slightly pinker (not red) .
    In small amounts very high strength nicotine, splashed on the skin, is no more harmful to an adult that smokes or vapes than a few puffs from their nicotine containing product, IMO, 100mg/ml you could almost take a bath in (please do not do this) & if rinsed off quickly feel no ill effects.
    That doesn't mean we should be careless, due care still needs to be taken when handling nicotine, it just means we don't need to fear spills & panic if there is one.
     
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