Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Naphthalene storage

Gargamel - 5-3-2021 at 09:50

I'm having trouble finding a cheap naphthalene here in europe.
What prompts me to buy a little more and put it in storage.

I know this stuff is going to evaporate over time, and since I'll have to store it in my working area I dont want it to stink around. Yes, I know, they used these mothballs in the old days, anyway, I dont like it.

Will it stink/permeate through HDPE over time?
Do I need glass vessels?

njl - 5-3-2021 at 10:49

The naphthalene I bought as mothballs from a hardware store came in porous plastic bag inside a cardboard box, went unopened for several weeks, and still weighed in very close to what was listed on the box. I don't think you need anything more than a glass jar.

UC235 - 5-3-2021 at 15:14

Glass is fine. You will definitely smell it through HDPE, at least eventually, but you won't lose a discernible amount of it through diffusion.

Boffis - 6-3-2021 at 07:06

I have jars of naphthalene that date from the 1940's and they are just fine. The hydrocarbon tends to migrate around inside the jars by sublimation but I can see no evidence that significant loss has occurred. The jars are glass with lacquered metal or bakelite lids but as UC235 said, I would avoid plastic jars.

valeg96 - 7-3-2021 at 02:17

Quote: Originally posted by Gargamel  
I'm having trouble finding a cheap naphthalene here in europe.
What prompts me to buy a little more and put it in storage.

fyi Here and Here

zed - 7-3-2021 at 09:55

I saw Naphthalene, for sale here in the USA, a year or two ago. Four Bucks a pound, at Walmart. God that stuff stinks. I was keeping some in a clothes closet (for Moth Prevention) until the odor became oppressive. The stench did not leave my woolens easily. Eventually, I put it in a sealed Mason Jar. Just the right thing.

Right price too. Quart Mason Jars, cost about $12 a dozen here. Hmmm. I wonder if I can buy the such jars, in "Brown Glass"?

Seems to me, I've had items like Camphor, "burn" right through their plastic bags. Might take a few months, or years, but the ability of plastics to resist chemicals, is sometimes only transitory.

[Edited on 7-3-2021 by zed]

Gargamel - 11-3-2021 at 01:44

Thank you all, so i'll use glass jars.

Mabus - 2-11-2022 at 12:17

A bit late to the party, but a very good way to store naphtalene, and anything similarly smelly, is in an empty metal paint can, or if you don't have that, you can always use an empty leftover instant coffee metal can, which is similar in construction.
I use the latter to store my own naphtalene (which itself is in a sealed plastic bag) and it's very effective. I even keep some calcium carbide in an empty Amigo coffee can, and it holds up pretty good even after several years of storage, CaC2 is already sold in similar metal cans. I actually prefer the instant coffee cans to paint cans, since they open much easier, so I don't accidentally damage them if I have trouble trying to open them, which would ruin the seal.