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Author: Subject: Glass stopper broken off
Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 09:04
Glass stopper broken off


I have a old glass bottle filled with 12.5 molar NaOH (It's been sitting in my base cabinet for about 10 years at least) and I have tried everything to get it out (soaking it inverted in almost boiling water overnight, silicon, taking a hammer to the cap to knock it out, and lastly heating the glass around the stopper with a terril burner) The last point, heating it with a burner caused the stopper to fracture, leaving about 1/4 of the stopper wedged in there. Now I want to dispose of the bottle, but obviously leaving 12.5 molar NaOH in the trash in a container that could burst at any time is a bad idea, so I am looking to find other options.

My instructor wants me to hit it with a hammer. I don't like this idea (its a thick pyrex container from yesteryear anyway)
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Fleaker
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 09:10


I'd wrap it in an absorbent blanket and lightly take the hammer to it while wearing coat, goggles, gloves, and face shield. Have a gallon or two or three of vinegar handy to neutralize, though dilute HCl works.



Neither flask nor beaker.


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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 09:14


If you don't want to use a hammer, you could take the precautions Fleaker suggested and then hit it with a sledge. . .
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gardenvariety
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 09:32


Drill out the remaining piece of stopper.
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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 09:33


I was considering drilling a hole in the bottom (where the glass seems thinest) The stopper is about 3/4th of an inch thick.
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smaerd
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 11:26


Drilling through glass isn't easy. If you plan on doing that, use a glass drill bit and wear a dust mask(can't run water over it to get the sodium hydroxide out).

I'm a noob so maybe this isn't really a good idea. Have you tried adjusting the heat on it? Maybe heating or cooling could help? I know NaOH is used to etch glass but I doubt it would fuse glass together.

Sodium hydroxide is easy to come by and/or prepare though, if it's a small bottle I'd just forget about it honestly.

[Edited on 7-3-2010 by smaerd]
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unionised
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 11:49


There's every chance that trying to drill it will have the same effect as hitting it with a hammer anyway.

Can you light a big bonfire that's away from anything important
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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 11:50


It's getting rid of it that is the problem. The solution is fairly strong. (12.5 molar) I don't want it to break in the trash. and the only real etching from lye your going to get is via melted pure NaOH, not a solution. From what I see this issue is fairly common. (Hydroxide sticking glass stoppers)
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 12:02


If the bottle has a long neck you might be able to break it off using a hot-wire loop electrically heated.
Or a crook of heavy steel wire heated to redness and made to contact the neck around its circumference could possibly do the trick.
Pyrex though, needs considerably more heating that soda-glass. . .
Careful use of a glass-cutter round the neck followed by vigorous tapping would be another idea!

[Edited on 7-3-2010 by hissingnoise]
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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 12:17


Im going to try the glass cutter, or maybe score around the bottle with one then hit it with a hammer, to at least have a clean cut
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a_bab
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[*] posted on 7-3-2010 at 21:54


I'd go on with the burner to completly fracture the bottle neck. What you are looking for eventually is a crack without splashing. I'd use goggles, gloves and protective labcoat while doing it. The bottle would be in a metal bucket (or in a large tray) and an empty bucket ready nearby to acomodate the bottle once cracked.
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[*] posted on 8-3-2010 at 05:47


Go to a thrift shop, get a really old microwave, plug it in outside, put the bottle inside the microwave, and cover the whole setup with a few garbage bags and an inverted trash can and press the start button for 5 minutes :D
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[*] posted on 8-3-2010 at 07:12


Great Idea!:)

I was going to say, just put in boiling water a while. I've gotten frozen stoppers off old antiques this way.

(Use a very small bit of silicone grease at the middle of the stopper when it is free to prevent further seizures.)
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[*] posted on 8-3-2010 at 09:05


How about a filling a plastic bucket with sand, digging the bottle into it so it's about half submerged (no nasty flying glass that way) then standing back and dropping a rock on it? Wear goggles, of course. After that you could neutralise it or just dilute it with loads of water.
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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 8-3-2010 at 11:34


I put it in a lab tray, used the poly window on the fume hood (and gloves and goggles!) for protection, hit it with a hammer. Neutralized with some 6m hcl. all is well.

Now off to the next project....
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 8-3-2010 at 14:06


Will it too, require the use of a heavy, blunt instrument?

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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 9-3-2010 at 12:17


Always.

I prefer sharp objects personally.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 9-3-2010 at 12:26


Ouch!
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[*] posted on 9-3-2010 at 14:35


Put it in the sink, cover it with a rag and then crack it with
a hammer. Then rinse the NaOH down the drain.
Discard the glass in the garbage. Drano is mostly NaOH
and it goes down the drain all the time.
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Skyjumper
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[*] posted on 9-3-2010 at 19:02


Thats a good idea, except that was a very strong solution (12.5m is around 50%wt NaOH).
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