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Sean Ambrose
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sad.gif posted on 25-2-2004 at 04:27
A very Big Problem, Please Help Me


I am french chemist.

In my own laboratorie (size 15 m x 10 m) i have proceed to the manufacture of VX agent. in France the product that you need to product VX agent are relatively easily avaible. for the dimethylaminoethanethiol, my father have obtain it by his job, he work for Bayer , the big manufacturer of medicines.

With all the product i have started the production of VX agent with a NBC suit. At the last step, when you must distill the product under a vacuum pressure of less 1 mmHg, the vacuum pump have stopped suddenly. i had just enought time to run out and close the door. To second later, the baker have exploded and the impur VX agent that it contain have been spill all over the laboratorie.
the laboratorie is hermetically closed. The gas can't contaminate the reste of the area.

i want to know how i can clean my laboratorie before somebody try to open the door. i have NBC suit but the gas may escape when i will open the door.
the laboratorie is also equiped with security showers in case of fire but they contains water.
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 05:03


How stupid do you think we are? I doubt someone who owned a 150m<sup>2</sup> laboratory would be clueless enough to think that sarin could be made from ink.

You rightly mention in your profile that English is not your strong point. You may want to learn the distinction between this word and this word.

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by I am a fish]




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GeneralChemTutor
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 08:31


Try asking the question on this site managed by professional chemists.

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&a...

and http://www.sciencegroups.com
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 11:24


Flush the place with ClO2, ozone or spray it with loads of KMnO4 or Ca(OCl)2 solution.

That is ofcourse, IF you made VX, which I highly doubt.

Please provide more credible background or this thread is a goner.




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Sean Ambrose
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sad.gif posted on 25-2-2004 at 12:48
It's true, please stop to be doubtful of me, I need your Help!


Sorry for the stupid question of the sarin with the ink. i have just want to know what you will reply to this. Believe me, i am the son of a chimist, it is normal that i am fond of chemistry. the usual chemistry became very boring for me and i have tried to make an other product a "little bit" more dangerous and interresting. i have got it complety wrong but now i have understood the lesson.

i specify that the laboratory is at 25 m of the house, it have only one room and you must come in a little room before open the door of the laboratory.

for all people who think that i am a big liar, my father hav'nt build the laboratory for his nice little son but for him and he uses it every day. He is actually in holiday germany with my mother but he comes back soon.

I need Your Help, Please Help Me !!!


you also can send e-mail
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 13:10


Frankly, I have a hard time believing you.
However, if by some chance you are telling the truth and you actually did blow VX all over his lab:
You'd have to contact your father the chemist to help you, and call in the authorities immediately. Given your bungling such a dangerous reaction, do you really want to risk your life by trying to clean it up yourself?
You can't expect to just clean it all up before your parents get home and pretend nothing happened. You (and your father's lab) are totally hosed.

Again, this assumes you aren't just making up the story for some personal reason...

[Edited on 25-2-2004 by guaguanco]
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 13:39
Hey, weren't you in India Las time??


anyway, IF I really beleived you (and I don't) I would advise you to immediately notify the proper authorities, Whatever happens after that could not possibly be as bad as screwing up the disposal procedure.

Which you probably would do, if you were ever really in such a situation. Which your not.

anyway,

1. VX is not a gas, it's an oil, and it evaporates about as quickly as motor oil (slower than a whore walking to church)

2. It would be relatively simple to destroy if it was in a gas phase.

It's a heavy gas, it floats near the floor.

So....You would want to burn it at an extremely high temperature in the presence of carbon.

I would line a 55 gallon bucket with a thick layer of cement or fire clay or a mixture of mortar and vermiculite (to turn it into a heat resistant furnace.

I would attach a grate in the bottom and wide diameter intake pipe in the side. I would fill the bastard with BBQ charcoal from the corner store. While I was there I would also purchase Polyethylene plastic sheeting, and packing tape and sponges a leaf blower and a gallon of kerosene and a dimmer switch.

I would attach a dimmer switch to a leaf blower. I would get the charcoal good and stoked. (not as easy as it sounds)

I would then tape up the door making a secondary airlock with a tarp and leave some slack in it as well as an exhaust hole to put the leaf blower intake (taped up of course)

I would attatch the leaf blower exhaust to the furnace barrel and then start it sucking SLOWLY (using the dimmer switch)

after a time I would enter the premises (in full suit) and outline the maximum outermost limits of the spill (including any possible splashes on ceiling)

I would then use kitty litter to absorb the rest of the reactor contents and double bag it.

I would go over the ENTIRE area of possible spill with a propane torch and thoroghly char the area.

I would thoroghly wipe the entire lab and double bag the sponges. (using a compatible solvent)

I would leave the premises via the airlock

I would turn off the blower, I would add the bags to the Barrel furnace and add more charcoal on top of the bags

I would turn on the blower again at a reasonably slow speed.

I would watch it burn down again, I would remove my crappy poly "airlock and stuff it into the barell furnace. I would add the hazmat suit I was also wearing (with tongs, charge with more charcoal and allow to burn down.

FInally, I would go get the household vacuum cleaner and attatch it's exhast to the barrel furnace, I would add the broken glassware, the vacuum pump, and the leaf blower to the barrell furnace.

I would burn those items as well (topping off with charcoal).

I would then go inside the house and wait to die from cumulative VX poisoning. Writing a note to explain the whole fiasco to the person discovering my corpse.

I would drink heavily and wait.

If I was still alive the next day I would pay someone to slap me HARD for being so stupid as to not do this in a proper glovebox.

I would then sit my father down and tell him what I had done BEFORE he entered the lab.

This is all theoretical of course.

I wonder if any of my fellow madscientists know who is posting these scenario's and why.:cool:




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 14:33


If you do not have a proper decontamination kit, do all of the above.

I would suggest to use a very basic solution of bleach. As in, use strong bleach, and add sodium hydroxide or the like, it will increase the rate of hydrolysis. The products of hydrolysis will be toxic, but not as toxic as the aforementioned substance.

Then, another course of action is to suction out the room, and bubble the contaminated vapors through some organic solvent to get the VX into solution.




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 18:02


As noted, your best bet is to call the professionals immediately. They'll appreciate the realistic training. I disagree with Hermes as to the best means to destroy the agent. You will end up vaporizing a large portion of the agent as you attempt to heat it. It will then condense everywhere, including areas you thought you had decontaminated. Moreover, you could have a fire. Your suit might not like that. Don't assume that the visable spill area is all that should be cleaned; an overlooked droplet of nerve agent can ruin one's day. Note that plenty of information is available on the net as to VX decon procedures. Most is geared to professionals, though, who already know the basics. My suggestions, if one was to do this themselves:


  1. Use tape and thick PE sheeting to set up airlocks. Two of them. Put a decon station/staging area between them, with a scrubbrush and tub of hypochlorite/NaOH mixture.
  2. Get a sprayer capable of giving a vigorous jet (a pressure washer type deal). Make sure the pressure is not so great that it may puncture your suit.
  3. Fill the sprayer with hypochlorite solution as outlined in MSDSs. Spray everything in the room, thoroughly. Basic hydrolysis products are toxic, though they become less so over time; for this reason, try to maintain a massive local excess of hypochlorite.
  4. Wait as long as practical.
  5. Sop up the liquid with sorbent. Rinse and use more sorbent to collect the rinse.
  6. Burn the dirty sorbent in a good incinerator
  7. Repeat for the staging area.

Use adequate ventilation when drying out the decontaminated areas.
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 18:46
not so....


the flame in a charcoal fueled furnace reaches well in excess of 2000 deg celcius, even with a strong blower it would take several seconds to stream through the vapour path. On the way it will encounter both oxidising and reducting conditions

No large organic molecules of any kind would survive.

It is the ideal sterilizer (except it also consumes everything else as well, it even burns metals).

Charcoal gets no respect, but burns hotter than any other commonly available fuel.

also, taking a small quantity of VX and turning it into a large amount of VX hydrolysate with hydroxide/hypochlorite represents (IMHO) a less than ideal solution.

that kind of solution may well represent a "Final Solution" to all life's problems.




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 20:18


IF this is real I guess we will hear about it in the news. I just hope you don't start a war. An a-rab could catch a wiff of vaporized gas if it excaped and die. Boom! War with Mr. Laden and his merry christen loving crew.

And if you did make VX I feel bad for you. It could ruin your life(if it dosn't kill you) The press will hound you and you could get put in the slammer. Should have stuck with something safe like AP.

You should go ahead and add your post to the 'Most dangerous' thread I guess.

[Edited on 26-2-2004 by Quantum]




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 20:46


After just disposing of Chloropicrin today, I've learned an important lesson-- cleaning up highly toxic bioactive agents is a pain in the bum. Again, I should highlight the importance of cleaning up every droplet... Just with Chloropicrin, a loose droplet in my beaker created an irritating atmosphere in the area around myself. With VX, which is endlessly more toxic, one overlooked droplet will go a long way...

The "standard" decontamination solution for Nerve Agents is NaOCl + KOH/NaOH. I remember a picture of some chemical training... the picture showed a drum of KOH, which was poured over the contaminated area.

My friend, if what you say is true, it is going to take much more than what is in your power to clean up this mess. If a beaker (do you mean "flask"? because a beaker is a poor choice for a vacuum distillation) of suspected VX truly exploded, you have an extremely dangerous environment in your hands. The explosion has aerosolized the VX and created some freaky freaky vapors. The whole lab is contaminated, and everything in it should be destroyed--not just decontaminated. In US Military chemical training, part of it includes being in a bunker wearing full NBC gear... a coin-sized amount (about the size of a US Dime) of Sarin is poured from an eyedropper onto a table and allowed to evaporate. Even this tiny amount is enough to create a lethal environment--and everything that it must be burned.

In any case, parts of your story don't ring true in my mind. If it is, I feel very bad for you--there are limits even to Samosas love of such Chemicals! (at least, for the time being, until I get better equipment :) )

Another question...if you were wearing your NBC suit in the contaminated lab, why did you REMOVE it from the lab without decontaminating it!? That, too, is contaminated, and trapped vapors could kill you! That must be burned as well. I also suggest you find some Atropine (I suggest at least 3-- 1 to be injected every 5 mins for 15 minutes), and some Pralidoxime.

And if you don't mind, could you post your synthesis? :)
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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 21:55
No.


This post had me reading the available literature on VX for quite a spell.

VX is not like most nerve agents, it's not even a gas at stp.

It's not delicate like most other nerve agents

The only way to get rid of it is FIRE. very hot fire.



Quote:
Originally posted by Samosa

The "standard" decontamination solution for Nerve Agents is NaOCl + KOH/NaOH. I remember a picture of some chemical training... the picture showed a drum of KOH, which was poured over the contaminated area.


PS. If I actually knew someone who was in this particular predicament. I wouldn't advise involving the gov't immediately.

I'd advise sealing the lab and consulting with his chemist father. In a situation such as this it could come back on poor old dad too. Ruining his life would be a crappy way to show filial respect.

surreptitious decon followed by a clever arson might me the prudent course.

If dear dad wasn't into that then it would be his call to call in the hazmat squad.




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 21:57
ALSO.........


gov'ts like to point out the actions of one asshole and use them to justify oppressing an entire populace.

(for their own good of course):P




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[*] posted on 25-2-2004 at 22:04


There's basically two possibilities here:
1) He's just making up this story for some unknown reason, probably centering around attention-seeking and immaturity.. No one here really believes him, it would seem.
2) He's not making up this story. In which case the laboratory, and probably the entire property just became a project for the French government. He and his father are totally fucked.

Personally, I vote 1)
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[*] posted on 26-2-2004 at 00:41


Hermes_Trismegitus, your metaphors of things taking a long time always make me laugh.



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wink.gif posted on 26-2-2004 at 01:36
For Samosa


Could you give me your e-mail address or other thing like that because i don't know if it is very reasonable to write this recipe on this forum. I don't want that other people did the same error ( try to make VX).
If you have not e-mail address you can create one on Yahoo.com it is very easy.
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[*] posted on 26-2-2004 at 02:44


I doubt anyone will try it; not many of us want VX around our lab.

Go ahead and post it here for all to see-- it might be possible that you did something incorrectly which could have helped cause an explosion. Besides, it would give us something interesting to discuss.
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[*] posted on 26-2-2004 at 04:50


Here's a useful quote...

Quote:
VX is a high persistent but non volatile substance that is much more powerful that any of the "G" agents. One disadvantage to VX is that it is highly flammable under some conditions.


Now, to find these conditions...

Another good quote from http://www.cbwinfo.com/Chemical/Nerve/VX.html :

Quote:
Surface decontamination may be accomplished using hypochlorite bleach slurries, dilute alkalis, or DS2 decontaminating solution. Steam and ammonia may be used for the decontamination of confined spaces. Hot, soapy water can also be effective.

Large amounts of decontaminants (especially bleach) should be used, since some of the products initially formed during decontamination are also toxic and so require further reaction.

VX has low solubility in water (3% at 20°). It hydrolyzes with a half-life of 350 days at pH 7 and 25° and 100 days at pH 2-3; basic condition accelerate hydrolysis (half-life 16 minutes at pH13 and 1.3 minutes at pH 14). A number of toxic hydrolysis products form at pH 7-10, notably EA 2192 (CAS Registry Number 73207-98-4).




[Edited on 2-26-04 by Samosa]
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[*] posted on 26-2-2004 at 07:51


Hermes: I reread your post. The idea of decontaminating the exhaust air through the furnace is indeed clever. My doubts arise whith your procedure for destroying the condensed agent. If I read correctly, you recommend dumping the used sorbent on top of the running furnace and then adding more charcoal on top. I strongly believe this will vaporize the agent long before it gets up to temperature--especially if your furnace has low thermal mass. When I add fresh charcoal on top of my furnace, the exhaust remains cool for quite some time as the volatiles in the fuel evaporate. A poor implementation of this concept seems to me like a VX cigarette.
You also recommend using a propane torch on the remaining agent. This will certainly vaporize a lot.
From my limited reading, it seems that though the basic hydrolysis products of VX are indeed toxic, massive amounts of hypochlorite, along with time, reduce this to a reasonable level.
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[*] posted on 26-2-2004 at 11:38
YUP!


I think you may be correct. The idea was to place the adsobent soaked with vx on the top of the blast and then
cover with enough charcoal to adsorb the liberated VX,

While I do still feel most of the VX would be destroyed, without a flue on the impromptu furnace to contain the heat long enough to act on the exhaust gasses, enough might be released to make the neighbors unhappy (it's no fun being dead)
:(
and as for my propane torch idea.

I concede the point.

Chemical surface treatment is obviously the best route.




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[*] posted on 27-2-2004 at 18:41


This is getting somewhat interesting. A really good incinerator design could solve a lot of waste disposal problems. Unfortunately, a bad one might compound them--I get the feeling the field may be more subtle than it looks. While the "top fed" Hermes Device may have problems, might a "bottom fed" Hermes Device be more effective? That is, introduce the waste into the bottom of the vessel, where it is then vaporized into the incoming air stream?
Most incinerators operate with an oxidizing atmosphere, whereas a charcoal burner will contain mostly reducing conditions, with a brief oxidizing period to start out. I doubt this would cause problems, but it is still probably a good idea to have a catalytic afterburner.
Does anyone have a waste disposal scheme that they're especially proud of?
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[*] posted on 28-2-2004 at 02:49


Hmm, a red glowing catalytic car convertor with oxygen feed could be interesting...



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[*] posted on 28-2-2004 at 12:33


Quote:
Originally posted by Geomancer
While the "top fed" Hermes Device may have problems, might a "bottom fed" Hermes Device be more effective? That is, introduce the waste into the bottom of the vessel, where it is then vaporized into the incoming air stream?


That is the "Hermes Device". The blast on the furnace (or any furnace) is assumed to be entering the bottom of the barrel. (Heat having the tendancy to rise and all)

I made assumptions of the readers having prior knowledge, a rookie mistake.

as for having an entry device, any aspirator would turn the trick, easily made from a bit of steel tube.

as for a catalytic converter attatchment, if you used charcoal that would be unnecessary.

Catalysis would only be neccessitated by the lower temperatures resulting from the use of a gas/oil fired furnace.

If you attatched a automotive catalytic converter to the exhaust blast of the charcoal fired furnace I have described, it'd be molten in seconds.:(

Even the exposed inner surface of the mortar/vermiculite refractory material I described lining the barrel with would vitrify (turn to glass) within the first two minutes of operation.

In a charcoal (carbon) blast furnace fed with pure oxy, even diamond will burn.

No organic molecules will survive even an air fed furnace.

charcoal furnace.jpg - 6kB




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[*] posted on 28-2-2004 at 14:28


As before, I was refering to your method of disposing of the bulk contaminant, not the vapors dissolved in the feed air. The catalyst would not melt, since you would be mixing in an excess of fresh air, which would cool the exhaust to a reasonable temperature. I don't think anything organic is likely to survive either, but I also know that professional waste destruction schemes use oxidizing conditions as the last step, probably because CO2 is nicer stuff than CO. High temperatures are actually one of the reasons for using an afterburner: they give rise to nitrogen oxides.
Additionally, I think you're somewhat hard on other fuels. I doubt that any amatuer (non-regenerative) furnace goes anywhere near the theoretical maximum temperature. Indeed, the hottest furnaces I've seen mentioned on the net burn propane. Fluid fuels are also neater, easy to burn in stoiciometric conditions, and seldom require a blower.
As I've said, my current furnace is charcoal burning. If I build another, though, it would probably be liquid fueled.
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