Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Safely quenching sodium?
monolithic
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 435
Registered: 5-3-2018
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 31-12-2022 at 14:08
Safely quenching sodium?


I have about 50 grams of homemade sodium that I want to get rid of. It's currently sitting under mineral oil and somewhat dispersed into small globules and contaminated with magnesium flakes.

The simplest solution would be dumping it into a bucket of water or into a waterway but I can't realistically do that because I now live in a more urban area.

Is quenching with isopropyl alcohol the least energetic OTC reaction I can do here? Can 91% IPA be used for quenching or is the small water content at risk of making it burst into flames (and igniting the solvent)?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Rainwater
National Hazard
****




Posts: 768
Registered: 22-12-2021
Member Is Offline

Mood: indisposition to activity

[*] posted on 31-12-2022 at 15:11


Hate to waste it but if you expose it to co2 it will turn into sodium carbonate.
remove the mineral oil and expose it to the air for a long period of time.
The more surface area, the quicker it will react.




"You can't do that" - challenge accepted
View user's profile View All Posts By User
j_sum1
Administrator
********




Posts: 6201
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Unmoved
Member Is Offline

Mood: Lab bench has too many unfinished projects. :(

[*] posted on 31-12-2022 at 15:17


It seems a shame to lose that much sodium. You can melt it under fresh mineral oil to coalesce the lumps. Adding dioxane helps. Adding a small alcohol causes it to break into small pieces.


Normal quenching procedure would be controlled addition of ethanol or ipa to abreaction mix with stirring. It eventually forms the alkoxide. You can be in full control of the reaction rate by adding the alcohol slowly.

With what you have, my inclination would be to cut a small piece (quarter gram) of your Na-Mg mix. Cover with mineral oil and then add your 91% ipa-water dropwise with stirring. You will soon get a sense of how reactive your mix is, how much fuming occurs, how your container and ventilation cope. It is possible to react cm sized chunks in pure ethanol in a beaker. But the presence of water changes things.

Go carefully. And scale up slowly.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
monolithic
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 435
Registered: 5-3-2018
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 31-12-2022 at 15:56


That's a good idea, didn't think to keep the sodium under oil and then slowly add the IPA. The immiscibility should provide a buffer of safety. I have thought about air exposure but I'm paranoid about the high surface area of some of the dispersion and my inability to monitor it 24/7.

I actually tried using 1,4-dioxane (followed the NurdRage method with some success) but it refused to coalesce nicely. I never got around to trying the other method with hot mineral oil + dropwise IPA. I'd be more inclined to keep it I could separate the magnesium and condense the sodium into a nice big slug and vacuum seal it. I actually have a nice big 100 g chunk of sodium from a supplier that is sealed in this manner.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
j_sum1
Administrator
********




Posts: 6201
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Unmoved
Member Is Offline

Mood: Lab bench has too many unfinished projects. :(

[*] posted on 31-12-2022 at 16:54


Patience is the key here.
Even the worst possible process (reacting directly with water in a small room) is manageable at small scale (0.05g).
There is no cause for panic.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SplendidAcylation
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 184
Registered: 28-10-2018
Location: Starving in some deep mystery
Member Is Offline

Mood: No one I think is in my tree.

[*] posted on 1-1-2023 at 05:26


Would it not be possible to get something useful from it, for instance by reacting it with anhydrous isopropanol to form sodium isopropoxide?

If you washed your sodium and magnesium mixture with an unreactive solvent such as ether, and then added the sodium and magnesium to anhydrous isopropanol, and refluxed it, you would end up with a solution of sodium isopropoxide, the magnesium pieces could then be filtered out, and the isopropanol distilled off to yield the base...

Alternatively, you could have some fun and maybe see if you could make some peroxides?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
BromicAcid
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3218
Registered: 13-7-2003
Location: Wisconsin
Member Is Offline

Mood: Rock n' Roll

[*] posted on 1-1-2023 at 10:52


I had a reaction once where I had to prepare sodium isopropoxide. I thought it would be a simple matter of cleaning the sodium and putting it in a stirred vessel and adding in the isopropanol slowly. The reaction is actually abominably slow. I ended up having to heat and hold at reflux multiple days and destroyed my flask in the meantime.




Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
SplendidAcylation
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 184
Registered: 28-10-2018
Location: Starving in some deep mystery
Member Is Offline

Mood: No one I think is in my tree.

[*] posted on 1-1-2023 at 12:54


Quote: Originally posted by BromicAcid  
I had a reaction once where I had to prepare sodium isopropoxide. I thought it would be a simple matter of cleaning the sodium and putting it in a stirred vessel and adding in the isopropanol slowly. The reaction is actually abominably slow. I ended up having to heat and hold at reflux multiple days and destroyed my flask in the meantime.


Ooh yes, I think we actually talked about this a few years back, maybe?

I had a bit of trouble too, I found that the sodium initially reacted with somewhat the same vigour as lithium reacting with cold water, however the sodium soon became coated with white sodium isopropoxide, which stopped the reaction from progressing.

I had mine in a beaker, and I found that adding excess isopropanol and heating it in the microwave was sufficient to get it to fully "dissolve" within a relatively short time.

I don't recall whether or not the alkoxide precipitated out upon cooling or whether I had to distill off the isopropanol, anyway, I did eventually distill off the excess isopropanol, and ended up with a nice white powder.

I'm curious, how did you manage to destroy your flask at refluxing IPA temperatures? :D
View user's profile View All Posts By User
BromicAcid
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3218
Registered: 13-7-2003
Location: Wisconsin
Member Is Offline

Mood: Rock n' Roll

[*] posted on 1-1-2023 at 20:11


Took about a week of refluxing, when I was cleaning the flask I noticed that there was waviness in the side walls so I chucked it.




Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Parakeet
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 66
Registered: 22-12-2022
Location: Japan
Member Is Offline

Mood: V (V)

[*] posted on 8-10-2023 at 05:30
How to quench tiny sodium dispersed in oil


When I synthesized sodium metal a few months ago by the alcohol catalyzed magnesium reduction process, it didn’t produce a big sphere of the metal but created very small particles of sodium that is dispersed. They went through sieves and I couldn’t recover any sodium. Very difficult reaction.

I’ve kept this residue until now, but I want to get rid of it.
I tried adding some alcohol, but it didn’t mix well with the oil; sodium dust tends to sink while alcohol floats on the mineral oil.

Any ideas on how to quench them?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Admagistr
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 325
Registered: 4-11-2021
Location: Central Europe
Member Is Offline

Mood: The dreaming alchemist

[*] posted on 8-10-2023 at 13:26


Any ideas on how to quench them?[/rquote]

Hi Parakeet,Try to melt the sodium dust under paraffin oil,which is used for medical purposes,I hope it will form a nice ball.Otherwise some chemists get rid of sodium by burning it in the stove together with wood or coal,when they heat their home:DIn an old German book on chemistry they recommend it as the best way...
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Parakeet
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 66
Registered: 22-12-2022
Location: Japan
Member Is Offline

Mood: V (V)

[*] posted on 9-10-2023 at 06:32


I tried to melt them but nothing changed! It was still like a gray~brown mud. I think it produced little sodium. But it still has to be handled with care because it starts a small fire in contact with water.

Burning in a stove must be a good way. Although I don't have a stove in my house, so I can only do this when I light a bonfire in camping... ;)
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top