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Author: Subject: How to make the air in my lab less oxidizing??
Monoamine
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[*] posted on 4-8-2023 at 08:17
How to make the air in my lab less oxidizing??


The air quality in my workspace is pretty terrible, it rusts everything in a matter of days! So it must be extremely oxidizing.

I could really need some ventilation in the space, but I'm not sure how do to it. Ideally, I would want one ventilation for the whole room, and one that I can attach to my (ductless) fume hood, so that anything that does't get stopped by the filter (i.e. H2) will be sucked outside.

Does anybody know a good way to do this?

Also, in the mean time, is there are anything I can spray in order to "reduce" the air and make it less oxidizing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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charley1957
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[*] posted on 4-8-2023 at 08:29


Sounds to me like you’ve got something not well sealed. I had the same problem, as I had some chemicals stored in a steel cabinet which continually rusted, dropping rust all over everything inside and on the countertop when I’d open the door. Turns out I had a not-well-sealed container of a chlorine compound that was being exposed to the air. After I repackaged this material in an airtight container my rusting problem was solved.
So check your chemical storage for oxidizing materials which may not be well sealed. I’ll bet you’ll find your problem.




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[*] posted on 4-8-2023 at 08:42


Rusting immediately makes me think of HCl(g) ,
Assuming that you have HCl(aq) test for escaping vapour using ammonia gas,
just opening a bottle of ammonia solution nearby will cause white ammonium chloride 'smoke'.
If there are HCl fumes, options are:
Get a better sealing bottle
Dilute to azeotropic (c20.2% w/w) to reduce HCl off-gassing.
Store HCl in a shady well ventilated place, preferably outdoors.

Edit: the answer above is better - many compounds off-gas.
eg TCCA pool chlorine.
The ammonia trick should reveal Halogen gasses.
(I store ammonia solution in the same plastic tub as hydrochloric acid, hopefully each partially neutralising fumes from the other)
If no ammonia solution is available,
bakers ammonium bicarbonate raising agent may be available.

[Edited on 4-8-2023 by Sulaiman]




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Texium
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4-8-2023 at 11:54
Monoamine
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[*] posted on 9-8-2023 at 18:05


I suspect, the bromine in my fridge and the thionyl chloride next to it are partially the culprits. I've tried sealing them into glass vials, but there's too much of it to seal everything.

I have some litmus paper lying on a bench and when I come to it after a few days it's bright red. I'm slightly freaking out tbh.

But it's aight, I guess. I ordered a ventilator that I can build into the roof. Hopefully that will fix it...

Edit: Thank you for the ammonia advice. I will go do try that.

[Edited on 10-8-2023 by Monoamine]
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Lionel Spanner
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[*] posted on 10-8-2023 at 14:09


Depending on the age and condition of the building and where your lab is located in it, it could also be high humidity.



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[*] posted on 12-8-2023 at 21:58


"Does anybody know a good way to do this?"
First, your location says "Sweden" so I assume it's cold outside and that's why you don't just crack open a couple windows on opposite sides of the room; you don't want to frickin' freeze.
Just about every standard in the U.S. - Internat'l mechanical code, ASHRAE, OSHA, etc - call for a minimum of 4-12 room-air-changes per hour in laboratories, just to accommodate people, not to remove hazards. Calculate your room volume, and that will give you the minimum m^3/hour necessary. Every cubic meter you discharge will add to your heating/cooling bill, but that's the way it goes. If your room air is turning litmus paper bright red, I wouldn't want to work in it for long periods of time
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[*] posted on 12-8-2023 at 22:27


Yeah it's probably some HCl or other halogen-containing gas. In high school I made all my dad's tools rust in the garage when I did an experiment with HCl, he was NOT HAPPY.



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[*] posted on 12-8-2023 at 23:59


Quote: Originally posted by Johanson  
...Every cubic meter you discharge will add to your heating/cooling bill, but that's the way it goes...

Balancing comfort (heating cost) and safety in winter is difficult.
In my uk lab/shed there is always some ventilation,
during winter an infra-red heater nearby helps a lot.
I used a portable electric one with 3 bars so I can balance cost (400W per bar/element) vs comfort.
I suppose that UK/EU heating costs have risen significantly since I was home due to the idiotic/suicidal anti-Russian sanctions?




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[*] posted on 14-8-2023 at 09:48


Sulaiman: "I suppose that UK/EU heating costs have risen significantly since I was home due to the idiotic/suicidal anti-Russian sanctions?"

Is it legal to install a coal burning stove? There's almost more coal under the (UK's) king's bathroom than the rest of the world combined. Is that verboten now?
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[*] posted on 14-8-2023 at 09:59


Quote: Originally posted by Johanson  
Sulaiman: "I suppose that UK/EU heating costs have risen significantly since I was home due to the idiotic/suicidal anti-Russian sanctions?"

Is it legal to install a coal burning stove? There's almost more coal under the (UK's) king's bathroom than the rest of the world combined. Is that verboten now?

You can get coal, but it's not cheap, so why bother?
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[*] posted on 14-8-2023 at 10:37


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  

I suppose that UK/EU heating costs have risen significantly since I was home due to the idiotic/suicidal anti-Russian sanctions?


Yeah, it would be far less idiotic and suicidal to just let Putin take everything he wants, from Ukraine to East Berlin.




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[*] posted on 15-8-2023 at 07:56


Quote: Originally posted by Metacelsus  
Yeah it's probably some HCl or other halogen-containing gas. In high school I made all my dad's tools rust in the garage when I did an experiment with HCl, he was NOT HAPPY.
Same! Mine still gives me crap about it sometimes. One day when I have real adult money, I'll buy him a nice new set of tools, then he won't be allowed to complain anymore. :D



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[*] posted on 15-8-2023 at 17:57


yikes, bromine just leaking.

[Edited on 16-8-2023 by averageaussie]
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