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Author: Subject: Advice sought on CO
LanthanumK
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Seal the contain if using He gas.

hibernating...
spotlightman1234
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Some brands of helium, like balloon time, have oxygen mixed in at about 20% to prevent children inhaling it from dying from asphyxiation. However, if you couldn't find nitrogen, helium is your best bet. Unlike carbon dioxide the body can't tell the difference between helium and air. If you have ever inhaled pure carbon dioxide I can tell you, it's just like the feeling you get when you burp after drinking a soda and it burns your nose, except all in your lungs. Carbon dioxide reacts water in equilibrium forming a small amount of carbonic acid. which is what gives you that burning sensation.
entropy51
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Helium will probably work if you can attain a high enough concentration, but since it is less dense than air it will fairly jump out of containers with leaks or openings.

Any of the asphyxiant gases would be more humane if you first administered a dose of sedative or sleeping pills to the animal. In fact, an overdose of such medications would be sufficient if used alone. There surely must be doctors wherever you live and a complaint of persistent insomia should easily produce a prescription for a sleeping pill which can be given to the dog wrapped in a favorite treat.

The American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia are here.
Aura
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 Quote: Originally posted by spotlightman1234 Some brands of helium, like balloon time, have oxygen mixed in at about 20% to prevent children inhaling it from dying from asphyxiation. However, if you couldn't find nitrogen, helium is your best bet.

That's exactly what I was afraid of. That essentially makes it useless for euthanasia, I guess. How exactly is it then my best bet?
Morgan
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I really think a doctor or vet would be the best bet for such a serious matter. That being said, here's a few things I ran across. As an aside, I remember once shelving this book entitled "Final Exit" but it was a large print edition, I guess for those whose eyesight was going. Oh!

I wonder if you didn't use a mask like in the video on euthanasia, if you would create big problems, drawing the oxygen starvation out slowly.
"Air Force trains air crews to recognize their individual subjective signs of approaching hypoxia. Some individuals experience headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, or euphoria, but some become unconscious without warning (Fisher n.d.). Equivalent training is unlikely for a condemned individual, making unconsciousness without warning probable, although as much as a 30 second warning is possible."
"Loss of consciousness may be accompanied by convulsions (Fisher n.d.) and is followed by cyanosis and cardiac arrest. About 7 minutes of oxygen deprivation causes death of the cerebral cortex and presumably the medulla oblongata, which controls breathing and heart action."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_asphyxiation

http://assistedsuicide.org/blog/2007/12/09/helium-hood-metho...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bag

[Edited on 25-6-2011 by Morgan]
simba
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 Quote: Originally posted by spotlightman1234 Some brands of helium, like balloon time, have oxygen mixed in at about 20% to prevent children inhaling it from dying from asphyxiation. However, if you couldn't find nitrogen, helium is your best bet. Unlike carbon dioxide the body can't tell the difference between helium and air. If you have ever inhaled pure carbon dioxide I can tell you, it's just like the feeling you get when you burp after drinking a soda and it burns your nose, except all in your lungs. Carbon dioxide reacts water in equilibrium forming a small amount of carbonic acid. which is what gives you that burning sensation.

Even so, in a gas chamber it will work just the same...after the oxygen has been consumed the helium will do the job.
spotlightman1234
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Quote: Originally posted by shivas
 Quote: Originally posted by spotlightman1234 Some brands of helium, like balloon time, have oxygen mixed in at about 20% to prevent children inhaling it from dying from asphyxiation. However, if you couldn't find nitrogen, helium is your best bet. Unlike carbon dioxide the body can't tell the difference between helium and air. If you have ever inhaled pure carbon dioxide I can tell you, it's just like the feeling you get when you burp after drinking a soda and it burns your nose, except all in your lungs. Carbon dioxide reacts water in equilibrium forming a small amount of carbonic acid. which is what gives you that burning sensation.
Ahh I hadn't thought of that. Thank you.

Even so, in a gas chamber it will work just the same...after the oxygen has been consumed the helium will do the job.
spotlightman1234
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woops my n00bness is showing.
Morgan
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Some Balloon Time tidbit, I don't know if the info is correct or not.
Again, a vet or doctor for your dog is what you should strive to find.
http://suicideproject.org/2011/05/helium-dilluted-with-air/

[Edited on 25-6-2011 by Morgan]
AJKOER
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While I do not approve of what you are doing, if you are pushed (pray with your dog before), give him a full bottle of cold medicine (read the label, found the one with appropriate warning label). He will just go to sleep. I know of at least one American movie star who died young because of an accidental over dose, so believe that warning label!

God Bless.

P.S. If it does't work, you may just cure him!

[Edited on 25-6-2011 by AJKOER]
Bot0nist
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Appropriate warning label? If you are talking NyQuil or the like I don't think that would be a good idea. OTC pharms like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antihistamines will have a drastically different effect on a canine than it would on a person. Many will cause a prolonged, agonizing poisoning. Maybe an cough syrup containing an opiate antitussive would do, but I still wouldn't think it would be the best route. And forcing it to ingest it could be torturous in its own right.

"P.S. If it doesn't work, you may just cure him!" What??? I am not sure if you mean the medicine or the spirituality, but in either case I highly doubt it will reverse the aging dogs condition. A nice thought, but not scientifically, or statistically backed.

[Edited on 25-6-2011 by Bot0nist]

U.T.F.S.E. and learn the joys of autodidacticism!

Don't judge each day only by the harvest you reap, but also by the seeds you sow.
Morgan
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I have to wonder if common nitrogen tanks also have some irritant, odorant, impurity or other trace gas to thwart accidental or intentional asphixiation - a "bitrex" of the pressurized gas realm?
When I was watching the video on the death penalty exploring the ways to end a life humanely, the one method that works the best seemed the obvious choice, well known in certain circles, and yet it didn't quite ring true, as if there were some haunting/nagging no free lunch mystery as to why if it is so perfect why is it so rare or unused in the penal system? I don't see why the least painful, least failure prone, simple method would be discarded.
spotlightman1234
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 Quote: Originally posted by Morgan I have to wonder if common nitrogen tanks also have some irritant, odorant, impurity or other trace gas to thwart accidental or intentional asphixiation - a "bitrex" of the pressurized gas realm? When I was watching the video on the death penalty exploring the ways to end a life humanely, the one method that works the best seemed the obvious choice, well known in certain circles, and yet it didn't quite ring true, as if there were some haunting/nagging no free lunch mystery as to why if it is so perfect why is it so rare or unused in the penal system? I don't see why the least painful, least failure prone, simple method would be discarded.
I highly doubt that there would be any kind of bittering agent in any nitrogen tanks sold for lab use, especially since nitrogen isn't abused like other common inhalants.
Morgan
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"Workers who have survived these episodes describe a funny feeling where they can take a deep breathe and yet they still feel like they're suffocating."

Most likely even a short exposure to pure nitrogen would cause some brain damage.
"Inhaling the pure nitrogen, patients lose consciousness immediately (in approximately 12 seconds)[8] and die a few minutes later."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_device
Aura
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 Quote: Originally posted by Morgan I have to wonder if common nitrogen tanks also have some irritant, odorant, impurity or other trace gas to thwart accidental or intentional asphixiation - a "bitrex" of the pressurized gas realm? When I was watching the video on the death penalty exploring the ways to end a life humanely, the one method that works the best seemed the obvious choice, well known in certain circles, and yet it didn't quite ring true, as if there were some haunting/nagging no free lunch mystery as to why if it is so perfect why is it so rare or unused in the penal system? I don't see why the least painful, least failure prone, simple method would be discarded.

Very good point as usual. Thanks again, Morgan. I have a question (maybe silly): can an usual LPG container be refilled with nitrogen?
Morgan
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Tidbit
Company restricts death penalty drug
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0701/break...
http://www.france24.com/en/20110701-danish-firm-prevent-use-...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentobarbital

[Edited on 1-7-2011 by Morgan]
The WiZard is In
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 Quote: Originally posted by Aura Very good point as usual. Thanks again, Morgan. I have a question (maybe silly): can an usual LPG container be refilled with nitrogen?

Propane tanks have unique to propane tanks - valves. I doubt
you can find a commercial source that can/will refill one.

Perhaps you can find a old CO2 fire extinguisher.
textex
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Just use some co2. Easy to get, and humane. As for drugs, a ethyl alcohol overdose might work to? Shouldnt be that uncomfortable.

But i kind of think that you are trolling though. In rich "sivilized" countries we have vets that can do it, an in an eastern europeans country i bet you have a mobster, cop, guard, hunter etc that will use his gun and do it for a few bucks.

You should also consider the stress the animal has to go trough when you prepare for the task, aswell with the possible pain the method itself will cause.

[Edited on 2-7-2011 by textex]
Grebulocities
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Now I know it's been over three years and the poor dog has presumably died some way or another, but I wanted to bump this thread because I used this method to euthanize my pet rat, who was old (2.5 years) and suffering from a tumor nearly as large as she was, which appeared very painful based on the amount of time she spent chirping. Mammary tumors like that are common in old female rats; they can be removed surgically but usually return rapidly and 2.5 years is about the life expectancy of a pet rat in the first place, so euthanasia seemed to be the best option. Since very high CO concentrations can be reached rapidly in confined areas, this seemed to be a humane way to go about it, especially when compared to cardiac injections and other methods often used by vets on small animals.

I obtained 950 mL each of 95% HCOOH and 98% H2SO4 from a chemical supply company. The total cost including shipping was about $37 and it arrived in two days. I bought a 2-gallon airtight container and taped up a plastic 100 mL graduated cylinder, to which I added about 30 mL H2SO4. The cylinder's top was high enough that my rat couldn't reach the top and get into the acid. I put in some shavings and chocolate chips (even rodents deserve a last meal!). I picked up my rat and put her in the container, then took everything outside so as not to release CO indoors. Finally I drew up 6 mL of HCOOH into a syringe, closed the lid most of the way, added the HCOOH, and immediately closed the lid. She acted fairly normally for about a minute, then paused briefly. Then there were several deep gasps and squeaks, so there was obviously some discomfort (maybe from HCOOH vapor?). This lasted at most a minute before she stopped moving; her final breath was at about 2.5 minutes by my watch. I left her there for about half an hour, then opened the lid to vent for another half hour, and finally retrieved her body. Her skin, and the tumor especially, was cherry-red, a sign of extreme CO poisoning. I put her body in a box and buried her in the backyard. I later did a little experiment involving a little 0.1 g scale and the same reaction. I went out to the deck, measured out 87.5 g H2SO4 and 11.5 g HCOOH, similar to the ratio I used for the euthanasia, added the HCOOH to the H2SO4 (on the scale) while holding my breath, and quickly ran inside to a window where I could see the scale readings. 11.5 g HCOOH --> 7.0 g CO + 4.5 g H2O, so the max. yield was 7.0 g. The scale showed a loss of 1.3 g (19%) by 18 seconds after HCOOH addition and 2.4 g (34%) by the time the scale switched off at 78 seconds. Using 7 g HCOOH -> 4.3 g CO (max) gives me a CO concentration of around 8% by 18 s and 15% by 78 s in a 7.5 L container at room temperature, if I did my math right. So this is indeed a very effective and quick, if perhaps not totally painless, euthanasia method for small pets. I would strongly advise against using it on a dog or other medium-sized pet, however - the safety risks are way too high. Mixing the whole 950 mL of HCOOH with the H2SO4 is more than enough to kill a human within 3 minutes in an enclosed space such as a car, let alone a dog. I'll admit I was sort of bothered by how effective it would be as a suicide method, if that was what the OP was really going for. Hopefully not... edit: minor fixes [Edited on 1-4-2014 by Grebulocities] Praxichys International Hazard Posts: 1063 Registered: 31-7-2013 Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA Member Is Offline Mood: Coprecipitated You guys sound like you're taking lessons from Mr. Himmler. I used to test the effect of chloroform and various solvents on insects and arachnids when I was younger. I imagine a cotton rag with diethyl ether or chloroform might help sedate the subject first, followed by an unconscious gassing with CO or H2S (if you don't mind the stink!) or even a solid whack with an axe if you have a solid stump and good aim. Drowning while unconscious is another option. But, honestly, here in the good old USA a pound of tannerite and a well-placed rifle shot takes care of both the euthanasia and the scattering of the remains. -Prax Steam Hazard to Others Posts: 237 Registered: 25-3-2014 Location: Minnesota Member Is Offline Mood: Triple Point Make some ricin out of castor beans? Joke! When it comes to killing something painlessly I would recommend just ethylene glycol (antifreeze). But it will take about 72 hours ish. If you don't want to wait, try using NyQuil and OD him. If I were you I would sedate him with chloroform and just shoot him in the back of the head. DISCLAIMER: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. macckone International Hazard Posts: 1996 Registered: 1-3-2013 Location: Over a mile high Member Is Offline Mood: Electrical Ethylene glycol poisoning is not painless. It forms oxalic acid crystals in the kidneys and leads to kidney failure. As someone who has kidney stones, I would call it a good way to kill someone or something you want to suffer intensely. Definitely not painless. aga Forum Drunkard Posts: 7030 Registered: 25-3-2014 Member Is Offline Apparently a 100% Nitrogen environment yields the 'nicest' death. Nitrogen Narcosis (in humans) is analgous to being drunk, really happy, then dead. No idea what a dog will feel. My two-pence is that the worst thing you can do to a living creature is to Kill it. How you do it is more down to how you will feel afterwards : for the unfortunate victim, the end result is the same. Grebulocities Harmless Posts: 6 Registered: 20-2-2014 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Not that I've ever tried it, but ethylene glycol poisoning would be a very slow and painful death, and its time to death is ridiculous: 2-3 days compared to 2-3 minutes for very high concentrations of CO in an enclosed container. That sort of thing would just be animal cruelty. Another option which may be humane (and also would work best on small pets) is a large amount of straight chloroform in an enclosed space, ideally with something like wire mesh to separate the animal from the liquid CHCl3. It should be fatal at high enough concentrations, and would cause unconsciousness very rapidly. There seems to be some debate in the literature about whether pure N2 or Ar, CO2, or CO is the best way to euthanize an animal by gas. CO2 seems to be preferred because it's easiest to obtain and appears to sedate the animal rapidly in concentrations greater than 30% or so. But it's also the gas that triggers pain and the feeling of suffocation, so there's a risk of that. CO is attractive because it takes much lower concentrations to cause rapid death (so you don't have to worry about getting rid of the O2 first) and should just cause death by hypoxia without the animal feeling like it's suffocating, although (as I saw) it still seems to cause some brief distress. Even pure N2 or Ar seem to cause a bit of distress - I suspect hypoxia itself causes some awareness of danger before loss of consciousness even without the CO2 signal. But all four kill very rapidly and about as painlessly as possible. Just so everyone knows, the OP was from 2011, so presumably the dog in the OP is now dead somehow. I bumped the thread to add my$0.02 after euthanizing my rat this way and finding it to be fairly humane.

[Edited on 2-4-2014 by Grebulocities]
Chris Docker
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Dear science experimenters,

This sort of touches on my area so I thought I'd pop in in case my comments can be of any help.

Any inert gas is equally effective. Helium and Nitrogen are the most obvious candidates as they do not react chemically (although there is a possibility of minor biological reaction). They are not toxic, and when used for euthanasia cause no distress. They can be breathed normally. This is not scientifically controversial. (I've covered this at length in my books.) Carbon dioxide, a major constituent of exhaled air, causes distress by triggering hyperventilation (the distress is minor if sufficient life-sustaining oxygen is quickly obtained, otherwise it can be considerable, causing feelings of suffocation). Carbon monoxide, the major constituent of car exhaust fumes in the period of history before catalytic converters, is toxic. It will cause death in sufficient quantities and brain damage in slightly less quantities.

The majority of helium sold domestically as balloon gas has been reasonably pure (98% in tests) for many years with occasional exceptions. Balloon Time have recently said that all their balloon gas will from April 2015 however will be 20% air and 80% helium.

I am wary of the advisability of discussing methods of potential suicide online (I don't do it). Pointing out what won't work though is not likely to cause any problems. Hope this helps. There's some links to a few relevant scientific papers at the end of the current post (April 25th) of my blog if anyone is interested. Kind regards.

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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Chemistry in General » Advice sought on CO Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues