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Author: Subject: How can i safely dispose of my lump of sodium?
3danimator2017
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 19:45
How can i safely dispose of my lump of sodium?


Hi all,

LONG time lurker, love the forum and topics....now i have a question that requires your expertise.

We are moving flat in a few weeks and i don't want to take (my wife "convinced" me) my medium sized lump of sodium. Way too big to dump in water and i've had it so long that i don't even remember what weight i bought. It's about 10 cm in circumference and maybe 8 in thickness.

I would weight it but i'm worried about the crusty coating that's developed on it. It is of course, safely under paraffin.

My current decision is to get rid of small pieces every day...but there must be something easier, someone with very limited chem knowledge like me can do.

Thank you in advance for your help/suggestions.

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Corrosive Joeseph
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 19:52


Maybe a member might take it off your hands for free if you could get it too them...............

Dumping in water just seems like SUCH a waste of what really is a not-so easy-to-make reagent.................


/CJ




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JJay
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 21:27


You could call up a chemistry professor at a nearby college and explain your problem. One would probably take it off of your hands.



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PirateDocBrown
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 21:42


If you can find a way to send it to me, I'll take it. :)

Where are you?

If you can't find a willing taker near you, add isopropanol slowly to your bottle. The 91% stuff from the drug store should be fine.
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 21:46


If you absolutely had to dispose of it, you should cut it into smaller pieces (an inch maximum) and add the pieces one at a time to a container of ethanol (methylated spirits where I come from). Do this over the course of a few hours. It will take some time.

Make sure your first couple of pieces are quite small since your ethanol likely contains quite a bit of water. Once this has rected away you will have a better idea of how fast the reaction proceeds and you can take things from there.


The sodium ethoxide formed can probably be disposed of in the same manner as you would sodium hydroxide -- you can flush it down a drain with a large excess of water.

But keeping it in elemental form and giving it to someone who ca use it would be far preferable.
Maybe you could give your location so that someone local could take it off your hands.
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[*] posted on 17-3-2017 at 21:55


I'll totally take it off your hands too, if PirateDocBrown doesn't come through. I might annoy some members here but I would suggest buying some vials. and cutting it into some chunks and sell it on eBay.
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NitratedKittens
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 06:45


Yeah just post your rough location (not a address) and I'm sure someone on here will take it off you hands.
The only thing about eBay is you might attract some unwanted attention from the authorities depending on where you live.

[Edited on 18-3-2017 by NitratedKittens]




Basket of kittens for you ........BOOM
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tsathoggua1
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 06:48


Hell, I'd take it off you too.

And FLUSH alkoxides? sounds like a big waste to me.
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3danimator2017
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 07:19


Thanks for the replies guys. I'm in holloway, north London. If anyone wants it, its yours. But its really not that huge a piece. Way too big to toss in one go in water. I guess its a nice amount.

Let me know . cheers
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JJay
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 08:14


I have a video of a similarly-sized piece getting tossed into water around here somewhere, but I really don't recommend that; while it is pretty spectacular, it's pretty loud and is surely not good for the fish.



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tsathoggua1
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 09:07


I'm in the UK (NW) and would gladly take it off your hands.
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Fidelmios
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 15:21


Not in UK, but I demand pics to prove you guys make the exchange lol@
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3danimator2017
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[*] posted on 18-3-2017 at 21:48


tsathoggua1 , sent you a U2U
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Booze
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[*] posted on 20-3-2017 at 17:39


If you aren't going to sell it, cut it up into small pieces and THEN dump those in water one by one. I will buy it from you happily as well.
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Lambda-Eyde
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[*] posted on 20-3-2017 at 19:23


It's not the sodium that's the problem; it's your wife that you should dispose of. This can be safely done in H2O.



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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 20-3-2017 at 19:32


I'm glad that's a joke.
Particularly when reading the last two posts together.
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[*] posted on 21-3-2017 at 07:11


Maybe you should toss the whole thing in a river or something far away from a lot of people. I bet it would be spectacular!
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[*] posted on 22-3-2017 at 22:33


That's not that bad idea. Just find suitably high bridge or a lake/pond next to a hill and throw it. But nevertheless better find somebody to take it.

Cody from YT recently dumped over a hundred grams of cesium into a lake on his ranch, but sodium will release more energy, as the same amount will have more atoms... IF you decide to do so, wear a face mask, and be sure you are far away, I'd say.
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[*] posted on 23-3-2017 at 00:55


I always find these alkali metals in water such a waste, if you want a bang with fire just make a pyrotechnical mix and keep your alkali for chemistry or display.

Pyrotechnics are also nicer to see.
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 13:05


Quote: Originally posted by MeshPL  
That's not that bad idea. Just find suitably high bridge or a lake/pond next to a hill and throw it. But nevertheless better find somebody to take it.

Cody from YT recently dumped over a hundred grams of cesium into a lake on his ranch, but sodium will release more energy, as the same amount will have more atoms... IF you decide to do so, wear a face mask, and be sure you are far away, I'd say.


I saw that. Doesn't sodium also get hot enough to ignite the hydrogen produced as well?
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 13:07


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
I always find these alkali metals in water such a waste, if you want a bang with fire just make a pyrotechnical mix and keep your alkali for chemistry or display.

Pyrotechnics are also nicer to see.


Sure, just mix silver nitrate and magnesium powder. As soon as it touches even a drop of water... BOOM!
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[*] posted on 26-3-2017 at 17:20


Potassium permanganate and aluminum powder was always fun. That was always my preferred way to ignite thermite: Al + Fe2O3 on the bottom layer, then Al + K2MnO4 on top of that, then just a little bit of K2MnO4 on top, by itself. Drizzle a little glycerol on that, and stand back and watch for smoke. It sure beats screwing around trying to light a magnesium ribbon, only to have just the exposed part burn.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2017 at 03:32


Did you get rid of it? I'm in Kent, so near you, and will take it if your other offer for collection falls through. :-)



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[*] posted on 28-3-2017 at 08:17


Quote: Originally posted by Booze  
Maybe you should toss the whole thing in a river or something far away from a lot of people. I bet it would be spectacular!

Spectacular but still potentially dangerous. If dumped in a small enough body of water, it could raise the pH enough to kill fish and plants. If you can find a quarry lake or something that has no fish, that would be better.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2017 at 08:24


It's definitely better to put it to good use than to throw it in water.



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