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

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Neutralizing (large ammounts of) Nitric Acid
SsgtHAZMAT
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 60
Registered: 13-12-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

shocked.gif posted on 24-7-2007 at 22:18
Neutralizing (large ammounts of) Nitric Acid


Getting rid of Nitric Acid

Yep, I got a new one for you! Nitric Acid. I have a TON of it of unknown purity. That said it is not yellow or red so it is not degrading that I can tell. I was thinking of digging a big pit filling it with scrap from the metal yard and just dumping it all in. In looking back at it that seemed like a bad idea.

So what would you chemistry experts use to neutralize it safely, or not so safely?

Thanks!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
evil_lurker
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 767
Registered: 12-3-2005
Location: United States of Elbonia
Member Is Offline

Mood: On the wagon again.

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 22:32


C-4 in a large open field.



Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Mr. Wizard
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1040
Registered: 30-3-2003
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 22:33


If It was my mess I'd buy enough lime from the lumber yard and start putting them in. Soda ash would be great too, but it's not always available. Regular masonry lime will work just fine. I'm guessing less than 100 fifty pound sacks, and the by product will be a nitrate fertilizer calcium nitrate. Keep it out of the water ways, just to keep the nitrates from causing an algae bloom. Cut the bags with a knife and dump them into where the acid is, or will be. It will get warm, so don't do it all at once. If the solution gets too warm it may boil out some of the acid. Can you safely add more water to the acid? Is it already in a container or is it a spill?

I did some quick calculation:
CaO +2 HNO3 = Ca(NO3)2 + H2O
40+16 : 2 +28 +96
assuming non hydrated lime, although it is hydrated

56:126 weight ratio on the left side you should need about 900 pounds or 20 50#sacks of lime IF it was pure acid. So save your lumber yard receipt and take back what you don't use :-) When the Ph is less than 7 you have it covered.

[Edited on by Mr. Wizard]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
evil_lurker
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 767
Registered: 12-3-2005
Location: United States of Elbonia
Member Is Offline

Mood: On the wagon again.

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 22:40


I had thought of the lime, but I would think that the reaction would be slightly exothermic and not so much of a good idea due to foaming and what not.

Thats why I suggested just taking it out into a large field and blowing it up... its safe, who gives a shit about where the nitric goes once its in the ground, and there will be no nitrate salts to dispose of later... I suppose there could be some lime put around it for environmental concerns, but then again, who cares.




Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SsgtHAZMAT
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 60
Registered: 13-12-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 22:44


Itis in containers. I actually have an amount of NaOH and Na2CO3 but not in the ammounts I really need. One thing I do have an endless supply of is gypsum.

[Edited on 25-7-2007 by SsgtHAZMAT]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
UnintentionalChaos
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1454
Registered: 9-12-2006
Location: Mars
Member Is Offline

Mood: Nucleophilic

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 23:23


I'd probably just dump it on an unused field if possible. If you add metal, you will probably overheat and get huge clouds of toxic NO2. You say you don't have enough NaOH or carbonate base to handle it, plus that would release lots of gas, making it bubble and froth and get everywhere. Exactly how much are you trying to dispose of? For neutralization, I'd go the lime route, but get Ca(OH)2 (slaked lime) if you can. There won't be an exothermic reaction. If we have a very large volume, you could dig a pit, dump in a bunch of lime, tip the barrel/barrels or whatever container it is in into the pit and back off to avoid any fumes. And as someone said, keep it away from surface water.



Department of Redundancy Department - Now with paperwork!

'In organic synthesis, we call decomposition products "crap", however this is not a IUPAC approved nomenclature.' -Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
not_important
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3873
Registered: 21-7-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 23:37


lime, either hydrated Ca(OH)2, quicklime if you hydrate it first (exothermic), or CaCO3 including chalk, marble chips, dolomite, whatever. You end up with crude calcium nitrate of a mix of calcium and magnesium nitrates. That's pretty safe to dump, as already said keep away for waterways and wells; could even use it as fertilizer if the nitric acid is clean - no heavy metals.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
SsgtHAZMAT
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 60
Registered: 13-12-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 23:42


Keeping it away from water is EASY!

Oh, and I have more than two or three flat beds of the stuff.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
not_important
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3873
Registered: 21-7-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 00:32


So where are there exposed limestone layers in Iraq? I know there are some in the north, but if there's some near the location of that acid just make a pit in it and pour the acid into it. Keep netting over it for a few days to keep birds and other animals out, until the acid is fully neutralised.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
16MillionEyes
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 153
Registered: 11-3-2007
Location: 16 Million Eyes, US
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 07:47


One quick solution I can think of besides the already suggested is neutralize it with copious amounts of sodium bicarbonate. It will give off CO2 leaving behind harmless sodium nitrate (can be used as fertilizer). Also, the release of the bubbles will regulate the temperature of the reaction as evaporation is an endothermic process.
Anyway it's just a suggestion, do what's more economic and easy for you.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
16MillionEyes
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 153
Registered: 11-3-2007
Location: 16 Million Eyes, US
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 07:54


By the way, I'm aware the CO2 isn't the cleanest byproduct but the limited amount produced from this reaction is negligible. Just think about how humans have been releasing exaggerated amounts of this substance to the atmosphere for almost 150 years and until a few recent years people actually started noticing harmful changes and not to mention the institutionalized butchering of CO2 regulating living things like trees which disrupt the CO2 cycle. But as I said, do what you want.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
woelen
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 7759
Registered: 20-8-2005
Location: Netherlands
Member Is Offline

Mood: interested

[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 11:34


If it becomes very hot in the sun, and you have the time and sufficient distance from places where people and animals live, I would let it evaporate. HNO3 and NOx vapors of course are not good, but the amount, slowly released in the air is only small, compared to the daily output of NOx of all cars, factories etc. Even natural lightning produces quite some NOx and HNO3. No other chemicals needed, no residues left, which alse need to be disposed off. You only need time and space.

Practically, you could do it by putting it in big black plastic vessels, or even disperse it on a big black plastic surface.




The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5939
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 12:31


I vote for the slaked lime, Ca(OH)2, procedure as described by Mr Wizard. I have seen a large amount of acid neutralized with Na2CO3 in an industrial situation and a whole lot of foam is generated. This could be a problem if the neutralizing rate is not carefully regulated. So I'd only use carbonates or bicarbonates as a 2nd choice.



The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top