Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Gas Mask for Chlorine Gas

DeusExMachina - 4-6-2003 at 12:01

In WWI, Germany used a new weapon against the Allied Powers, chlorine gas. This killed thousands of soldiers but thousands did survive by covering their faces with clothe soaked in their own urine. Does this work for all or many gasses that can kill you?

Darkfire - 4-6-2003 at 14:32

Well both sides used poison gas, and really only the canadians used the urine, us american wasted some water from our canteens. Well i know it will work for smoke to an extent, but im not sure... phosgene likley went through like a hot knife thought butter though.


PHILOU Zrealone - 5-6-2003 at 12:18

Cl2 + H2O --> HOCl + HCl
NH2-CO-NH2 + HOCl --> NH2-CO-NH3OCl
NH2-CO-NH2 + HCl --> NH2-CO-NH3Cl
NH2-CO-NH3OCl --> NH2-CO-O-NH3Cl --> NH2-CO2H + NH2Cl --> NH3 + CO2 + NH2Cl
NH3 + CO2 + NH2Cl --> HCl + NH2-NH2
NH2Cl is as toxic as Cl2 and NH2-NH2 is bad too!

NH2-NH2 + 2HOCl --> N2 + 2H2O + 2 HCl

The fact Cl2 reacts wel and fast enough with water (which can dissolve it quite wel) in basic media must have saved them.
But Cl2 concentration was not too high... and Cl2 is much less toxic than other cative chlorine containing wargas.

Also if it was unfresh urine, fermentation has started and NH3 solution is then obatined.

NH4OH + Cl2 --> NH4Cl + NH4OCl -->
2NH2-Cl + HOCl --> N2 + 2 H2O + 2HCl


Too tired!

PHILOU Zrealone - 5-6-2003 at 12:21

NH3 + CO2 + NH2Cl --> HCl + NH2-NH2 + CO2

2NH2-Cl + HOCl --> N2 + 1 H2O + 2HCl


Richy - 26-6-2003 at 02:02

How dangerous is chlorine exactly? Would those here who have experimneted with it been exceedingly careful? Is it truly a deadly poison that should not be taken lightly?

a_bab - 26-6-2003 at 03:54

It depends. It's a lung toxine, and it works by malking the lung mucous membranes more penetrable so the lung will get filled up with liquid (even blood). It's a cumulative toxin also; that is that the lethal dose which is required to kill a subject in 10 minutes could be divided with 10, and it'll kill the same subject in 100 minutes, unlike cyanide (LD/2 is no more lethal)

DDTea - 27-6-2003 at 19:23

I've worked with Chlorine many times and gassed myself with said Chlorine each time. Yes, I am very clumsy with it...but I used to do it for fun actually!:o

Then again, I didn't make it on very large scales. I would use 50 mL of Bleach and 50 mL more of HCl... it was an unmeasured amount, mostly, and I just threw em together when I was bored.

Generally, you won't breathe in too much Chlorine unless you really try to or you are trapped in a room with it. It causes severe irritation to the eyes and upper respiratory tract, thus prompting you to either cough or breathe hardly through your nose to eject the gas. The biggest problem with Chlorine is that it HURTS. Also, I think it stinks :P

However, from a small, accidental gassing you probably won't die. You may feel sick for the rest of the day (symptoms like that of a cold- sore throat, coughy, sneezy) and your chest may feel a BIT tight a few hours later, but you will live. Just be sure to get fresh air ASAP after any exposure.

From my personal experience, and from what I've read also, fresh air is one of the best "right away" treatments for gas poisoning.

I have a quick, slightly-off-topic question in regards to "right-away" treatments for gas poisoning... Is Oxygen from cylindars sold in the hardware store for welding safe to breathe? Or is there something else mixed in there which could harm you? Because when treating poisoning, especially Carbon Monoxide or Hydrogen Cyanide, pure Oxygen administered through a mask is very helpful. Also, would it be possible to rig up such a cylindar to feed Oxygen directly into a gas mask, to create a self-contained mask?

vulture - 28-6-2003 at 09:21

Try smoking a cig after having breathed pure oxygen for some time...I can tell you the cig exhaust gas won't be bad for your health anymore, but something else will...:D

DDTea - 28-6-2003 at 09:30

My lungs perform just fine. I currently take a Tae-Kwon Do class, and can go through the whole class (about 2.5 hours) working strenuously without being short on breath. I may be thirsty, but not out of breath.

Also, I can do a lot of walking around my little town, on average doing 3 miles or so each time. Once again, I don't fall short of breath, but I do get hot (then again, it was in the upper 90s this week- that's what, 30-35 degrees Centigrade?).

I don't think Chlorine will cause long-term long damage the same way that a cigarette will- what with emphysema and bronchitis.

markx - 7-8-2003 at 04:59

I currently work with chlorine gas - producing microporous carbon for supercapacitors.

MC + Cl2 + heat-> C + MCl2

Occasionally we have trouble with reactors and chlorine starts leaking so we have gas masks ready and don't work alone.
But really, chlorine is a nasty poison, not extremely dangerous but nasty indeed. The trick is that chlorine induces a reflex- it makes you take a deep involuntary breath
and so you get a nice lungfull of this stuff even if you try fighting against breathing in. I've experienced it once and I don't reccommend it- feels really bad! We had a
leaking fluidized bed reactor with 30 litres of chlorine running through it in a minute and my partner was trying to fix the leak. I leaned into the room to help him and got a nice deep breath of chlorine!
No permanent damage resulted but I felt sick for a whole day. So better watch out when having fun with that gas!! :D