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Whats the most dangerous chemical you have used / seen?


RyanJ
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Has anyone ever seen CsOH (Cesium Hydroxide)? I hear that stuff iv nasty with a PH of 15!

 

Cheers' date='

 

Ryan Jones[/quote']

A compound does not have a pH on its own! Only a solution of a compound in water has a pH. And a liquid having a pH equal to 15 is corrosive, but you can also make this with plain NaOH. Dissolve approximately 40 grams of NaOH in 70 ml of water and you'll get a liquid with a pH close to 15.

 

alpha-d-glucopyranosyl-(1->2)-beta-d-fructofuranoside = sugar :D

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A compound does not have a pH on its own! Only a solution of a compound in water has a pH. And a liquid having a pH equal to 15 is corrosive' date=' but you can also make this with plain NaOH. Dissolve approximately 40 grams of NaOH in 70 ml of water and you'll get a liquid with a pH close to 15.

 

alpha-d-glucopyranosyl-(1->2)-beta-d-fructofuranoside = sugar :D[/quote']

 

I knew you could probably get a strong alkali by dissolving lots NaOH and I did mean CsOH dissolved in water :)

 

Does CsOH react with organic compounds? I guess it does because its pretty powerfull stuff.

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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In what manner did you work with the NG? Was the NG a side product of some other thing you were making, or was the goal of the synthesis the actual NG? When I had my experience with it, it was inside a fume hood in organic lab. We made a few mL (well, most of us did. I happened to make a bit more), then we were told to let it evaporate in the hood. Some samples were lit with a match and immediately went BOOM! Some were agitated by taking a yardstick and hammering on it which made it go KABOOM! Some of it just spontaneously detonated while it was evaporating in the hood.

 

that explains it then, I thought the stuff off sweaty dynamite was bad enough for sensitivity (we used to wipe it off and flick it on the floor at each others feet), but what you`ve described is just plain scary!

I`ve actualy dropped a glass bottle with 50ml of NG (lab grade) at my feet by accident, the bottle shattered and there was no "Event", we soaked it up in kitchen roll and burned it in a feild, still no event. we`de used some out of the bottle already (soaking those little chinese firecrackers in it) that worked fantasticly!

I was only 13 at the time, so you`ll have to forgive the stupidity involved, I certainly wouldn`t try it now!

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...I`ve actualy dropped a glass bottle with 50ml of NG (lab grade) at my feet by accident....I was only 13 at the time, so you`ll have to forgive the stupidity involved, I certainly wouldn`t try it now!

So, there must be at least one parallel universe without YT :D :D not to count all the other could-be-events :D

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that explains it then' date=' I thought the stuff off sweaty dynamite was bad enough for sensitivity (we used to wipe it off and flick it on the floor at each others feet), but what you`ve described is just plain scary!

I`ve actualy dropped a glass bottle with 50ml of NG (lab grade) at my feet by accident, the bottle shattered and there was no "Event", we soaked it up in kitchen roll and burned it in a feild, still no event. we`de used some out of the bottle already (soaking those little chinese firecrackers in it) that worked fantasticly!

I was only 13 at the time, so you`ll have to forgive the stupidity involved, I certainly wouldn`t try it now![/quote']

 

 

BINGO! :D The Lab Grade stuff is virtually free of impurities, and it's these impurities that make it a lot more sensitive. When you have all the remnant nitric and sulfuric acid in there, it can make things a bit 'touchy', so to speak. Also, the contaminents on the fume hood 'floor' probably aren't good for it either.

 

For the CsOH, I have seen the stuff before, but that was on a video. It eats up glass pretty quickly.

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BINGO! :D The Lab Grade stuff is virtually free of impurities' date=' and it's these impurities that make it a lot more sensitive. When you have all the remnant nitric and sulfuric acid in there, it can make things a bit 'touchy', so to speak. Also, the contaminents on the fume hood 'floor' probably aren't good for it either.

 

For the CsOH, I have seen the stuff before, but that was on a video. It eats up glass pretty quickly.[/quote']

 

Chemists run all sorts of risks as this thread has shown, if the stuff I had saw were to detonate then oops, one less unverse with me in it... If the Picric Acid jdurg had seen would have detonated then no more jdurg either!

 

Makes you think....

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

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Chemists run all sorts of risks as this thread has shown' date=' if the stuff I had saw were to detonate then oops, one less unverse with me in it... If the Picric Acid jdurg had seen would have detonated then no more jdurg either!

 

Makes you think....

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones[/quote']

Well, there is another side also. This is related to the social climate for chemistry in general and home-chemistry in special.

 

Indeed, (home-)chemistry introduces certain risks. When someone performs experiments at home bad things can happen. But these risks are overrated quite a lot. There are so many other activities that also introduce risks. Just use common sense, think once, twice or more before you act and then I'm quite sure that the risks are not more than e.g. when one is doing some outdoor-activities like abseilen, motor-racing or even playing soccer.

 

Of course, many youngsters have to go through the k3wl-phase of their life and that is a particularly risky period, but fortunately most of these also do not have the resources to purchase the more dangerous reagents (too expensive, too hard to find, too much hassle on international shopping, etc.).

 

The main problem of home-chemistry is not the actual risk involved, but the perceived risk involved, especially nowadays with the fear of terror, war on drugs, liability issues or just down-the-drain ignorance of the general public.

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My most dangerous chemicals are red fuming nitric acid, concentrated sulfuric acid (at 270C), bromine, chlorine and H2S - nothing very special but all selfmade (expect sulfuric acid that was self-concentrated).

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As with anything in life, moderation is key. A few miligrams of a toxic substance can be handled safely and easily, and disposed of without any potential for harm. A few grams of that same substance, however, can pose serious health and damage issues.

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  • 3 years later...

ive used Mn2O7 too, but such small quantities it doesnt worry me.

 

The most hazardous situation i remember being in was when i used 125mL at a time of TiCl4. Our laboratory used plastic syringes which would slowly dissolve while you transferred the corrosive liquid.

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Most dangerous stuff I've used was probably 31% HCl or solid NaOH (ok, pretty mild compared to some of the stuff listed above). I've seen way worse things, though, at a hazardous waste transfer station I worked at a few years ago. We got all kinds of lab packs coming in, often packed by non-experts (who else would have put white phosphorus, which has to be stored in water, in the same pack as metallic sodium?) Besides those things we got concentrated mineral acids fairly often, other nasty inorganic compounds ([ce]Na2S[/ce] comes to mind, though I think there were some cyanide salts at one point too) and flammable and toxic solvents (pyridine, for instance). Probably the worst I saw there was a bottle of HF (37% I think). Didn't open that bottle at all, though; we repacked it in a special lab pack of its own and shipped it off to parts unknown.

Edited by nitroglycol
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ive used bromine alot of times, sadly i dont have the capabilities to make it adhydrous or i would have, ive seen HF as a rust remover( wow) and have made a little hydrogen cyanide( LITTLE!!!!) Thats all

 

I have 17 bottles of pure bromine in my lab. I try not to touch them.

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It's difficult to put them in any real order but I wasn't exactly happy working with flurosulphonic acid perchloric acid, HF, bromine, nitroglycerine, PETN, TNT, RDX, picric acid, EGDN, tetryl, RMX, RDX, tetrachlorodibenzodioxin or ricin.

 

On the other hand I think more people are killed by alcohol than by all those "nasty" chemicals put together.

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wow, john cuthbers delt with the not just nasty but just down right dangerous compounds, though TNT isn't as dangerous as perceived,as long as you don't detonate a shock wave next to it, but ethyl alcohol has killed more people than all of those put together....

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It's difficult to put them in any real order but I wasn't exactly happy working with flurosulphonic acid perchloric acid, HF, bromine, nitroglycerine, PETN, TNT, RDX, picric acid, EGDN, tetryl, RMX, RDX, tetrachlorodibenzodioxin or ricin.

 

You listed RDX twice. Also, to add on to what nitric said RDX is also incredibly stable. Apparently C-4, consisting primarily of RDX, can be shot with a rifle and lit on fire without detonating.

Also, nice point with the alcohol. :)

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