dirtybastard (Hive Bee)
10-25-01 21:37
No 228766
      propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

after the Dr.Gonzo Al/Hg rxn, one is left with a methanol/NaOH and whatever else is in the gray mess. What would be the best way to dispose of? Ol' Dirty was thinking of dropping it off in a labled container at the local college chemistry department, but wouldn't know what to label it.
Any suggestions?

Man, I'm so high, I have no idea what's goin' on
(Hive Bee)
10-25-01 21:47
No 228769
      Re: proper waste disposal  Bookmark   

Iron/steel turnings can amalgamate all of the mercury in a few days, making environmentally friendly disposal far simpler, see Post 103272 (ymir: "Mercury Recovery/Disposal", Chemistry Discourse) Post 103273 (psychokitty: "Re: Mercury Recovery/Disposal", Chemistry Discourse) Post 103275 (ymir: "Re: Mercury Recovery/Disposal", Chemistry Discourse) Post 103279 (ymir: "Re: Mercury Recovery/Disposal", Chemistry Discourse) Post 103280 (ymir: "Re: Mercury Recovery/Disposal", Chemistry Discourse) for more details smile
(Distinctive Doe)
10-26-01 01:33
No 228816
      Re: propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

This is a good topic, Mercury waste should bee dealt with accordingly.   Maybee Rhodium will put something on his page if we can collect some good information on neutralizing Mercury waste.  A link in all procedures involving Mercury would be good.  Also we don't want bee's to look bad for pollution.

Currently the treatment standard for elemental mercury waste (i.e., nonwastewaters)
contaminated with radioactive materials is amalgamation, which gives “a nonliquid, semi-solid
amalgam” as the final form (40 CFR Section 268.42). Amalgamation has been selected as the
technology-based standard because it reduces air emissions of elemental mercury vapor. The
following are some of the metals that form an amalgam with mercury: copper, nickel, tin, zinc,
gold, and silver.
Tin and zinc do not give an acceptable final waste form to meet DOE’s needs, but alloys
of these two metals may (U.S. DOE, 1998). To improve on amalgamation alone, encapsulation
of amalgamated mercury waste will further limit the volatilization and leaching of mercury.
Two generic processes are used for amalgamating mercury in wastes (Lopez and
Rosengrant, 1991):
• Aqueous replacement (solution) process - a finely divided base metal such as zinc
or copper is mixed well into a wastewater containing dissolved mercury salts; the
base metal reduces mercuric and mercurous salts to elemental mercury, which
dissolves in the metal to form a solid mercury-base metal alloy called an amalgam.
• Nonaqueous process - finely divided metal powders are used to contact waste
liquid mercury; the mass solidifies into a solid amalgam.
The aqueous replacement process is not applicable to water-insoluble mercury
compounds. The nonaqueous amalgamation process is useful for waste scrap elemental mercury
only, including waste mercury contaminated with radioactive materials. If oils, greases, or
emulsions are present, they may interfere with amalgam formation. Amalgamation does not
significantly reduce the leachability of mercury, according to Lopez and Rosengrant (1991).

Here is a spill procedure

Mercury Spills: When a mercury spill is experienced, the immediate area should be blocked off to prevent any accidental tracking of the metal. The bulk of the mercury is removed mechanically using a vacuum probe. There are clean up kits on the market which should be purchased if one is using any mercury. The proposed clean-up procedure for spilled mercury utilizes a 1:1 mixture by weight of zinc dust and sawdust to remove both the liquid and the mercury vapour in the area of the spill by amalgamation. It is best to avoid the use of zinc powder if at all possible since this adds another element to the disposal. The thoroughness with which the mercury and it's vapours are trapped and the relatively innocuous compositions of the decontamination mixture are attractive features of the procedure. The sawdust used provides a suitable vehicle for transporting the zinc and collecting the mercury droplets from pits and cracks in surfaces. Its porosity allows the mercury vapour to penetrate and deposit on the zinc powder that is dispersed throughout the sawdust mass. Estimate the weight of the remaining spill and apply 20 parts of the zinc-sawdust mixture for each part of the mercury spill (by weight). It is recommended that the zinc dust and sawdust be stored separately and mixed just before applying it to the spilled area. The mixture is then poured on the spill and on adjacent areas. The zinc-sawdust is mixed with the mercury using a brush or broom. The entire mixture should be allowed to stand for 30-60 minutes. The mixture is removed from the spill area by sweeping until no zinc-sawdust remains. The contents are placed in a plastic bag, sealed, properly labeled, encased in another container and disposed of appropriately. Utensils used in the sweeping should be placed in a plastic bag sealed and stored for future use.
The affected area should then be treated with a wash composed of equal parts of slaked lime and flowers of sulfur mixed with sufficient water to form a thin paste. This yellow wash should be liberally applied and allowed to dry on the floors, the lower parts of the walls, workbenches, and any other contaminated surfaces. Twenty-four hours later the wash should be removed with clean water and the surfaces again allowed to dry.

Here is some decent info

Do Your Part To Win The War
(Hive Addict)
10-26-01 09:17
No 228955
      Re: propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

  I'm having a brain-fart..What's the name of that mercury compound that if ingested will go through the system of animals/humans without harming them?

  The christian god hates your soul. Care for a little necrophilia?
(Distinctive Doe)
10-26-01 11:03
No 228975
      Re: propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

Hg2Cl2 to some extent, but i definately wouldn't say no harm.

Do Your Part To Win The War
(Distinctive Doe)
10-27-01 04:10
No 229182
      Re: propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

Hey Bee's
Don't think that the amount of mercury you use is insignificant, it ain't

Mercury accumulates in the environment and pollutes air and water, causing a myriad of problems in humans ranging from paralysis and insomnia to developmental delays in early childhood.  The average household mercury fever thermometer holds 0.5 grams of the heavy metal, an amount sufficient to contaminate 5,000,000 gallons of otherwise pristine waters above government-established limits.


Do Your Part To Win The War
(Distinctive Doe)
10-27-01 06:43
No 229212
      Re: propper waste disposal  Bookmark   

It appears that most of the mercury will be amalgamated by the Aluminum during the reaction.  But if you want to be sure I would add some extra foil after the product has been extracted and let the aqueaous solution sit for a while.  Then filter off the solids and put them in a good sealing plastic bottle for disposal.  If you want to bee really really sure, then add some sulfur powder(easily available fromn any pharmacy) to this resulting sludge and shake the shit out of it, then mix up a little cement and top the bottle off.  Cap this and it should bee good to go in the trash.

If you are using relativly insoluable Hg2Cl2 then I would allow more time for complete amalgamation.

Process for treating mercury in preparation for disposal 
Patent Number:  US5034054 
Mercury is mixed with an inorganic powder resulting in a permanent bonding of the mercury to the powder in a solid form. Thereafter the amalgam may be easily, safely, and legally deposited in a landfill. Suggested powders include copper, zinc, nickel, and sulphur in a ratio of powder to mercury of substantially 3:1. The mixture is followed by compound agitation.
It has been known to recover mercury from a liquid by contacting the liquid with particles of reactive metals such as zinc, magnesium, aluminum, iron, and silver. While such methods may be appropriate for recovering mercury from liquids, they fall far short of recognizing the disposal problem and suggesting an economical process for disposing of mercury in landfills.

The present invention then is directed to a treatment for liquid mercury which prepares it for suitable disposal in landfills. Toward this end, an inorganic powder is added to the mercury. The powder has the characteristics of forming an alloy or amalgam when added to mercury in sufficient amounts and when subsequently properly agitated. The powder and mercury are preferably placed in a disposable container and subjected to non-intrusive, compound agitation. The container with the amalgam therein is deposited in a landfill cleanly, neatly, and in compliance with EPA standards. There are no containers or mixers remaining to be cleaned of liquid mercury.

In general, powders which will form amalgams when added to mercury include include reactive transitional metals plus sulphur. More particularly, it appears that copper is the preferred powderous material, however, nickel, zinc, or sulphur also appear to have potential.

The powderous or particulate material is added to the mercury in a powder to mercury ratio of at least 1:1, and preferably more on the order of 3:1. There is no upper limit as to how much powder can be used, so one can add as much powder as is economically feasible.

The disposable container with the mercury and powder therein are then placed in an appropriate shaker device for compound agitation. Testing has proved that reciprocal agitation, even for extended periods, will not provide a satisfactory amalgam. However, similar tests prove that compound agitation does result in complete bonding of the mercury to the powder. A satisfactory compound agitator has been found to be a paint, mixer, Model No. 5400-02 or 5410-02 manufactured and marketed by Red Devil, Inc. of Union, N.J. or equivalent.

Several types of inorganic powders should satisfactorily bond the mercury thereto. First of all, while it is believed that all transitional metals would satisfactorily bond mercury, some are very rare and/or very expensive. Therefore, copper, nickel and zinc appear to be preferred. Also, while sulphur is not a transitional metal, since mercury is normally found in the form of cinnabar (HgS), it provides an excellent material for binding mercury thereto for disposal. It has not yet been determined whether the sulfide gas given off will be within EPA regulations or not, however, if acceptable, the sulphur powder provides an excellent bonding material.

The time of agitation may vary depending upon the type of powder selected. For example, copper powder should be agitated for at least 15 minutes and preferably 40 minutes. On the other hand, when sulphur is the selected powder, it has been found that a minimum of 5 minutes of compound agitation is necessary and preferably 20 minutes is preferred.

At the present time, it is known that reciprocal agitation simply does not result in sufficient amalgamation to be acceptable. It is also known that compound shaking or agitation using a mixer of the type represented by the Red Devil Models 5400 and 5410 paint mixer does result in an acceptable amalgam. 

In experimenting with the invention to determine what type of powder is best and what agitating times are preferred, several tests were conducted. Results of the tests are as follows:


Approximately 1 pint of mercury in liquid state is placed in a disposable polymeric bottle or container. A copper powder was added in an amount sufficient to provide a copper/mercury ratio of 3:1 at room temperature. The mixture was subjected to compound agitation in the aforedescribed Red Devil mixer, Model No. 5400-02 for 40 minutes. It was noted after 15 minutes that substantial amalgamation had occurred, however, 40 minutes provided the optimum results. The resulting amalgamation resembles a powderous copper appearance satisfactory for disposal in landfills.


To the same amount of mercury as in Example 1, was added copper powder at ratio of 1:1. At the end of 45 minutes of compound agitation, a small amount of liquid mercury remained. It was therefore determined that a ratio of powder/mercury greater than 1:1 was preferred.


The test of Example 1 was repeated with the exception that sulphur powder was provided in a ratio of 3:1, rather than the copper powder. The amalgamation of mercury onto the copper powder occurred more quickly. It was noted that after 5 minutes of compound agitation, amalgamation had occurred, and the optimum time was determined to be 20 minutes.

Do Your Part To Win The War