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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2006, 02:22 PM
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Ckucia, You are right about how to deal with this to make it safe, or saf-ER anyway, but it still will not be legal or safe to just dump someplace, especially down a drain If you think I am blowing this out of proportion and the feds won't bother with a private individual I would have to disagree with you as I faced thousands of dollars in fines for some oil that was dumped (probably engine oil from a local trucking company but I can't prove it) on my farm here in Tennessee some years ago, cost me a bundle to clean up and dispose of and I did'nt even dump the dang stuff Once you create hazardous waste the "Cradle to the grave" rule kicks in and that simply means whoever created it will be responsible for it until it is PROPERLY disposed of and you WILL be responsible if disposed of illegally no matter who does it or how. If it some how winds up in a stream and they find out where it comes from you will face financial ruin if not jail time, as I said this is serious business and if you think I am making this up check with the authorities and you will find I may be going easy! We are not talking a qt of oil dumped in the ditch by a weekend mechanic here, which is bad enough, we are talking 50 gals or so of some pretty nasty stuff.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
IIRC, Sodium Hydroxide is a strong base.

If you mix a base with an acid, you end up with water and a salt.

Might want to check with a chemist, but you may be able to neutralize the sodium hydroxide with the right acid to render it harmless.

My chemistry is a little rusty, but I think hydrochloric acide (muriatic acid) might work. You would end up with salt water (full of whatever you cleaned out of the block). Probably dont want to pour a huge amount of salty water down the drain at once, but you could get rid of it without the danger of sodium hydroxide and its not going to burn or explode.
I would advise against this. My chemistry is also pretty rusty, but mixing a strong acide and a strong base will cause some intense, and possibly toxic fumes. Check with local authorities on disposal,
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 07:09 AM
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I would strongly recommend against mixing ANY chemicals unless you know for sure what is going to occur when you do. Look what can happen if you mix laundry bleach with toilet bowel cleaner! The warnings are on the label and the potential deadly results are well known but still it happens all the time
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 08:11 AM
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Oldred,

Agree with you on all points. I haven't had to deal personally with waste disposal for awhile, but I suspect it could take some time to do properly.

I'd rather have a big vat of contaminated salty water to dispose of than a big vat of contaminated sodium hydroxide. Just the idea of a large quantity of NaOH sitting around makes me nervous - its too nasty.

I think the important thing, though, is to figure out what the entire process is going to have to be - from obtaining the product, to using it safely, and all the way through to proper disposal - before starting anything.

I suspect when all the costs are figured to do it right, it will end up being cheaper to have it done by someone else who specializes in this sort of thing.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckucia
With regards to getting rid of the stuff when you're done...

IIRC, Sodium Hydroxide is a strong base.

If you mix a base with an acid, you end up with water and a salt.

Might want to check with a chemist, but you may be able to neutralize the sodium hydroxide with the right acid to render it harmless.

My chemistry is a little rusty, but I think hydrochloric acide (muriatic acid) might work. You would end up with salt water (full of whatever you cleaned out of the block). Probably dont want to pour a huge amount of salty water down the drain at once, but you could get rid of it without the danger of sodium hydroxide and its not going to burn or explode.

Would likely have to be done in small batches with extreme care. A possible problem might be the acid's reaction with whatever came off the block.

Check with someone who knows for certain.
I was told I could use a regular white viniger to stablize it(I think that is what he said). I don't know how much, I guess I would have to do the math. But I guess a stronger acid would use alot less. I am an environmental kind of guy, down the drain it out of the question.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 11:02 AM
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Caustic soda is used extensively in the food industry for cleaning product lines. Heated and circulated for a couple of hours then flushed with fresh water. Where do you think the caustic goes. It sure aint stored in a tank. Down the drain and out in the lakes or rivers.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 11:20 AM
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46, Not here in the USA! If some outfit were flushing large amounts of Sodium Hydroxide, especially if contaminated with engine sludge, someone would go to jail! I am sure very diluted amounts will be ok, I mean look at household drain cleaners they contain Sodium Hydroxide but not in huge amounts.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 11:43 AM
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Hi Oldred; Don't be too sure not in the USA. I do know of one company in Pittsburg that flushes caustic everyday. At least up to two years ago. You would be surprised. And I would almost bet my life on it. Maybye not right but you know as well as I do. When it comes to the almighty buck us little guys are gonna lose. Cheers!!!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 12:49 PM
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46, Good point but we know that no one would do that if it is against the law now would they?

Actually now after thinking about it if they are using a dilute mix it very well may be within legal limits but I still don't think I would want to get caught dumping 50 gal of anything even remotely resembling dip tank fluid down the drain or any place else. The household drain cleaner contains a very strong mix and in fact the stuff is quite hazardous
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 01:43 PM
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Yepper Oldred, you are absolutely correct. Sure it is deluted because it is discharged with alot of other water going out the same main drain. Does it eventually breakdown and disappear? Who knows? But boy when it comes to the little guy watch your a**. Its alot easier to fine and control the little guy. He can't afford million dollar lawyers and hold it up in court for decades. Hey just the way it is. Thats all. Cheers!!!
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 02:40 PM
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Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda) can be neutralized and flushed into the sewer system. It is very corrosive and should be handled very carefully. Check out this link:

http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/SO/sodium_hydroxide.html
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 05:50 PM
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Clean Water Act Requirements:

Designated as a hazardous substance under section 311(b)(2)(A) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and further regulated by the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1977 and 1978. These regulations apply to discharges of sodium hydroxide.
[40 CFR 116.4 (7/1/85)] **QC REVIEWED**

http://www.frankmckinnon.com/sodium_hydroxide1.htm

Last edited by oldsmo; 07-10-2006 at 05:56 PM.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 08:28 PM
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If you didn't read the above info and you use sodium hydroxide you are putting yourself in danger!!!!!!!!!!

This is very dangerous stuff if mixed incorrectly and with the wrong substances.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 08:28 PM
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Home brew, It may be ok to neutralize the stuff (if done properly) in it's pure form and pour it down the drain but we are talking 50 gal of used dip tank fluid here and that will bear little resemblance to a clean Sodium Hydroxide solution. We can toss this back and forth all day long with technicalities but the bottom line is you are going to have one hell of a time legally getting rid of that used fluid when the time comes, guaranteed!
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2006, 08:49 PM
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I am not advocating the use of sodium hydroxide in any process other than maybe using it as a household cleanser as it comes from the store. I just thought if anyone did use it they needed to be aware of the difficulties adn safety concerns.
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