Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 15:54:13 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Koster Sandra K <koster.sand**At_Symbol_Here**UWLAX.EDU>
Subject: Re: Unknown Hazardous Chemical
In-Reply-To: A

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I looked up green flame tests and found this from  So your closed cup flame might still be responding to residues of one of these.  They don’t look too volatile.  I’m not an expert in the technique but GC-Mass Spec sounds like a good procedure to try and requires extremely small samples.  If you’re lucky the database on the instrument will give you the answers directly.  There is probably someone on the list from your area who has the expertise.  Good luck.

Sandra Koster

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Emerald: Copper compounds, other than halides. Thallium.
Bright Green: Boron
Blue-Green: Phosphates, when moistened with H2SO4 or B2O3.
Faint Green: Antimony and NH4 compounds.
Yellow-Green: Barium, manganese(II), molybdenum.

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of List Moderator
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 11:38 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Unknown Hazardous Chemical

From: Andrew Gross <gross.drew**At_Symbol_Here**>

Date: December 28, 2009 12:02:48 PM EST

Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Unknown Hazardous Chemical

Hi Everyone,

My lab recieved a sample from a power plant that they do not know what

it is and wish to have it identified.  I am trying to ID it because

until I have a better idea it is on hold for all testing (read on to

find out why).  I'm hoping for some thoughts.

Sample is liquid in appearance, but lighter then di-chloromethane.  I

think it is actually an oil of some kind.  It is transparant yellow

and some say it smells like kerosene.

It forms a white emulsion when mixed with water.

There is no flash point.  On closed cup method it flames out below

25C.  It does not ignite when exposed to direct flame.  However it

boils around 27C.

Exposed flame turns green (like copper flame), vapors also turn flame green.

When dried, it turns to a waxy white translucent crystal.  My closed

cup flame is still green meaning it is contaminated by the vapors.

Vapors in small quanteties (under hood) cause nausea, light headedness

and confusion.

pH is 6ish (litmus paper) although client claims it to be caustic.

All PCB analysis came up negative.

The exposure effects are why all tests are on hold till we have a

better idea as to what were dealing with as well as the remaining

tests for my department involve reacting with acid and pumping

nitrogen through it.

Thoughts, ideas, experiences?  Client has 5 unidentified drums of this

stuff and has no idea what it is.  We need to identify but I am not

going to put anyone in danger until I know more about it.

Andrew Gross

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