Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 13:51:28 -0500
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: Andrew Gross <gross.drew**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Unknown Hazardous Chemical
In-Reply-To: <742A43346DE3BB47842910A69D6707C10DCFAC02F7**At_Symbol_Here**>

First off I would like to thank everyone for their time and thoughts
to our mystery, which as of now remains a mysery.

We ran GC and it is not in our library.  I'm hoping someone might be
able to help with some new information.

ion 91 is the strongest peak
ion 61 is apx 75% of ion 91
ion 45 is apx 50% of ion 61.

the peaks were very light so we are extending run time to see if we
can generate more peaks.

we ran ph on all samples.  5 of the 7 are ph 12, 2 of the samples are
ph 7.  The two that are ph 7 are obviously the most concentrated based
on the odor that rushes at you when you open the jar.

Thanks for your continued help,

Andrew Gross

On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 11:41 AM, Clark, Richard C  wrote
> Just got back to work this morning after a week's vacation and read the
> postings related to this problem.
> The chlordane speculation merits comment.=A0 I was the works chemist for
> Velsicol at Marshall, IL just before the plant closed in the late 70's.
> That was the only site in the world that manufactured chlordane;=A0Velsic
> also manufactured hexachlor at another site (Tennessee, I think).=A0 Chlo
> is a polychlorinated dicyclopentadiene and had lots of by-products;
> hexachlor was hexachlorocyclopentadiene made by a different process and w
> much purer.=A0=A0Chlordane was so heavy that it could only be shipped in 
> drums.=A0 It was diluted by reformulators with kerosene (5-10%=A0chlordan
e, I
> think).=A0 The kerosene-chlordane mixture could be dispersed in water wit
h the
> aid of detergent to make an emulsion for field spraying and termite
> treatment.=A0 With the closure of the Marshall, IL plant, acquisition of
> Velsicol by Great Lakes Chemical (now part of Chemtura), and=A0environmen
> issues, chlordane manufacture was never re-started.=A0 This might explain
> age of the drums.
> Chlordane is=A0an impure mixture containing numerous chlorination byprodu
> of cyclopentadiene and dicyclopentadiene.=A0 The EPA published a GC-MS st
> of it ca. 1976 in Analytical Chemistry which revealed dozens of compounds
> Velsicol had no idea of that complexity; we were using packed column GC
> technology for process control.=A0 I'm not sure that=A0GC-MS will be usef
ul for
> identification given the mixture of kerosene and chlordane. That would be
> identification nightmare.
> Chlordane yellows with age.=A0 The green flame is from the Bielstein test
> chlorine.=A0 The emulsion of the kerosene mixture is cloudy-white.=A0 Whi
le the
> initial boiling point may be 27=B0C, the boiling point may rise quickly a
> 100=B0C.=A0 An ASTM distillation will give some idea of that.=A0 Infrared
> spectroscopy of the distillation fractions (10% volume cuts)=A0should sho
w a
> mixture of saturated hydrocarbons and chlorination of saturated and
> unsaturated hydrocarbons.=A0 I'll be surprised if you can take the
> distillation to a dry point before the flask contents start to smoke;
> chlordane will likely break down before it distills.=A0 If the low boilin
> components are chlorinated by-products, they won't flash.
> Hope this helps (and my memory isn't too inaccurate).
> Rick Clark
> Sr. Research Chemist
> Curwood, Inc.
> ________________________________
> 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 
> 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.=A0 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).=A0 I'm hoping for some thoughts.
> Sample is liquid in appearance, but lighter then di-chloromethane.=A0 I
> think it is actually an oil of some kind.=A0 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.=A0 On closed cup method it flames out below
> 25C.=A0 It does not ignite when exposed to direct flame.=A0 However it
> boils around 27C.
> Exposed flame turns green (like copper flame), vapors also turn flame gre
> When dried, it turns to a waxy white translucent crystal.=A0 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?=A0 Client has 5 unidentified drums of this
> stuff and has no idea what it is.=A0 We need to identify but I am not
> going to put anyone in danger until I know more about it.
> Andrew Gross
> ________________________________
> This email and any attachments may contain confidential and/or proprietar
> information. If you are not the intended recipient, you are not authorize
> to read, copy or use the contents of the email or any attachment. If you
> have received this email in error, please let us know by reply and then
> delete it from your system.

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.