From: "B. Rayfield" <barryrayfield**At_Symbol_Here**NC.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] soy-based hydraulic fluid odor
Date: March 20, 2012 10:18:39 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <m0lcrt5n463gvq564tpoqpa9.1332296319980**At_Symbol_Here**>

Soybean oil has similar ratios of various fatty acids as cottonseed oil, which is highly prone to rancidity (especially in continual contact with water). If the odor is hard to describe, but is rather sharp and highly irritating to the nose and eyes, this it a possible explanation.

ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM wrote:

Well, I'm stymied.  Maybe someone on this list can help.

People on the stage at one of the most famous theaters in the world are being overwhelmed by an odor.  We know where it is coming from.  Several years ago they switched to a soy-based hydraulic fluid for the pit lifts.  They also have a periodic flooding problem in that pit since it is so deep that it intersects the water table.   There was a massive spill and now there is a water/hydraulic fluid mixture under anaerobic conditions spewing out a hell of an odor.

If this was a regular hydraulic fluid I'd hire a technician to test for a variety of VOCs.  But who knows what this organic stuff is breaking down into?   I certainly want to be certain there is no significant flammable component as there is with massive spills of traditional hydraulic fluid and fuel oil in similar conditions so I'll probably run VOCs anyway.  But what else would anyone suggest?

Since the theater's sump pump and cistern cannot be pumped dry, I guess we'll have to try a lot of bleach to kill whatever is growing there. We've done this at other venues with traditional hydraulic fluids with sucess, so I don't really have any other ideas.  Anyone else got any insight?

Monona - stumped in the sump.

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