You can carefully decompose/destroy butyl lithium using isopropanol, if it is still active. You may take help from an experience chemist from Chemistry department. Dilute with an unreactive solvent such as heptane or toluene and place the bottle in an ice water cooling bath. Slowly add isopropanol to quench butyl lithium. Upon completion, add methanol as a more reactive quenching agent to ensure completion. Finally, add water drop-wise to make sure there are no pockets of reactive materials. Upon prolonged exposure to air butyl lithium converts to lithium hydroxide, so I do not think that material is still active.
You may also transfer that material using a heavy secondary containment across the campus and butyl lithium is not shock sensitive.
I have a question that I’m surprised I cannot get an answer to through the normal channels.
We did a small lab cleanout this week and discovered a bottle of butyl lithium, 1.6M solution in hexanes. The hexane is completely dried up.
We’ve left it in the lab for now. But need to move it to our central waste storage site soon.
Is there a problem with transporting this material across campus?
Hazardous Materials Coordinator
Cornell University Environmental Health and Safety
office: (607) 254-8644
cell: (315) 730-8896
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