From: Ellen M Sweet <ems325**At_Symbol_Here**CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] dry butyl lithium
Date: May 18, 2012 8:03:24 AM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <CA+55mnPWqxigf4xzqOGf9oEiUuQLXxLQsJ8RSmiB_Don4y9obw**At_Symbol_Here**>

Everyone- thanks for all of the great suggestions. I have a few ways of dealing with this material depending on the situation we come across. We see just about everything eventually in the waste world and on this campus! In this case the lab has been vacated and for the sake of troubling others who have no involvement, we’re going to just secure it as usual and move it. But I’m not so concerned about its stability now.

Thank you!



From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Christian Hoydic
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:52 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] dry butyl lithium


As everyone has said, Isopropyl Alcohol is the best way to take care of this problem without actually dealing with transportation of a major toxin across campus and risking the container failing in any way. After you decompose the compound, regular procedure for organic compounds needs to be followed. And that should be about it for that issue.

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Kaspur3 <kaspur3**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:



You may want to look into whether your site has a license for 'waste treatment'.  Quenching for disposal is considered treatment above standard reaction quenching.


If your site will just lab pack everything for disposal, I recommend that you transfer the material in a secondary container to the area for disposal.  It will also alleviate the potential hazards with quenching the butyl lithium.



Sent from my iPhone

On May 17, 2012, at 6:37, "CHANDRA, Tilak" <tchandra**At_Symbol_Here**FPM.WISC.EDU> wrote:

Hi Ellen:


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.







From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ellen M Sweet
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:06 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] dry butyl lithium


Hi everyone,

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?


Ellen Sweet

Hazardous Materials Coordinator

Cornell University Environmental Health and Safety

office: (607) 254-8644

cell: (315) 730-8896



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