From: Eugene Ngai <eugene_ngai**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] What's in the bottle?
Date: Fri, 28 May 2021 00:05:52 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 00e601d75376$c0774fd0$4165ef70$**At_Symbol_Here**

I have been teaching a class "What's in that Cylinder" for the last 10 years. I routinely get calls to identify cylinders throughout the year

Sometimes they're easy but they can be tough


I just assisted my home county in rendering a toxic ton cylinder harmless as well as 3 compressed natural gas cylinders, It was a great training exercise for the HazMat team


Eugene Ngai

Chemically Speaking LLC




From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of Jason Fritz
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2021 1:44 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] What's in the bottle?


Hello Jennifer,

When attempting field identification of unknowns for purposes of RCRA hazard characterization, we typically relied on a combination of pH-testing with strips, FID/PID testing (for indication of ignitability, VOC presence), RAMAN and FTIR spectroscopy (e.g. and a hazard characterization battery (e.g. HazCat, with field staff in appropriate PPE and with at least a 5-gas meter. Based upon field screening tests, we would perform laboratory confirmation analysis for those indicated RCRA characteristics (e.g. flash testing for ignitability, coupon tests for corrosivity, TCLP for toxicity, etc).

If the goal is appropriate disposal, it may be helpful to focus on characteristic testing vs. true identification of solution constituents.

I hope this is helpful,




On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 11:29 AM Jennifer Gile <jen.gile**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:



Now that the strangest academic year in my experience has come to a close, I'm keeping busy doing a bit of housekeeping.  I found a box of bottles on a shelf last week, only to find the bottles in the box are all filled with research results. Few were labeled.


The faculty member that made these is no longer with the university and left some time ago.  They had a wide range of research interests (hormones to organometallics) which complicates matters.


My question for each of you today: how do you go about identifying unknowns? 


I'm working with folks on campus to see if there's any digital footprint of what these may be, in the meantime I would like to figure out what these are. Please save conversations of housekeeping, record keeping, and best practices for a different thread, with respect, that ship did sail. I think these are all very important topics; at the moment I'm interested in getting these bottles identified and packaged for disposal.


My thanks in advance!


--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas



Scholar. Warrior. Fool.

--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

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.