Correct disposal procedures for highly reactive, water-reactive, and pyrophoric materials depend on the source of the material and the condition of the container.  See below for instructions.

Highly reactive reagents used in chemical reactions

Mixtures of chemicals, such as reaction mixtures, containing highly reactive reagents must be carefully and completely quenched as part of your experimental procedure before they are collected for waste disposal.  If you are not sure how to safely quench your reaction mixture, contact EHRS for guidance.

Collect the quenched material in a separate container from other wastes.  Use a hazardous-waste tag to label the container with all of the constituents of the quenched mixture.  EHRS staff needs this information to avoid placing incompatible materials inside the same container.

Empty reactive material reagent bottles

EHRS will take empty (and mostly empty) pyrophoric reagent containers as hazardous waste.  Do not attempt to quench the residual material in the bottle.  Do not remove the seal from the container or “air quench” the residual amount by putting a needle through the septum.  The EHRS waste team will take the container as-is if it is labeled and in good condition.  Label the container with a hazardous waste tag and request a waste pick-up.

If you are concerned that an unquenched material is not stable enough for transport or handling, contact EHRS.  These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Unwanted reactive materials

EHRS will take unwanted and expired reactive materials as hazardous waste.  This includes chemicals in their original manufacturer’s container and those that have been transferred into other containers for use in the lab.  Do not attempt to quench the unwanted material.  Do not remove the seal from the container or “air-quench” by putting a needle through the septum.  The EHRS waste team will take the container as-is if it is labeled and in good condition.  Label the container with a hazardous waste tag and request an EHRS waste pick-up.  Wrapping the outside of the cap with a layer of Parafilm is also recommended to ensure a secure seal.

If you are concerned that an unquenched material is not stable enough for transport or handling, contact EHRS.  These will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Compromised or questionable containers

If you have any concerns about the condition of a container of pyrophoric material, call EHRS immediately.  This includes cracked bottles, containers with damaged/missing lids, and those with a damaged or removed septa/sure-seal cap.

Contact EHRS before removing any questionable containers from an inert atmosphere glovebox.

 

Revision 4/2018