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Re: Disposing of Pickle
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Charles Lewton-Brain Monday, January 20, 1997
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>    I had some very very very very used sparex pickle (the stuff for
>    nonferrous).  It is so used that there are funky clear crystals
>    in the bottom of the crock pot.  Two questions--how do I dispose
>    of this stuff safely and without poisoning any little squirrels?
>    And what the hell are those crystal in the bottom???  Is the
>    solution just oversaturated, not enough water to dissolve all of
>    the sparex??  I have use this pickle only with silver.  OH--the
>    crystals are colorless and the solution is murky.Marshall T. Jones

    Sparex is sodium bisulfate (this is not the chemical used for
    sterilizing beer and wine-that is sodium metabisulfate). It is
    the main ingredient in industrial toilet bowl cleaners  (and home
    ones like Vanish). (does that say something about safe
    disposal?-not sure, the pickle residue is probably contaminated
    with copper sulfate crystals which can kill waterlife). It is
    also used as an acid neutralizer for swimming pools. I've been
    in a hot tub and had someone test the water, then start ladling
    sparex into the tub. Even though I know it was fine I still got
    out. The same chemical is used to pickle steels with in
    industrial situations.

    In Canada any fire station is legally obligated to take small
    quantities of toxic materials from individuals (not corporate
    dumping). and once a year they have a toxic materials gathering
    that is free. Perhaps where you live there is also such an
    ingathering of toxic stuff.

Perhaps our resident chemist, John Burgess will have some good comments for us.


Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955  Fax: 403-283-9053  Email: brainnet AT

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