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Hazardous substances

  1. Dec 10, 2015 #1
    What will happen if white phosphorus is stored under paraffin in an airtight container and not in water?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2015 #2
    Other factors play an important role in how well this system works: Ambient pressure and most importantly humidity. Paraffin starts misbehaving a couple of hours after being exposed to an extremely dry atmosphere and its surface starts to deteriorate. Small dust particle of the surface between the paraffin and the container will accelerate peeling off the surface, and finally, the temperature under which this system is kept need to be constant.
    If I were to offer an opinion, this is a very bad idea, maybe use it as a "very" short temporary solution, but definitely need a better design (and a fume hood).
  4. Dec 10, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Really? Paraffin behavior depends on the humidity? That's the first I hear about it.
  5. Dec 10, 2015 #4


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    uh huh, Doing some searching, I couldn't find any relevant info

    do you have some reliable reference for that please ? :smile:

  6. Dec 10, 2015 #5
  7. Dec 11, 2015 #6
    Tried and true. Wrap it around a beaker and place it in a vacuum over for an hour = disaster. On the other hand, do the same next to a steam source and slippage and peeling starts to occur.
  8. Dec 11, 2015 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Interesting. But I am not convinced vacuum and steam are comparable - what about comparing normal, but dry air, with a wet air?

    Plus, I thought OP meant liquid paraffin.
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