Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What to do with 20,000lbs of Na?

  1. Mar 13, 2007 #1

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3825610222960975525&pr=goog-sl" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2007 #2

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Man, they could have pulled enough boiled fish out of there to feed a small city. They should have thrown a couple of tonnes of potatoes and carrots in first.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2007 #3
    I love chemistry :rofl:
     
  5. Mar 13, 2007 #4
    It was devoid of fish, or so said the narrator.
     
  6. Mar 13, 2007 #5

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh... I couldn't make out most of the narration because the playback was jumpy on my system. Maybe I'll watch it again on a different one.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2007 #6

    G01

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    LOL, reminds me of the time I stuck a piece of magnesium in a bunsun burner flame in high school chemistry!
     
  8. Mar 13, 2007 #7

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It certainly was after they dumped the Na into it.

    Why they just didn't park it at the Hanford Reservation or Idaho, I don't know. Add to the list of stupid things that government does.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2007 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl: Yeah, they were saying it was an alkaline lake, and I was wondering if that was before or after they started dumping in Na. :uhh: Anyone need a lake full of drain cleaner?
     
  10. Mar 13, 2007 #9
    Well, if it did have an animal population, what would the result be after the sodium dump?
     
  11. Mar 13, 2007 #10
    Come on, that was totally worth it! :biggrin: kaplowey.


    20,000lbs heads for distruction ladies and gentleman! Yes you heard me right!
     
  12. Mar 13, 2007 #11

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The rationale behind dumping it was also very stupid - "because a public (common) carrier wouldn't accept it for transport'. So why didn't the military transport it, or contact one on many chemical companies, one of whom probably made the material?

    I just don't buy it. Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide, . . . . and so on, transported lots of hazardous materials.

    How did the military get it in the first place?
     
  13. Mar 13, 2007 #12

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Basically it would dissolve the flesh away from the skeleton.
     
  14. Mar 13, 2007 #13

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In navy boot came they did a demo of what happens when Na and water mix. The instructor dropped a small chunk of Na into a 5 gal bucket of water, it imediatly launched itself high (~50+) into the air... way cool.

    Yeah, you just have to wonder if some officer just didn't want to see what would happen.


    RE Magnisium in a bunsen burner.

    In a past job we had been casting aluminium parts in house and were changing to an external souce using Mg. We were looking for a way to strip paint from a new Mg part... put it in a furnace to burn it off.... all that was left was a pile of grey ash.
     
  15. Mar 13, 2007 #14
    What I mean is, would there be some far-reaching effects to the animals both in and around the lake?
     
  16. Mar 13, 2007 #15
    Thats a huge lake, and considering that most of the sodium burned, my guess is no. Actually, you could probably find out by seeing if lake lenore has any 'sodium contamination'
     
  17. Mar 13, 2007 #16

    ShawnD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Metals burn to form metal oxides. Sodium oxide is an incredibly strong base, so it will still react with water the same way sodium does.
    Na + H20 --> H2 + NaOH
    Na2O + H20 --> H2 + NaOH
     
  18. Mar 13, 2007 #17
    But those were 3 small barrels in a huge lake. I doubt they could devistate the waters.
     
  19. Mar 13, 2007 #18
    6,670 pound small barrels?
     
  20. Mar 13, 2007 #19
    how many millions of gallons of water in that lake?
     
  21. Mar 13, 2007 #20
    Narrator says 3,500 lb barrels. It's closer to 6 barrels. But that's still small, so I get what you're saying.
     
  22. Mar 13, 2007 #21
    And they threw it into a lake that is already high in salt content.
     
  23. Mar 13, 2007 #22

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Now for an update on Lake Lenore -

    http://www.thelake.org/gallery.html [Broken]

    http://www.fisheyesoup.com/article_details/132.html [Broken]

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  24. Mar 13, 2007 #23

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This all reminds me a bit of the area 51 fiasco. Some of the stories told were horrific.

    http://www.ufomind.com/area51/articles/1996/wsj_960208.html
    Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 8, 1996

    Sorry about the link. It was the easiest one to grab.

    Anyway, it seems this sort of thing continues and is "justified" by issues of national security.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  25. Mar 14, 2007 #24

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Area = 1670 acres, avg depth = 20ft => volume of water ~ 40 billion liters

    Moles of Na dumped into lake = 20,000*1000/(2.2*23) ~ 0.5 million moles

    Even assuming NaOH is 100% dissociated in water, this makes the pH only very slightly alkaline.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  26. Mar 14, 2007 #25
    LOL that is nothing. Do you know how they used to dispose of cylinders full of 99% HBr, HCl, Cl2, and Br2 back in the old day????? Disposal companies would take them to an open field and shoot them with a gun so that all of those toxic gases would just dissipate into the atmosphere.



    Ha the Navy even used to use huge cylinders full of Titanium tetrachloride (nasty stuff) as smoke screens during battle. When the canister hit the water a bunch of titanium oxides and HCl gas produced a smoke screen, but also corroded everything exposed to it.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook