Sorry for what is likely a naive question. I haven't worked with chemicals at all and have only had some brief lab safety instruction.

I need to create a mixture of chloroform and methanol 2:1 for a lipid extraction from bone.

I have read the safety data sheets for both chemicals but can't find any other information about how to safely create this mixture other than doing it in a fume hood. I need about 200 ml total.

If anyone has any information or can direct me to where to look that would be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you!!!

  • $\begingroup$ What kind of work environment are you in? What kind of equipment do you have access to? $\endgroup$ – Michael Lautman May 21 '19 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ Mixing chloroform and methanol presents no hazards, except for those presented by handling chloroform by itself and methanol by itself. That is, mixing these reagents does not create any dangerous reactions. However, chloroform is a toxin and methanol is both a toxin and is highly flammable. $\endgroup$ – Curt F. May 21 '19 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ It will be in a lab at a university, although one that is not used frequently. I have access to everything I imagine I'll need safety wise (gloves, lab coat, safety glasses, etc). There is a fume hood, glassware, that kind of thing. Anything specific I will need? $\endgroup$ – Heather May 21 '19 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Heather, that's right. Just mix. Nothing will react. $\endgroup$ – Michael Lautman May 22 '19 at 0:29
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    $\begingroup$ Don't over think. At this level every simple manipulation would take weeks ;) I assume you don't that near flame or red hot surface nor you indulge in smelling atop. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista May 22 '19 at 9:57

I am sorry to give my opinion here but I feel compelled to do so!

Security officers or the people writing the safety data sheet are motivated by only one thing: they don't want to be held liable! For them, everything is deadly and they don't even try to mitigate that (true) fact according to their audience.

As a result, all the risks are presented at the same level and nobody can really adjust his/her practices according to that.

I vividly remember one of my students at Oxford University. The rule there is(was?) that the student should copy the whole safety sheet on a form submitted to the Safety Officer before he/she can even get the chemical. My student had to do that for a ridiculous amount of cyanide and he was so stressed out that he ended up shaking and putting cyanide everywhere! I mean on the balance, around the balance, on the floor etc... I had to be besides him "It's OK, it's no big deal" while making signs to the others to not come around because there was cyanide everywhere.

So @Heather, I really advise you to ask your co-workers about the true risks in your field. You won't die because you had a whiff of chloroform or methanol, even though you should always work under a hood so you don't have a whiff of nasty materials. Also the safety sheets must be adapted to your own risks.


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