I am working on an art project that will involve storing filings of various metals (e.g., iron, copper, zinc) in a colorless fluid. I want to prevent the metals from oxidizing for several years, so water is out. I already have 70% isopropyl alcohol. Will this work, or will the remaining 30% water be a problem? If not, what fluid would you suggest?

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    $\begingroup$ I feel like mineral oil is a frequently used, but I don't know if that works for years... $\endgroup$ – Zhe Nov 2 '20 at 21:31
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    $\begingroup$ Mineral oil would be my go to $\endgroup$ – Waylander Nov 2 '20 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ And seal the container after backfilling with nitrogen. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 2 '20 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ Alcohol reacts slowly with some metals, e.g., aluminum and probably zinc. Since sodium is normally stored under pure mineral oil, as others suggest, that might be best. For lower viscosity, try a lighter alkane, e.g. dodecane, or naphtha. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkane N.B. flammability hazard: not only will alkanes burn, but finely divided metal is pyrophoric! $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Nov 3 '20 at 0:30

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