I just bought a flame-test spectroscopy kit to use with our small homeschool group. It includes calcium chloride, potassium chloride, strontium chloride, and lithium chloride. I also bought a bottle of copper chloride.

After we do the lab, how can I safely dispose of the solutions? Can I just dilute the solutions and flush them? Or do they require a Hazardous Material Pickup?

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The copper chloride might be the largest hazard, depending on amount. It is a poison for plants and corrosive for your pipes. How much did you buy? Here is a related question showing how it "eats up" aluminum foil (while being reduced to elemental copper, which is less of a hazard and present in the solid waste stream anyway): chemistry.stackexchange.com/a/128099/72973 $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 20:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The American Chemical Society has a series of safety videos. This one might be a start for discussing safety with your group. It does not directly address hazardous waste disposal, but it does mention safety data sheets (SDS), which also contain disposal information. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 20:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The linked answer shows how I reacted aluminum foil with the solution containing copper ions, resulting in copper metal powder and aluminum ions in solution. That is your disposal method: react your copper chloride solution with an excess of aluminum foil, until no green color remains in solution, then toss it all away: it is harmless. This assumes you do not have large quantities to deal with. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Kartsten and Ed! The lab calls for a solution of about 8.5g of copper chloride in 50mL or water. I love the aluminum foil idea because that would be a fun lab in and of itself to do with the group. Is my solution volume doable with that technique? $\endgroup$
    – user480029
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 5:04


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