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I am working with a unknown white oxidizing powder that melts at around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It turns my finger green when it comes into contact with my finger for a short while. It leaves a very soft almost slimy feeling even after washing it off with normal hand soap.

When melted it becomes a dark purple color And will turn into a solid very quickly when in contact with something cool. It has on the box it came in a diamond shaped yellow sign with the word OXIDIZER then the number 5.1 which means it is strongly corrosive.

It also seems to corrode rubies and sapphires when in this liquid/powder for about 40-45 minutes in 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So I would like to know if anybody has any idea what I am dealing with? Because the company that send this powder to my employer this powder doesn't seem so happy about giving up their secret and says it comes from the dead sea.

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  • $\begingroup$ A picture of the box/substance might help. Does the box have any more information, and where did you get it from? $\endgroup$ – ChemBird Oct 11 '16 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ Ask them for the SDS, which they are obliged to provide $\endgroup$ – long Oct 11 '16 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any kind of mass spec data? $\endgroup$ – Zhe Oct 12 '16 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ Please wear gloves and avoid contact with skin. $\endgroup$ – Melanie Shebel Oct 12 '16 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ It may be a mixture of two or more compounds. From the description you gave it clearly contains something strongly alkaline, possibly sodium hydroxide. The melting point is about right, and it would indeed attack a ruby or sapphire. The purple color, however, does not fit so it suggests that there is a second compound involved (some oxidizer). $\endgroup$ – vapid Oct 12 '16 at 7:32

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