How to Dispose of Methanol

Save

Methanol is an alcohol that's often used in laboratory experiments. Because it's flammable and poses health risks, it's important not to rinse methanol down the drain or combine it with other materials that may cause it to combust. To dispose of methanol appropriately, either discard it in appropriate hazardous waste containers or allow it to evaporate.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow glass or Pyrex dish
  • Fume hood
  • Flame-proof hazardous waste disposal container
  • Paper towel

Small Amounts

  • Pour the methanol into a shallow glass or Pyrex dish. Don't pour it into a plastic dish since methanol can dissolve some plastics.

  • Set the shallow dish in a fume hood and allow the methanol to evaporate. The fume hood will evaporate the methanol and dissipate the fumes quickly to a safe level.

  • Wipe the shallow dish with a wet, disposable paper towel, and discard the paper towel in the regular trash.

  • Wash the shallow dish as you would normally wash laboratory glassware.

Large Amounts

  • Contain the methanol in a flame-proof hazardous waste disposal container.

  • Contact a local medical research institution or university. Be sure the institution you contact is local to help you follow state and local city laws regarding hazardous waste disposal.

  • Request the information for hazardous waste pickup control. The reason you'll want to contact a local research institution rather than a local hazardous waste pickup company directly, is two-fold. Primarily, you might be able to simply bring your methanol to the research institution and discard it there for free. Many research institutions have their own methods of dealing with hazardous waste and they could take care of the problem for you, perhaps for a small fee. The second reason is the fact that they've already done some shopping around and even if they don't dispose of their own hazardous waste, they know the best local company that does.

  • Place the methanol container in the trunk of your car or another area that will keep passengers safe, should the methanol spill. Consider secondary containment.

  • Bring your methanol container to the appropriate disposal site.

Tips & Warnings

  • If some methanol gets on your gloves while handling it, change them. Methanol can dissolve some plastics.
  • Some areas allow small quantities of methanol to be disposed of by rinsing it down the sink with copious amounts of water. This is an unsafe environmental practice, regardless of local laws.
  • Avoid breathing methanol fumes.

References

  • Photo Credit NA/Photos.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Check Methanol in Wine

    Methanol is one of the many alcohols produced during the fermentation process and in larger doses, it can sicken, or in rare...

  • How to Make Biodiesel Without Methanol

    There are many benefits to biodiesel fuel. Because it uses organic elements and burns clean, its impact on the environment is less...

  • How to Make Methanol

    Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a clean burning fuel additive, as well as an effective solvent. It is extremely flammable, so great...

  • How to Dispose of Glycerin

    Glycerin is a by-product of making bio-diesel fuel. This process produces significant quantities of glycerin that require disposal. There are many ways...

  • How to Treat Clorox Fume Exposure

    Clorox bleach, otherwise known as sodium hypochlorite, is a potentially dangerous household chemical that can cause serious injuries when it is swallowed...

  • How to Dispose of Xylene & Toluene in a Laboratory

    Technicians commonly use xylene and toluene in a laboratory setting. Hematology labs that test blood rely on both of these chemicals as...

  • How to Dispose of Denatured Alcohol

    Denatured alcohol has a plethora of uses for home and industry. Used frequently as a solvent, denatured alcohol is also helpful in...

  • How to Dispose of Rubbing Alcohol

    Rubbing alcohol is such a familiar sight around the house, put to so many different uses, that you do not tend to...

  • How Do I Dispose of Acetone?

    Before you throw an old bottle of nail polish or furniture lacquer away, you should consider the threat it could pose to...

  • How to Dispose of Gelled Fuel

    An isopropyl alcohol-based substance, gel fuel burns clean and is safe to use in outdoor/indoor cooking devices and heating products. The fuel...

  • The Proper Disposal of Methyl Ethyl Ketone

    Methyl ethyl ketone, also referred to as butanone, is a solvent used in the production of synthetic rubber, paraffin wax, glues, lacquers,...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!