Chemical Waste from Ester Prac

Chemical Waste from Ester Prac: I have previously been asked to dispose of the chemical waste from the ester prac by evaporating it on an absorbent material and disposing of this to landfill. I have now been asked to store the waste in an organic waste bottle for collection at a later date. CSIS talks about disposal of esters in the case of a spill, but is not specific about waste disposal.

I have begun decanting this waste into a large glass bottle. However, this morning when I opened it, there was a large rush of gas from the bottle. Is this normal? It did concern me somewhat and I was pleased I had opened it in the fume cupboard.

My question is: what is the correct way to dispose of this waste?

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Publication Date: 27 March 2015
Asked By: Anonymous
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Chemical Waste from Ester Prac

In brief: The best practice for disposing of organic waste is to transfer it to an appropriately labelled bottle for collection by a licenced waste disposal contractor. If the experimental procedure involves washing the ester reaction mixture with sodium carbonate solution, then any gas generated in the stored mixture is likely to be carbon dioxide produced from the reaction of the sodium carbonate and the acid catalyst or unreacted carboxylic acid.

Best practice would be to store the organic layer in a separate bottle from the aqueous layer. However, if the layers are difficult to separate, then it would be reasonable to transfer both layers to the same waste bottle.   Glassware which is contaminated with any of the organic compounds used or produced can be rinsed with a small amount of ethanol with the rinse solution being added to the organic waste bottle.

While it is not prohibited in Australia to evaporate volatile waste in a fume cupboard, it is not considered best practice, as this introduces untreated waste into the atmosphere (this method of waste disposal is prohibited in the U.S.A.).

Please see the general answer to ester disposal for further information at this link: organic chemistry.  

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