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Topic: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle  (Read 2501 times)

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Offline zmasterflex

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Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« on: April 21, 2013, 04:05:26 PM »
I hope this post belongs in this forum it is technically organic chemistry. I'm trying to pickle some cucumbers and I want to use those large plastic bottles that are used in water coolers (5 liters). These are the thick plastic bottles. The person who gave me some told me that they might have been used (illegally) to store gasoline during Hurricane Sandy. Just wondering if I can simply wash them out with soap and water.  Is there any reason to think I shouldn't use them? (soaking assorted vegies in really salty water for 5 weeks). Thanks

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 09:44:35 PM »
I'd suggest you don't use them after they've been used to store gasoline.  There may be something residual.  Beyond that, just because the bottles were rated for the storage of water, doesn't mean they can hold up for long-term storage in a weak acid.  You should really make a selection from vessels designed for your application.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 01:49:50 AM »
I hope this post belongs in this forum it is technically organic chemistry. I'm trying to pickle some cucumbers and I want to use those large plastic bottles that are used in water coolers (5 liters). These are the thick plastic bottles. The person who gave me some told me that they might have been used (illegally) to store gasoline during Hurricane Sandy. Just wondering if I can simply wash them out with soap and water.  Is there any reason to think I shouldn't use them? (soaking assorted vegies in really salty water for 5 weeks). Thanks

Keep water in one and leave to stand for a few days. Does the water now smell like gasoline?

If it doesn't it's unlikely that there's anything toxic enough in them to harm you (I think the LD50 of gasoline is ~5gm /kg of body weight). Unlikely to get you that dose via leaching from plastic.

 But like Arkcon said you might be able to do better. There's also the question of provenance. Can you be sure it was only gasoline? Not something more nasty?

Offline zmasterflex

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Re: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 05:15:36 AM »
I know for a fact that my brother put gas in some bottles (I just don't know which or how many). I want to use them because they are the percent size with the perfect opening. Our current pickling isn't working mainly due to the container. I'm just wondering if gasoline would bond to the plastic bottle in a way that soap wouldn't remove it but a salt water solution would. thanks

Offline DrCMS

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Re: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 05:42:29 AM »
I would not be concered from a safety point of view but I would be concered that you might taste the difference.

Offline vmelkon

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Re: Gasoline in Water Cooler Bottle
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 02:09:44 PM »
Personally, I would be concerned. Gasoline contains benzene in certain countries. It has replaced tetraethyl lead as a anti-knock agent. Benzene is a known carcinogen. It might also embed itself into the plastic (Is it PETE?).

Other than that, I have distilled gasoline using my glassware. I had to wash my round bottom flask with methanol to get rid of the smell. The rest of the glassware (vigreux condenser, thermo adapter, liebeg condenser) did not smell. I suspect some kind of gummy stuff is added to gasoline.

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