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Topic: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic  (Read 1702 times)

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Offline devcybiko

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Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« on: January 07, 2019, 09:11:42 PM »
I want to dispose of our styrofoam by keeping a can of acetone in the shed and dissolving any old styrofoam in the can.

Are there things I should be wary of? I've read that acetone is highly flammable and even the vapors can flash back.

I've seen a number of YouTube videos of people dissolving styrofoam into acetone and even one that kept the stuff for 6 months with no ill effects.

Any advice is welcome.

Offline wildfyr

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 09:15:52 PM »
Yes this combination is quite flammable, it should be safe as long as you ground it against static and don't do anything stupod

Offline devcybiko

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 09:29:14 PM »
Thanks. Unfortunately I'm a Software Engineer, not a Chemical Engineer, so I don't even know what might be stupid.

Also, I've read about Limonene/Lemonene as an alternative to acetone for dissolving styrofoam.

Any advice on them is also welcome.

Offline wildfyr

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 10:50:19 PM »
Nearly as flammable

Offline Borek

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 03:35:36 AM »
I want to dispose of our styrofoam by keeping a can of acetone in the shed and dissolving any old styrofoam in the can.

That hardly counts as disposal - what are you going to do with the solution? It is even worse than just solid styrofoam.
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Offline P

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 05:01:02 AM »
I'm a Software Engineer, not a Chemical Engineer, so I don't even know what might be stupid.


Things like smoking near the container or allowing open flames near it. Hitting the lid with something metal that could cause sparks.  Putting your head into the solution and or drinking it would constitute stupidity too imo. ;-)
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Offline devcybiko

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 01:20:27 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback.

My plan for the solution is to keep it until the can fills up. Then let the plastic solidify and throw it away.

As for your point... "It is even worse than just solid styrofoam." - It actually is not worse than styrofoam as styrofoam is mostly air. Dissolving it in a solution decreases the area by about 99%. So, I can safely story 100x more styrofoam in the same space.

As for actual disposal - my plan is to deliver it to either a solvent recycling center or let it dry out and throw it in a landfill. It's a better solution than throwing styrofoam into a landfill.

Offline Borek

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 07:09:06 PM »
As for your point... "It is even worse than just solid styrofoam." - It actually is not worse than styrofoam as styrofoam is mostly air. Dissolving it in a solution decreases the area by about 99%. So, I can safely story 100x more styrofoam in the same space.

Acetone solution is much more flammable, much more volatile (and toxic when in air) and difficult to contain than the solid.

If it were really a good idea it would be long done on an industrial scale.
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Offline P

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Re: Storing Acetone and Styrofoam Plastic
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 09:42:00 AM »
I am a magician by hobby. I did invent a really nice trick where I cut many lengths of expanded polystyrene into planks and made them all vanish into a very small box. Everyone thought I'd slipped them under the table using slight of hand until I left with the small box and they scampered forward to look under the table expecting to find the planks and were amazed they had gone.   ;D

(you can probably guess what was in the small plastic pot inside of the box  ;) )

I have thought to improve the trick further by painting the planks so they look like wooden planks at a distance and having 1 real wooden plank amongst 10 fake ones to hand out for inspection as the others disappear.
Tonight I’m going to party like it’s on sale for $19.99!

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