Lab accidents

>attempt to brominate things using liquid bromine
>take ampule
>fail to realize that the glass wasn't scored
>hit the end with a hammer
>entire vial shatters and sends liquid bromine everywhere

that sucks

I accidentally condensed liquid oxygen in the trap between the line and the pump once.
I slammed the hood shut right before it vaporized.
Got lucky, the trap didn't shatter, the two pieces separated at the joint.

The danger of liquid oxygen is that it is a very good oxidizing agent. If you condense any organic stuff into the trap, it will be oxidized and this can release a lot of heat and ultimately lead to an explosion.

yeah, and?
if you remove the cooling agent (ie the dewar that was used to cool the trap) it goes from liquid to vapor rapidly, expanding in volume

ok, you've gotten me more interested in the topic

Is there evidence that oxidation is the deciding factor?

Suppose N2 is condensed in glass apparatus under external cooling, the coolant is removed - does the N2 not rapidly expand 'blowing up' the apparatus?

Nope, N2 is really stable.

>N2 is really stable
chemically, yes

physically it does undergo phase changes

so has this been studied or not? is there experimental evidence relevant to pump/trap/schlenk line or not?

I don't think he's talking about any kind of explosion, just the fact that liquid turning into gas is a huge increase in volume.

That's exactly what an explosion is!
Just because it's because by a change in pressure instead of a chemical reaction doesn't mean it isn't an explosion, otherwise nuclear bombs wouldn't explode.

Another under appreciated danger of liquid oxygen is the surprising fact that it is magnetic. Yes, seriously.

So if you get some of it running around ther eis a real danger it becomes attracted and enters electric equipment. Many accidents in the past involved LOX entering electrical motors, getting in contact with lubricating oil and setting opp a small explosion and a larger fire.

There is a good reason why you are required to hold a license and a permit to liquefy oxygen.

doesn't answer the question posed here >fire
not observed here >license and a permit to liquefy oxygen.

just this week
"bring your kid to work day"
on a fucking military research base
>running 280 W blue/UV experimental laser system
>laser light and interlock are on
>dumb technician wants to show his kid "lasers pew pew like star wars"
>doesn't tell me
>enters the door code to disable the interlock and unlock the door
>gets distracted by another coworker before opening the door
>his kid walks in the now unlocked door while dad is talking
>no goggles
>kid walks around redundant laser barriers toward the pretty blue lights
>walks up to other side of my table
>almost vomit when I see this fucker's head at beam height
>smash the big red EMO button
>everything shuts down, flood lights go on
>alarms on all electronics start going off
>kid starts crying
>dad runs in and does the "embarassed dad" routine where he starts screaming at me and pretending it's my fault
>kid now getting exam for retinal damage
>dad now probably fired
>whole lab group can't work until further notice
honestly it was a good thing. Dumbasses here don't take laser safety seriously, especially the dumb technicians so we needed a sacrificial lamb to wake everybody up. The kid's going to be fine.

lolol this is amazing

so...? just drop the traps, turn off your vacuum, open the line to air, close the hood and go get some coffee or jerk off for 30 minutes. I'd hardly call that an accident

Yes, the biggest concern with liquid oxygen is the oxidation. When it oxidizes stuff, it generates a bunch of heat that then causes the remaining liquid oxygen to vaporize around it. this leads to a pressure explosion and possible fire due to organics catching fire from the heat generated.
yea, you could get an N2 explosion that way. Something similar is pretty common with lines that use Ar instead of N2. If you are doing freeze-pump-thaw cycles for solvents and whatnot after a distillation, you cannot use a line that has Ar. The Ar will condense in your flask and when you thaw it, your flask can explode because of the expansion of the Ar.

Posted this before but, here goes:

>Doing some thermite casting with old graphite ring molds
>Also have some cupric oxide
>Decide to try casting copper
>Thermite ignition method is usually a lump of sugar/potassium perchlorate on the end of a fuse
>Fuse isn't hot enough to ignite the thermite, burning sugar/perchlorate is
>Discover fuse is hot enough to ignite cupric oxide thermite
>Discover it burns so quickly it's basically an explosion
>Almost get my face ripped off by hot copper liquid/vapor
>Receive nasty burns to my hand from thermal radiation of copper plume
>End up with one less ring mold

fucking kids man

had something similar happen to me
>4th of july, 2014
>decide to make fireworks for my kid
>search up exotic flash powder mixtures
>find one that produces a lot of light
>mix aluminum powder, magnesium powder, and sodium persulfate
>fuse wasn't hot enough to ignite mix
>use blow torch
>mixture blows up with a gigantic fireball
>right hand gets exposed to 3000 C for a split second
>right hand gets covered in a thin layer of aluminum/magnesium sulfide
>rush to hospital
never again am i doing pyrotechnics

>Doing the Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons reaction
>Sensitive to water
>Must use syringe to add ethyl 2-(diethoxyphosphoryl)acetate drop wise to enclosed reaction flask
>Cap is stuck on the needle
>Pulled too hard and punctured my hand

Luckily it was a band new needle so it wasn't too dirty.

>work in a micro lab
>basic shit any idiot can do it
>working with this lady who can barely speak English
>try to explain to her that she should change her gloves frequently because not only could she get sick but she could ruin the results
>tell her especially to avoid touching her face, because I know it's hard when you're itchy but you really have to avoid it
>doing a simple test for E.coli
>she somehow gets some on her glove and then wipes her eye
>a day later we get the results for that particular sample
>it's over the legal limit of E.coli in every sample
>like holy fuck nigger I've never seen so much
>co-worker get hospitalized for the next week

Why do they just let anyone work in a lab?

You just reminded me of a great one from my first year as a biochem undergrad:

>Philosophy students are allowed to take STEM modules in their first year
>Usually take micro because they think it's easy
>Standard lab practical starts
>Bunsen burners are lit to heat wire loops
>Alcohol wash bottles are provided for cleaning potentially contaminated surfaces (you can see where this is going)
>Genius philosophy student decides to clean his wire loop with alcohol
>Sprays it like a super soaker
>Stream passes through a lit Bunsen
>Lands, flaming, on my hand
>Air in water line means enough time passes before extinguishing for decent burn to develop
>Hand has red, scaly patch for the next year
>Takes 3 years for hair to start growing again in that spot

During that time, when I was asked about the burn, I told them a philosopher attacked me.

alright fags, top this.

Was doing a chem lab back in 2011. Basically I was synthesizing ethyl ethanoate

For non organic fags: the synthesis involves taking glacial ethanoic acid and ethanol and mixing them together in addition to a sulfuric acid - then heating them at above 90 degrees Celsius. Additionally, I had to use a re-flux condenser.

>tfw I've never used a re-flux condenser in my life but go ahead with the experiment anyway
>tfw not using boiling stones or magnetic stirrier

So i'm boiling my ester, and I notice 20 minutes in that the mixture is violently jumping up and down the condensor like some sort of chemical symphony.
>don't realize its super-heating
>kek, just needs more water
I should mention at this point that three other people were in the room with me in very close proximity, quietly doing other shit.
My lab teacher comes in, sees my experiment, runs behind the lab blast shield faster than a jew with a coupon.
Everyone is watching now. Realize I left the lid on the condensor

>tfw my experiment is completely airtight
>tfw ester gas

Nagasaki-tier explosion is unleashed upon chem lab, glass flying at supernatural speeds around the room.
>literally glass shards the size of tablespoons pierce the cork board wall like possessed cutlery.
Piece of glass rips across my left hand, tearing it open by the palm. Shard bounces off my belt buckle.
>Arise from the debri of the chem lab
>somehow no one is hurt except me
>room smells like a fruit punch-bowl

head of science pulls shard of glass from the wall behind him.
Looks at the shard, then looks at me and announces: "Hmm, must be an imperfection in the glass"

At this point im shaking hypothermia-style
>realize I nearly cut open a vein.
>everyone shitting pants
>tfw when awkwardly panning up glass shards
>tfw still won an award in science academia on graduation day
>tfw school science teachers use my explosion as an example for lab safety
Palm scar still hasn't faded to this day

Don't blind me or my son ever again


why didn't you book it

holy shit you're retarded

>trying to make AlCl3 in bathroom
>put erlenmeyer flask in sink
>fill the sink with cold water
>98% HCl
>out too much aluminium foil
>reaction gets extremly exotermic
>waves of HCl vapors emerging.gif
>shut door
>turn on the ventilation
>leave house

>98% hcl
this never happened

Wouldn't he recoil as soon as the laser hurt his eyes?

I know user, I promise I've been put onto the short bus since then, don't lose sleep

You didn't tell him life had intrinsic meaning or anything like that, did you?

Post palm scar

>in gen chem lab
>doing shit with HCl
>like 1M or something idr
>some girl spills it
>start yelling DEFCON 1
>Professor and grad TA are absent and all we have is undergrad TA
>she doesn't really know what to do
>go to a different station and leave the spill

I think i appeared autistic at that time for yelling DEFCON 1

laser's dont have kinetic force user, so they don't cause recoil.

maybe if the laser was powerfull enough to rapidly ablate the child's flesh it might work.

Something similar happened this semester in my bio class.

>It's an entry level bio class so there's tons of students trying to get their sci credits
>Couple really ghetto kids in my class, one is white, one is mixed race, and the other is black
>Despite how dumb they are, they're pretty nice to me so I help them out
>Lab is to swipe different surfaces to see which one has the most microrganisms
>Teacher put our samples in an incubator for a week
>I tell them to wear gloves
>They decide to not wear gloves while handling samples which have abnormally large and visible strept colonies
>mfw they all get sick

>light doesn't have kinetic force

5 cm long and seven stiches

I hadn't spoken until him until that point, I called him a cunt afterwards.

not enough to physically knock over a child, pedant

>otherwise nuclear bombs wouldn't explode.
they don't

they cause explosions by the heat released from their chemical reaction, but they do not themselves explode

how the fuck did you puncture your hand [math]un[/math]-capping a needle?

>they cause explosions by the heat released from their chemical reaction, but they do not themselves explode
>chemical reaction

Not really that big of a deal at all, but I have one dumb story.

>chem prof is a bitch

>be in chem lab, same prof

>makes us all nervous with her prescence

>heating up some shit in a test tube

>have tongs on test tube to hold up over flame

>friend is doing everything while I watch

>he needs to log data so he gives it to me to hold

>pinch tongs

>test tube falls into table

>panic immediately

>grab test tube with bare hands

>holy fuck this is hot

>notice she is looking my way

>never make eye contact with her.

>she never says anything


>implying nuclear decay isn't a chemical reaction

its the 23 you fuckwad

>open flames in chem lab
Did this happen in the 40s?

Unless he's in Asia and up very early...

ching chang chong

Haha, I'm really not Asian. I did live there for a few years though and we're science & maths guys so should qualify statements where necessary

Not in oceanic countries you cro-magnon dipshit

not necessarily. Blink reflex only covers visible so he won't blink for any UV exposure.

Also it doesn't matter if he feels like he was hurt, he has to get examined now since it constitutes a major violation of the laser safety policy and the lab could get sued if they don't properly document and report the incident b/c "muh son's poor eyes, gib moneys"

Also if you were a kid and saw a sparkly blue laser you'd probably stare at it regardless

>new female tech in the lab (environmental microbiology)
>get asked by a big convention center to do mold testing
>do swabs, set up plates, etc
>some stuff grows up including a lot of bacteria
>new female tech has been asked to inspect the plates in the morning for growth, takes notes and report to me
>I get there later than her so I'm not there when she's inspecting the plates
>turns out she's inspecting the plates at the laminar flow bench and not a biological safety cabinet
>she suddenly gets sick
>very sick

She gave herself Legionella and nearly died. She tried to claim she wasn't properly trained but that's definitely not true. There's fucking signs on all the benches designating their use: water sanitation, chemicals, mold, bacteria, or agar set up

>Blink reflex only covers visible so he won't blink for any UV exposure.

(not this guy) Also, this is what differentiates class II from class III, in the latter the laser is powerful enough that it causes damage before the blink reflex occurs.

>work for a manufacturing company in charge of maintaining equipment
>intern shows up one day
>task them with the job of testing the hydraulic press
>fuckwad decides to dick around with it
>he presses a book at 200 tons
>the fucking book explodes and sends shrapnel everywhere
>book shrapnel hits the blast shield
>the blast shield wasn't secured because he didn't inspect/test shit
>bast shield falls right on him
>100 lbs of polycarbonate crushes his body
>he never shows up to work again

I have dropped and destroyed enough glassware to supply a small meth lab

Why must I be such a walking disaster

It's aight. My PI and I once estimated for shits and giggles that together we broke about 45 lbs of glassware since high school, for a value of >3k USD. There's a reason chemical stockrooms exist.

didn't happen to me but a professor of mine had this story from grad school
>other graduate student in same lab as professor
>working on the pumps for a home built 9.4 T FT-ICR MS
>using a wrench and accidentally gets a bit to close to the 9.4 T magnet
>the magnet rips the wrench out of their hand and sends its whirling around the room before being sucked into the magnet
>forced their advisor to spend 30K to demagnetize the magnet, get the wrench out, then pump liquid helium back into the magnet

my professor said that grad student didn't finish their PhD

>AP Chem lab
>asked to dump a bit of 15M HCl onto some compound to create something for future use
>HCl is on one of those cool containers where you pull the top up so to select the volume of acid you want and dispenses it without you having to do anything
>Reaction must happen in fume hood, because it produces some nasty gas (cant remember what)
>told not to touch the super face melting acid like 50 times, and to make sure it reacts in the hood
>dumbass goes to get HCl first
>takes it out of the hood
>unscrews the dispenser thing
>tries to pour acid directly into the beaker outside of the hood
>table is now smoking
>idiot child covers it with a cardboard box
>like it never happened
>some sane kid tells the teacher
>teacher stops him, cleans up

>chemists just wanting to claim everything for themselves

why in the fuck were you doing this in AP chem lab?

trips get

We had a superconducting magnet and was told this story. Said it hadn't happened there but I am not so sure.

Anyway, the open field was huge and they had tidied the entire lab for magnetic items including tools, chairs and everything. They turned on the magnet and saw a tiny trolley starting to move. Five guys dived for it and caught it as it accelerated.

Sop, magnet on max power (even made sure that noone had pacemakers) and were very happy to have everything under control.
Until someone came from the lab downstairs. All their lamps were now smashed and stuck into the ceiling.

>in grad school
>winter time
>go to the lab super early one morning
>grab a giant glass bottle of 12 M NH3 that had been sitting out for a while in a very cold lab
>ice formed on the bottom and so when I pulled the entire bottom sheared off and I got it all over myself
>as it was happening I took in a huge breath and then ran to the shower
>stayed in there for like 30 mins
>thought I was going to die

I've never been so scared in my entire life. One guy I knew pickled his finger. I really don't know how you can be in grad school and not take any sort of safety precautions.

>15 M HCL in high school labs

Please for the love of god tell me the shower was heated. Also I'd really like to know if the decontamination showers shoot out ice water if I ever have to use it.

if you ever have to use the emergency shower i think you're going to be too panicked to care about how hot the water is

My hs has 4000 students and a seriously sweet science department

Truth, man

Not only is the water ice cold, but it's usually pretty funky because it stays in the shower pipe for months or years at a time, depending on how frequently it's checked.

it's supposed to be checked once a month minimum in any properly maintained lab

It's progress and diversity
One day we'll get rid of the white people and it'll be utopia

My professor often recounts this story
>doing monthly shower checks
>hold bucket under shower, discharge for however long
>empty bucket, repeat with next shower
> apparently there's a shower in a storage closet that was converted from an old lab
>decides to test it anyway
>pulls handle, nothing
>gets closer to see if head is obstructed
>like a fucking cartoon, nasty rust filled water explodes out and drenches him.
>shower hadn't been checked in almost ten years according to records
>had to get a tetanus shot after walking drenched across campus on a 30F Oregon day

There's an 18M bottle of H2SO4 lying in our IB chem lab. It's not that uncommon to find high molarity acids and bases in high school labs.

>first year of high school.
>boiling water with a Bunsen burner.
>whole classes water boiling already.
>my water shows no bubbles or any sign of boiling. Everyone waiting.
>teacher gets bored and gets second Bunsen burner.
>boiling water suddenly shoots up and hits the ceiling.
>shit myself as I was leaning on the table.
>still don't know wtf happens. Convection currents or some shit messed up. Should have stirred the water.

That didnt happen you faggot. Thats from the hydraulic press channel on youtube

>tetanus shot

you dont get tetanus from rust, you get it from soil bacteria, and for that to be a problem, you have to break the fucking skin which i fail to see happening from getting doused with water.

distilled water has no minerals in it for bubbles to form around. So it can get really really hot without forming bubbles, but the second something disturbs it (maybe some dust fell into the water) it forms the bubbles. Depending on the temperature it is when the bubbles form you can end up with a lot of water converting to steam, so it can be kind of explosive.

overheated water
same principle as when you are pouring supercooled water and it freezes the moment it hits something,
only that it's not liquid-solid, but rather liquid-vapor phase change

you should always put a porcelain shard or bead in the flask, so that the bubbles can form on it to prevent the sudden rapid boil
most older flasks have scratches and tiny cracks, that's why you were the only one that had this problem

shit happens I guess

Happened just now.

>Stained my hand with potassium permanganate
>Couldn't wash it off
>Remembered that hydrogen peroxide renders potassium permanganate colorless
>Washed the affected areas with 9% peroxide
>My fingerprints are now white



>you get it from soil bacteria
which also live in any crumbly texture available including rusty pipes and are fairly ubiquitous in the environment
> you have to break the fucking skin
>what are mucous membranes

Kek, you actually thought a side reaction wouldn't occur on your skin.

Use liquid potassium nitrate next time. Cleans everything right up.

>C. tetani
>loves crumbly stuff
>colonizes the body through mucus membranes

Keep going. You're a treasure trove of microbe "facts"

>Stained my hand with potassium permanganate
Happened to me many times. Makes you look like you do some seriously heavy duty manual labour. The discolouring will remain for a few months but there are no side effects (that I have experienced).

Look up "superheated water". Basically there were no nucleation sites so the water exceeded 100 C. Once nucleation started much of the water transitioned straight to steam and propelled the remaining water out. This can be dangerous and your teacher SHOULD have known this. In fact just tapping the glassware could have started the nucleation.

you can find lots of statements in medical resources that mucous membranes are a potential infection route. granted, there has to be some kind of injury in the mucous membrane, but the tissue is so soft it's much easier for that to occur.

Sounds like you overreacted. Now that poor kid will probably hate science and his dad will probably not be able to support his family because of you.

You sound like an asshole.

>get bench job for shitty contract lab
>poor training, high volume workload
>mis-label 2 samples, one control and one test sample
>record results, looksgood.jpg
>realize mistake, correct the label without saying anything
>mention mistake weeks later
>get accused of falsifying data
>get fired
>job sucked anyway


>mention mistake weeks later

why would you do that to yourself user? Don't you like you?

There was nothing accidental about it, but I really enjoyed the time we tried cooking with a furnace at the lab I used to work at.

>spend a week or so resurrecting an ancient abandoned tube furnace
>pic related is the closest photo I could find online, something like this but with the tube vertical instead of horizontal
>professor suggests testing it out by trying to cook something to celebrate getting everything set up and calibrated
>decide to see if we can instantly cook a hot dog
>set the furnace to 1000 C, there is a nice orange glow visible at the hot spot of the tube
>remove the top and bottom covers, put a hot dog bun under the bottom of the tube to catch the falling hot dog
>drop in the hot dog
>hear a wet splattering noise
>half the hot dog shoots up out the top of the furnace and splatters onto the ceiling
>the other half shoots out the bottom
>the inside of the tube at the hot spot is covered in grease, it smokes and smells awful for just a few seconds until it is all completely burned away

It was great, totally worth having to clean hot dog bits off the ceiling.

Update: when I woke up this morning, it had all but vanished. The skin is a little lighter but it's hardly noticeable. Apparently, hydrogen peroxide creates oxygen bubbles in your skin, I guess the extra keratin in my fingerprints prevented it diffusing away initially.

lol I was working with some (C5H5)NiNO
And I accidentally fucked up
broke the container, and spilled it all over the fume-hood
So clean up sucked

Also, thanks. I have some on hand. I assume when you say 'liquid' you mean a solution as opposed to plunging my hand into molten potassium nitrate.

You should do that to the tip of your penis and see what happens

Maybe it will feel good or something, at the very least you can go to the doctor and freak him/her the fuck out.

Barring that, the local swimming pool

>the local swimming pool

I'm sure buying several thousand gallons of hydrogen peroxide couldn't possibly make anyone suspicious. Should I buy some acetone while I'm at it?

>Directions unclear; Gassed the entire city

My mistake, I meant go and show your shiny white penis off at the local swimming pool and freak everyone out with a good old fashioned leprosy scare.

>Directions unclear; Gassed the entire city


>Chemistry lab in northern european uni.
>The glassware and basically everything else is CCCP brand.
>Bunsen lighters work with those orange household butane tanks, everything is sketchy as fuck.
>A retarded girl from my class approaches the gas bell, opens the valve of a lighter and engages in conversation with another retarded bitch.
>Still holding a pack of matches in a hand
>She goes on for a couple of minutes
>To this day, i still dont know why i said nothing.
>Professor sees what is going on, slaps the matches out of her hand, closes the valve and switches the vacuum on.
>"I only ask you guys not to be stupid, is it that much? Can you do it?"
>Everyone keks, she is mortified.
>Class goes on normally

Those labs were so fun, nobody gave a fuck about security guidelines as long as nobody was badly hurt.
I remember we werent even required to use gloves while handling acids, i still have a red spot in my hand from a drop of very diluted HCl i had sitting in there without noticing it.
I learnt shit but i became a virtuoso of the test tube flute

Fuck science.
Science is not something fun.