There’re various uses of denatured alcohol in home and industry. Being a solvent, it’s an excellent household cleaning agent due to its grease-cutting nature that exceeds the usual soaps and detergents. While used frequently as rubbing alcohol and fuel for camp stoves; all denatured alcohols like ethanol, methanol, rubbing alcohol and ethyl acetate are classified as hazardous waste as per the Resource Conversation Recovery Act (RCRA). Due to their flammable characteristics, great care must be taken with disposal.
Denatured alcohol – Steps to safety disposal
1. Keep the production area free of heat sources, flames, sparks and all, including tobacco smoke and gas pilot lights as well. Make sure the workspace has proper ventilation to rid fumes!
2. Carefully place a leak-proof container on the floor that should be large enough to store entire amount of denatured alcohol along with sand, dirt or cat litter to absorb the fluid.
3. Ethanol; as a flammable liquid is forbidden to dispose in public places as well as sewers. So even a small proportion must be discarded appropriately.
4. Cautiously pour down denatured alcohol into the container. Always shield your eyes, hands and entire body to avoid making direct contact.
5. Relocate the absorbed alcohol and sand mixture into a metal or glass container; seal the lid and keep it tight! In-case the container’s compromised or leaked, replace immediately.
6. Properly label the container with masking tape, sticker paper or company-provided labels identifying the chemical stored inside. Write product’s name if you’re unaware of precise chemical content of the solution.
7. Every time while disposing hazardous waste materials or handling such chemicals, contact local waste disposal services like the usual city dump. Once you fill the container with waste content, keep it in a cool and dry place until being discarded.
Denatured alcohol poses serious health threat that includes nausea, drowsiness/dizziness from ingestion or inhaling its fumes, skin dehydration and eye irritation. It’s therefore advised that always handle wearing safety gear and with the right apparatus to avoid accident.
Mr. Khaled S. Al-Dossary presented this valuable information about safely disposal of denatured alcohol. He’s a proud associate of Sipchem; a leading petrochemical and chemical manufacturing company, headquartered in Saudi Arabia.