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A.W. 65.37

Once you have cleaned up the visible droplets of spilled mercury, how do you handle the remaining residue? One option is to sprinkle zinc dust onto the spill site. Zinc dust reacts with elemental mercury to form a very safe amalgam that is easy to handle.

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Hazard Alert

Zinc metal dust can be a dangerous fire risk; may form explosive mixture with air. If allowed to get damp in a confined bottle, heat will be generated and the mixture may even ignite; cases are known where bottles have exploded under pressure. Keep this product dry!

SPECIAL HAZARD ALERT: Granular zinc is often used in a classic lab experiment to turn copper pennies into “silver” and then “gold.” See the Gold Rush Chemical Demonstration Kit (Catalog No. AP8895). Do not use sodium hydroxide in this reaction—the leftover basic zinc residue is a fire hazard. Click here to obtain a complimentary copy of a revised procedure for this demonstration using granular zinc and zinc chloride. 

Product Details

Inorganic #1
Shelf Life:
Acids and alkalies; not water.
CAS No.:
Technical Note:
Due to the high purity of the mossy zinc, it will not sufficiently produce hydrogen gas when introduced to an acid. The reaction can be catalyzed with a few milliliters of 0.5 M copper sulfate.