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Thread: Can you help us identify this Please?

  1. #1 Can you help us identify this Please? 
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    We were walking through the woods one day and came accross a clear glass bottle lying on the ground which was filled with an orange liquid that had a kind of metallic shimmer to it. It also appeared oto have some clear liquid floating on top. The bottle lid was very rusty like it had been there a long time. see pics below

    we opened the bottle with my trusty bottle opener and the stench that came out smelt like rotten eggs, possibly sulphur? we then poured the liquid onto the ground (covered in dry leaves) and it did nothing, we though nothing of it and walked away.

    We got no more than 20 feet away and suddenly it ignited! and smoke billowed from the area it was poured onto. it was clear that the liquid was on fire!
    we tipped our bottles of drink onto the fire and nothing happened, we then lifted a log ontop of it to starve the fire of oxygen, and it still would not go out.
    the fire was crackling and fizzing, not like a normal fire would. we eventually put it out with a bottle of water, but it had been burning a long time at that point. It was also appearing to 'jump' out of the area it began to burn and starting other smaller fires, which gave off more smoke, but went out reletivly quickly (You can see one in the video).
    One more strange thing is that i tried to stamp it out with my shoe just as it first ignited. It set fire to my shoelace very quickly and burnt through it. tapped it repeatadly with my hand. It went out but i recieved a burn. Then, it must of been about 5 minutes later i was running towards the fire to put it out with water and something jumped from my shoe and set fire on the path, it burst into flames, gave off smoke and then went out.

    The video is on youtube under an anonymous account, link below, please watch it as we are desperate to find out why this was in the middle of the woods, it is really baffling us.

    Many thanks


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  3. #2  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    I don't know what it is, but if it smells like rotten eggs then there is a good chance that H2S is present. H2S is toxic, so don't inhale the fumes from this bottle and keep it outside.

    It is an interesting color. If I had some handy I'd run some spec on it. Any labs or universities nearby?


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  4. #3  
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    we could not help inhaling it as we tried to put it out, please see the video.
    how toxic is it?
    p.s we have seen no side effects, the smoke didnt even make us cough

    there is no way we could get it to a lab, its out in the middle of nowhere and there is noway im ever touching it again lol :-D
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  5. #4  
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    Here's a URL explaining the effects of exposure to H2S at different concentrations. ppm = parts per million and is equal to 1 milligram per kilogram (or 1 milligram per liter of water). http://www.alken-murray.com/H2SREM9.HTM
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    0.0047 ppm is the recognition threshold, the concentration at which 50% of humans can detect the characteristic rotten egg odor of hydrogen sulfide
    i found this on wikipedia and it seems like this is the exposure we had,
    can you possibly explain it bursting into flames though?

    i forgot to mention when we opened the lid because it was so rusty some bits of it fell into the liquid, could this have caused it to combust?
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  7. #6  
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    It burst into flames? Is that in the youtube vid?

    It may be a Molitov cocktail that's gotten rusty. They work because they contain phosphorous that ignites upon exposure to air.
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  8. #7  
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    I just watched the vid. You have plenty of fuel around out, so any exothermic processes that occurred when the substance was exposed to air could have caused the fire. Too bad you dumped it out. I have no good answers.
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  9. #8  
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    So do you think if it was emptied onto say concrete that it may have never burst into flames?
    you know i feel so naive now for emptying it and not even considering that it could have been some chemical
    cheers
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  10. #9  
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    I'm saying that it's a possibility. With all of that fuel around it's hard to tell to what extent the reaction took place, just a minimum that doesn't seem too impressive. Most of the fuel appeared to even be dry in the first place.
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  11. #10  
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    do you have a copy of the whole video (unedited)?

    your positive there was no spark?
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  12. #11  
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    hi,
    im sorry we only started filming again when we had walked away and saw smoke. we stopped filming after pouring it out as it did nothing initially.
    im certain that there was no spark from any of us at least.

    and as for an unedited video, i have cut out all of the relevant parts, the rest of it is just us panicking and trying to figure out a way to put out the flames
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  13. #12  
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    My guess would be white phosphorus. It burns spontaneously on contact with air. If left in sunlight it slowly turns into red phosphorus. The bottle was probably left out for so long that it mostly turned into red phosphorus, but there was still enough white left in it to ignite when you poured it out.
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  14. #13  
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    Hmm, i guess we wont know for sure.
    Stumble on through life.
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  15. #14  
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    thanks Scifor Refugee
    so is H2S a byproduct of white phosphorus decomposing?
    thanks for the help guys, i really appreciate it

    EDIT:
    also does anyone have any idea at all why it would be out in the middle of nowhere like that? what use does it have? :?
    thanks
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  16. #15  
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    Well primarily used in flares for military purposes but is used illegaly by both the military or other groups as a weapon. It sticks to the skin burning you to death and so is classed as chemical warfarea and so banned even though it is still in use as that. Emm I have known it to be used to burn fields the poppy fields of afghanistan but whether someone would want to use that on their own land i dont know its pretty volatile. A jar of white phosphourus dunno could have been stolen from a lab or factory?? Although why they would use a capped bottle as a vessel i dont know.
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  17. #16  
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    Red i think you have it!
    thank you for your help everyone
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by silkworm
    Here's a URL explaining the effects of exposure to H2S at different concentrations. ppm = parts per million and is equal to 1 milligram per kilogram (or 1 milligram per liter of water). http://www.alken-murray.com/H2SREM9.HTM
    Just curious. How do you think they know so exactly as to the effects of this poison?
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  19. #18  
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    H2S is a very well known and very well characterized compound. Such detailed information like this can be found for such well known compound through years of being studied and noted, and outside experiments and through investigations of unfortunate incidents.
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  20. #19 Re: Can you help us identify this Please? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by datadestroyer
    We were walking through the woods one day and came accross a clear glass bottle lying on the ground which was filled with an orange liquid that had a kind of metallic shimmer to it. It also appeared oto have some clear liquid floating on top. The bottle lid was very rusty like it had been there a long time. see pics below

    we opened the bottle with my trusty bottle opener and the stench that came out smelt like rotten eggs, possibly sulphur? we then poured the liquid onto the ground (covered in dry leaves) and it did nothing, we though nothing of it and walked away.

    We got no more than 20 feet away and suddenly it ignited! and smoke billowed from the area it was poured onto. it was clear that the liquid was on fire!
    we tipped our bottles of drink onto the fire and nothing happened, we then lifted a log ontop of it to starve the fire of oxygen, and it still would not go out.
    the fire was crackling and fizzing, not like a normal fire would. we eventually put it out with a bottle of water, but it had been burning a long time at that point. It was also appearing to 'jump' out of the area it began to burn and starting other smaller fires, which gave off more smoke, but went out reletivly quickly (You can see one in the video).
    One more strange thing is that i tried to stamp it out with my shoe just as it first ignited. It set fire to my shoelace very quickly and burnt through it. tapped it repeatadly with my hand. It went out but i recieved a burn. Then, it must of been about 5 minutes later i was running towards the fire to put it out with water and something jumped from my shoe and set fire on the path, it burst into flames, gave off smoke and then went out.

    The video is on youtube under an anonymous account, link below, please watch it as we are desperate to find out why this was in the middle of the woods, it is really baffling us.

    Many thanks
    It looks like "agent orange", when it was in the bottle, it was protected from reacting with the air and igniting by oil.
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  21. #20 And so it begins 
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    And so it begins.
    The reproduction of your chemical experience.

    dihydrogen sulphide (tick)
    Glass lidded bottle - MUMMMMMM where did you put the glass coke bottle?

    lol.

    No but seriously someone do it.
    To Whom this may concern.
    This message will waste your time.
    So stop reading it
    Will
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