Author Options:

I would like to know what would happen when you dispose used Ferric Chloride into grass? Answered

Haven't been able to find the answer to my question.


Oh, I forgot to ask:  About your used ferric chloride, what was used for?  I mean what other things are dissolved in it besides Fe+3, and Cl-?   If it was used for etching copper-clad circuit boards, then it is full of dissolved copper.

BTW, since you are wondering about how to dispose of used etchants, I think there are processes for recycling/regenerating the etchant that are maybe even easy enough to accomplish at home...

For example I think you could pull the copper out of your used etchant through electrowinning.

Oxidizing the spent Fe+2 back to Fe+3 may be more challenging.

But there are other etchants, like cupric chloride, CuCl2,
that are easier to regenerate.

Also, Youtube chemistry guru, Nurdrage, made some videos on the subject of homemade circuit board etchants.
Make 10 Etchants for Copper Printed Circuit Boards

Make Ferric Chloride (for etching printed circuit boards)

Anyway, what I was originally going to say is, if your used echant does not contain anything more toxic than dissolved copper,then it's probably OK to dump it on the lawn.  However, if for some strange reason, your etchant has more toxic metals, like lead, mercury, arsenic, plutonium, etc, then you DO NOT want to dump it on the lawn. For those kinds of dissolved metals you probably want to take it the place that takes accepts car batteries, and other kinds of batteries, for recycling.  If necessary, label it as "battery acid", if that's what it takes to get them to take it from you.

LOL I find it funny that you mentioned plutonium as if I am able to get that element like nothing. Well for now I only use it for making PCB's. I marked you as the best answer for providing extra information. Thank's a lot to Jack A Lopez and the rest who took the time to give me an answer. I appreciate it.

Well, I guess I just wanted to make sure all the bases were covered.  You never can tell what the kids might be working on in the garage these days.

[Onion News] Report Finds Troubling Rise In Teen Uranium Enrichment

Oh my god, that is just too much! This made my day. That was very funny.

At the very least, you should neutralise it by putting limestone into it. If its loaded with copper, its deadly to marine life, so it needs to be very highly diluted before disposal.

That reminds me: I have this image I uploaded, of a 2 pound (1 kilo) bottle of copper sulfate pentahydrate.  I mean it was probably in response to a question like, "Where can I find copper sulfate?", or something like that.

But it makes me think: That 1 kg bottle contains about 250 grams of soluble Cu+2 (if I did the math right) and it is probably like a marine life Hiroshima if it gets dumped all in one place.  It's sold as "root killer" for septic line plumbing, and the instructions on the bottle say to flush it down the toilet.  Ha!

Anyway, I'll do my best to keep my copper sulfate, and other water soluble copper,  out of the reach of the fishes.

Link to MSDS for this product:


thanks for all of your answers i was wondering what would happen but couldn't find any similar questions. I was about to do it last night but i ended up putting the amount of liquid i used into a bottle instead. Thank's a lot.

Most likely, it will kill the grass, and anything living in the soil.

I'm working from memory here, but I believe it is illegal to just dump ferric chloride. It will at least need to be massively diluted before disposal into sewers, and in many areas it will probably need to be disposed of professionally.

I think the answer may depend on the concentration. If you dilute it with enough water, it might actually be good for your grass, especially if the soil is too alkaline, or lacking iron.

In high concentrations, it might be too much acid, and the grass might die.

But , you know, grass is cheap.  So test it out in a just a small spot on your lawn, or a small spot on someone else's lawn, if that's more convenient.

It is an acid so I guess it will kill the grass and stop anything growing there.

On the other hand in most places it will be against the law to just dump waste chemicals an where - they should be disposed of properly. A local school science department should have suitable disposal system and may help you out.