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URGENT - Storing lithium after it's begun smoking/sparking Answered

Call me stupid, because I am, but I was extracting lithium from an old phone battery when it begun sparking and smoking a lot, I dumped it in some vegetable oil seconds after it started but it's vessel is still warm, and I'm worried it'll ignite, help me?

2 Replies

Jack A Lopez (author)2018-04-11

Probably for now ,the best thing to do is just put it somewhere where it won't catch anything else on fire.

If you have a back yard, I suggest just putting it out in the yard somewhere, like away from stuff it could catch on fire.

If you live in an apartment, I dunno. Maybe put it the bathtub or shower stall.

In either case, you kind of want somewhere where you can watch it, and hope that it cools off.

I am not too worried, if the total amount of lithium metal is just the amount contained in one cell phone battery.

By the way, I think storage under mineral oil is the usual trick for protecting reactive metals, like sodium, lithium, etc, for protecting them from air and moisture.

Is now a bad time to point out that mineral oil and vegetable oil are not the same thing?

In the case that it does want to catch itself on fire, I am trying to think what the best way to extinguish something that is simulatneously a grease fire, and a reactive metal fire?

Probably the best bet is to just shovel dirt onto it. Which is why a back yard, and a shovel, would be best for this kind of chemistry project gone wrong.

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