Hi Susan, As an Analytical Chemist (my properjob!), and work with
concentrated acids all the time. I really wouldnt advise you to keep
your 100% nitric acid in the garage. The precautions you need to
dilute from the large container would be very specific and cause you
some severe safety concerns in the pouring and diluting. If you were
to dilute it, which I wouldnt advise. You would need a special
delivering pipette, safety goggles, thick nitrile gloves
,definately a fumehood( as conc Nitric Acid fumes alot), and other
protective equipment/lab coat/rubber apron, aswell as proper glass
I have seen some horrific acid burns , so extreme care needs to be
taken. My advice would be to donate it to the university, and buy a
strength more suited to your etching needs.
As for etching strengths, I havent done any etching yet, but im sure
other orchid members could advise you.
I you cant get the exact strength you need for etching from a
supplier, maybe you could order dilute Acid closer to the final
strength you need for etching.? And then carefully dilute that (
which would reduce the risk from your stock solution).
Handling guidelines for any acid strength are important to follow,
make sure you are near a supply of running water. Any spillages on
the skin should be flushed immediately with running water for at
least 15 mins before seeking medical help. The damage to the skin
continues fr a long time after the initial spillage. A spillage of
acid on a work bench should be neutralised with sodium bicarbonate
(NaHCO3) , baking soda which you should have nearby when working
with acids. In case of eye contact, promptly flush the eye with
plenty of water for at lest 5 minutes, and as soon as possible seek
When diluting acids, ALWAYS ADD THE UNDILUTED ACID (OR STRONGER
ACID) TO WATER. NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND. which causes dangerous
violent splattering and fuming. Add the acid to water slowly into a
glass heat-resistant container whilst striring with a glass rod. Take
care what container you are mixing in , acids and water together
produce heat which can crack the container,and you could end up
witha very dangerous spillage.
storage of Acids, concentrated or dilute should be well labelled,
in a well ventilated place, where it will not be subjected to heat.
Containers can be sourced from lab equipment suppliers such as BDH
or Fisher, you are looking for pyrex heat resistant beakers, and
they also sell safebreak glass bottles ( coated in plastic) for
storage of your diluted acids.
I hope I havent scared you with this posting, but Acids definately
need to be treated with respect and the correct safety controls
taken. If you had come accross a nasty Acid burn as I have, you would
have the upmost respect for these chemicals.
If you have any questions regaring the dilution factors/etc or
anything else dont hestiate to ask, I will try to answer them for