Tech 200 and Nitric Acid

This is really two questions: How to find one and how to get rid
of the other (in an environmentally friendly way if that is
possible). I am having trouble finding Tech200 paper (I am told
Meadowlake Corp. no longer carries it). This is like tranparency
paper which, when used in a laser printer or photocopy machine,
picks up the toner which can then be transferred to metal using a
heat process. Unfortunately, transparency paper does not release
the toner in the same manner.

Does anyone have any about where and how nitric acid
can be disposed of that would not hurt the environment?

Anna Love
Norman, OK

Does anyone have any about where and how nitric acid
can be disposed of that would not hurt the environment?

There may be a way to safely neutralize nitric acid by
yourself… but concentrated nitric acid is very dangerous
stuff. Unless you really know what you are doing, and unless you
are equipped to handle it you should not! Often, your local fire
department will take toxics off your hands for free, or for a
small fee. Another suggestion would be to donate it to a
highschool or unversity chemistry lab. Also you must be very
careful in handling it while transporting it. Talk to your local
fire department about that too. Good Luck


Provided the acid does not contain other contaminants such as
heavy metals which then qualifies the stuff as hazardous waste
small amounts and small spills of nitric acid can be
neutralized and disposed off with baking soda (ie. sodium
bicarbonate Na2HCO3) or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). Both
products are available in any grocery store.

The acid will react with either of these powders to give off a
gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and a salt sodium nitrate (NaNO3)
which is garden fertilizer. When no more gas is given off (no
more fizz) all the acid would have been neutralized. Excess
carbonate is harmless to the environment- you cook with and eat
that stuff don’t you…

The chances are that after some time most people will get too
comfortable with acid + carbonate fizz and get careless. So
from the very beginning make it a HABIT always to dilute the
concentrated acid by adding the acid to water, NEVER water to
the acid. Similarly, when applicable, pour the acid into the
the neutralizer. Of course in a spill the only thing you can do
is to sprinkle the carbonate on the spill.

The carbonates can also be used to neutralize other shop-use

Hydrochloric and carbonate will give off CO2 and sodium
chloride (NaCl) which is common salt.

Sulphuric acid will give off CO2 and sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) ,
a stuff which commonly appears, among other hard water
compounds, as a white furry deposit on your furnace humidifier.
Kelvin Mok (

Home: (403) 463-4099 | Home FAX: (403) 430-7120

I’ve been using a paper that works like this and it is called
PNP paper by my source. It is very blue and pay $10 for 5
sheets. I get it at Enamelworks in Seattle. To order call 800-596-3257.

Does anyone have any about where and how nitric acid
can be disposed of that would not hurt the environment?

Most local refuse centers (the dump) have hazardous waste
collection sites or scheduled days when they collect wastes from
households. You can then give them small amounts of carefully
labeled materials for proper disposal.

Rick Hamilton

    Does anyone have any about where and how
nitric acid can be disposed of that would not hurt the

G’day; Yes; first dilute it by pouring it into water in a
plastic bucket whilst constantly stirring WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES AND
your skin, wash it thoroughly under the tap, You’ll get a yellow
stain, which will take a week to wear off. Add washing soda
(sodium carbonate) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) until
fizzing stops, then add just a little bit more, as it is
important that the acid is completely neutralised… Mix the
liquid with plenty of dry dirt to completely absorb the liquid,
and still be fairly dry after mixing. Dispose of it in the
friendly neighbourhood rubbish tip, or put out with the trash;
preferably don’t bag it but scatter it among the other stuff. You
will have produced sodium nitrate, which is a powerful
oxidising agent (it’s sometimes used in fireworks!), so don’t
absorb it into sawdust, or anything organic in nature as it
causes it to catch fire easily. Just be careful and use common
sense. When I was a lab-boy at my first job (aged 15!) I
once put my hand in a large jug which I thought was empty, but it
was full of concentrated nitric acid. I ran cold water straight
from the tap and washed it very thoroughly. My hand and arm up
to the elbow were bright yellow for a week then the stained and
now dead skin slowly sloughed away, and I was none the worse.
It was in the evening and I was alone in the Polytech Chemistry
Dept prep room! I daren’t let anyone know; I was afraid that
I might have got the sack for carelessness: it was during the
Depression, in the East End of London, when you were lucky to
have a job, and you did your best to keep it.

/ /
/ /
/ /| \ @John_Burgess2
At sunny Nelson NZ

PNP blue sounds similar to tech 200. Another source is Reactive
Metals. http.// for online catalog.
Kelvan Moks post on diluted and or neutralized acids is a very
good comment. In reasonable quantities the products are not an
environmental hazard. Actualy dilute nitric acid will green up
the lawn. Being PC is a big problem sometimes. Jesse

Hi Anna-

I don’t know about the Tech200, but have you tried PnP Blue
paper from Techniks, Inc? Does a beautiful job of transferring
copied images. Go to for info. Also see
the thread in the Archives under Photoetching.

About the nitric acid, first neutralize it with baking soda. Use
a big container to do this because it will make a lot of foam
as it reacts. You will need a lot of baking soda, have a couple
of large boxes on hand, depending on the volume of nitric you’re
working with. Just add the baking soda slowly, a little bit at a
time, until it doesn’t fizz any more. (It’ll take several
additions.) If you want to be safe, you can test the result with
litmus paper to see if it’s still acidic. This isn’t an
especially hazardous procedure; just wear gloves and an apron and
eye protection (which you’d do with nitric anyway, right?). I’d
suggest using a deep plastic bucket to neutralize it in, because
the foam will froth up like crazy and the fizz bubbles will be
violently active in the beginning. You don’t want the foam to
splatter on you. Baking soda just neutralizes the acid, however;
it doesn’t make the material “non-toxic”. It will now be a
non-acidic solution full of metal ions which (in my opinion)
shouldn’t be flushed down the drain. But you can safely transport
it and there’s not the danger of a spill which might badly burn
someone. Many areas have “household hazardous waste” recyling
available through the sanitary companies. You might ask around
about this.

Hope this helps.


At great personal risk of appearing obtuse, I would like to pose
a question of what may prove to be of somewhat dubious value.

Of what value is the act of neutralizing nitric acid?

Nitric acid is not very stable. It pretty quickly reacts with a
lot of stuff. Unlike hmmm… plutonium, it can be found in
nature. Unlike mercury, lead, arsenic, or cadmium it won’t build
up in tissues. Although it is corrosive, I would suggest that it
can be diluted with water so that there will be minimal damage
to drain pipes, particularly the newer PVCs.

Neutralizing nitric acid with sodium bicarbonate quickly
produces a lot of CO2 along with sending some of the acid
airborne. If you are doing this, depending on how much acid you
are disposing of, I would suggest taking some care not to do it
in a closed area among other things. I would also suspect that
even the salts produced might still be corrosive to the drain

I’m sure that someone will come back with the question “Why take
chances?”. Why indeed?

Anyone a little more chemically inclined in the group?

Hi, Also when you are neutrilizing what about a good gas mask,
in addition to worrying about the evironment and our pipes, how
about our lungs!!!

A Very Happy Holiday to All!!
A Unique Place to Shop!

Personally I’d get a very large pile of wet sawdust and pour the
acid onto it, then hose it down some and dig it into the garden.
Nitric acid is pretty hermless once it’s diluted. What none of
these postings have taken into account yet, is that if you add
concentrated acid to bicarbonate of soda or any other
neutralizing agent, it will produce a lot of heat as well.
Neutralizing it is potentially very dangerous and not actually
necessary. Oh, and plutonium, it’s artificial! It doesn’t occur

Alex Ball
Electron Microscope Unit
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 9BD

Tel 0171 938 8973/9348
Fax 0171 938 9268

With so many answers such as these to the acid neutralizing

"Also when you are neutrilizing what about a good gas mask,
in addition to20 worrying about the evironment and our pipes, how
about our lungs!!! "…

I suggest again that this type of work should be left to the
experts who have the skill and the protective equipment to
handle dangerous substances.


Have a safe and happu holiday season

Milt Fischbein

 Oh, and plutonium, it's artificial! It doesn't occur

In all of the universe it has never occured? That seems like an
odd sort of statement. Seems to me that it is humankinds nature
to make at the least a little to just to play with.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler

    Oh, and plutonium, it's artificial! It doesn't occur

But it does occur naturally! It is the result of the supernovae
process. However, the reason that we don’t find it in our solar
system is that we’ve been around too long. All of the original
plutonium has decayed into its daughter elements, of which we
have found all over the planet. Merry Christmas to everybody, and
happy sunreturn to everybody else.