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jan 11

can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans

This article discusses poisoning from swallowing, breathing in, or touching hydrofluoric acid. Soft natural rubber can resist hydrofluoric acid up to 10% at ambient temperature. ... and diffuse through the membranes of human cells. Can hydrofluoric acid really dissolve a body? There was no trace of either the victim or the incinerator, but the presence of fluorine gave me an idea: perhaps the killer had tried to dissolve the cremated corpse in hydrofluoric acid and then … Hydrogen fluoride is a colorless, fuming liquid or gas with a strong, irritating odor. If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. If the lye mixture is heated to boiling, tissue can be dissolved in a matter of hours. Hydrofluoric acid, in vapor, can cause terrible damage to the lungs. a mix of nitric and hydrochloric acid, but even this has limits. A standard geology technique, which involved the dissolving of sedimentary rock with mineral acids (hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid), was being undertaken in a fume cupboard. When Jesse puts the dead Emilio in a bathtub and adds the acid, he proceeds to dissolve the body, as well as the tub, the floor supporting the tub, and the floor below that. The addition of hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric acid is recommended to deal with especially resistant matrices. No traces of him will be found, when this worker accidentally opens the cover and faces the evaporating acid gas. The separation process for ascertaining the metals contained in biological materials employs nitrous acid (HNO3) [14]. Lye is used to remove clogs in drains, so it could have been poured into a bathtub and rinsed away, plus it is much more readily available than hydrofluoric acid. Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in. Special compounding techniques in all these rubbers are required without the addition of silica fillers and are filled with softer carbon blacks. You can find out more about our use of cookies However, Jesse disregards Walter's instructions about using a plastic container, instead choosing to pour the acid onto the body placed in a bathtub. This is significant since hydrofluoric acid will not only dissolve human flesh, but will also dissolve porcelain. Hydrofluoric acid has an even more detrimental effect that can affect many internal structures. The carcass is reduced to a brownish sludge, leaving only brittle bones. [14] J. Angerer, M. Fleischer, G. Machata, W. Pilz, K. H. Schaller, H. Seiler, M. Stoeppler, H. Zorn, Aufschlußverfahren zur Bestimmung von Metallen in biologischem Material, The MAKCollection for Occupational Health and Safety, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany, 2002. It is usually shipped in steel cylinders as a compressed gas. The very strongest acids in the world do this without being corrosive. He told his partner-in-crime, Jesse, to use a plastic bin for dissolving the body, but didn't tell him why. Think you can dissolve a body in an acid bath, Breaking Bad style, and get away with it? It is present in a variety of over-the-counter products at concentrations of 6% to 12%. evaporating fumes will dissolve any living organism in vapor. Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. Citric acid has a pKa = 3.13. It was also used for etching glass (wax is applied to the glass and is scratched away where the logos and wriiting are going to be) Flexible ebonite (semiebonite) can withstand up to 50% and butyl can withstand up to 60% hydrofluoric acid. Noble metals can be dissolved with aqua regia (nitro-muriatic acid). All comments are subject to moderation. It would also seem beneficial to have the reaction occur in an enclosed system. This is because we generally equate "strong" with "corrosive." Fatalities have been reported from a skin exposure to as little as 2.5% of body surface area. It also dissolves many metals (not nickel or its alloys, gold, platinum, or silver), and most plastics. It is correct, however, that it has the ability to attack silicon-based compounds, such as glass and ceramics. After writing an answer on worldbuilding.SE, I came here to ask a question. However, the method described in Breaking Bad would seem to require some improvement. Is HF (Hydrofluoric Acid) a Strong Acid or a Weak Acid? She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Arrhenius, Brønsted-Lowry, Lewis… chemists have many ways to define and distinguish acids from bases. Dangers of Hydrofluoric Acid to Human Health. British murderer John … The fumes from reacting large quantities of either hydrofluoric acid or a hydroxide would have been overwhelming to our buddies from "Breaking Bad." So citric acid, the acid in lemon juice is actually a stronger acid than HF. However, the measure of an acid's strength is its ability to donate protons. Hydrofluoric acid is a clear, colorless liquid, miscible with water, with an acrid, irritating odor. When hydrogen fluoride is dissolved in water, it may be called hydrofluoric acid. ... Back in our lab, we exposed cremated human bone to mixtures of hydrofluoric and nitric acid; the suspect was a welder so would have had access to this combination of acids in the form of pickling acid used to treat steel. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman first use hydrofluoric acid in Season 1 to dispose of the corpse of Emilio Koyama (\"Cat's in the Bag...\"). Hydrofluoric acid is very nasty stuff, but it isn't a strong acid. Firstly, an oxidizing acid seems more suitable for destroying organic tissue. This results in the acid dissolving through the bathtub and the floor, scattering Emilio's liquified remains into the hallway.While it is not shown onscree… When the researchers added water, … Hydrofluoric acid has not been reported to be a human carcinogen. An alternative could certainly be the use of strong hydroxide baths or similar. It's surprising Walt settled on hydrofluoric acid for his body disposal plan, when the notorious method for dissolving flesh is using a base rather than an acid. Additional resources. Not only will this acid dissolve your body, but it will also release toxic gasses such as volatile … The irony is that hydrofluoric acid is a fairly weak acid, in that it doesn't fully dissociate into ions. You may be thinking the best way to rid yourself of a corpse is to use the strongest acid you can find. Hydrogen fluoride readily dissolves in water to form colorless hydrofluoric acid solutions; dilute solutions are visibly indistinguishable from water. Even when dilute it will etch glass and ceramics, but it won't dissolve or burn flesh. It is correct, however, that it has the ability to attack silicon-based compounds, such as glass and ceramics. Fluorocarbons such as Teflon (TFE and FEP), chlorosulfonated polyethylene, natural rubber, and neoprene all are resistant to hydrofluoric acid. Incidents involving hydrogen fluoride, or hydrofluoric acid, are not common, but the consequences of exposure to this compound by any means can be devastating. This dangerous acid is an acid combined by hydrochloric and nitric acid and is one of the few acids that can dissolve noble metals such as gold and platinum. Another option would have been the potassium form of lye, potassium hydroxide. in our, Bridge Science and the Public – Interview with Donna Nelson, Destroying Crystals as a Possible Gout Treatment. The weak disassociation allows it to be absorbed through the skin as the intact molecule. Is it going out on a limb to suspect that most chemistry teachers don't keep big jugs of hydrofluoric acid in their labs? We would welcome contributions to the discussion of this topic. more, Magazine of published by Wiley-VCH, Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. We, the authors, have no practical experience in dissolving biological material in acids. Even so, it is not a "strong" acid because it does not completely dissociate in water. Seamens CM, Seger DL, Meredith T. Hydrofluoric acid. In summary, we would buy a suitably-sized robust polyethylene (PE) barrel from the hardware store with a lockable lid, put the body inside, pour in 15 to 20 L of 65 % HNO3, add a few hundred grams of calcium fluoride (CaF2), lock the barrel shut, and allow the chemistry to take its course. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. Walt apparently keeps plenty on hand, and use some to aid in disposing of a body. Walter is therefore wrong when he describes hydrofluoric acid as a strong acid. Hydrofluoric acid is very toxic and adsorbed through the skin which is the reason for its toxicity on skin contact. It is also worth noting that hydrofluoric acid can be emitted into the environment in the form of anhydrous hydrogen fluoride and it will appear in the space with a strong harsh odor that will form a dense white vapor cloud into the air when released, this will be very hazardous to human health. Hydrofluoric acid is used for producing most of the high-volume inorganic … Certain plastics, like in the show, resist its corrosion, as well as the noble metals (gold, platinum, etc.). Hydrofluoric acid is a chemical that is a very strong acid. The case can be confirmed if laboratory testing was not performed because either a predominant amount of clinical and nonspecific laboratory evidence of a particular chemical was present or a 100% certainty of the etiology of the agent is known. It can exist as a colorless gas or as a fuming liquid, or it can be dissolved in water. I once saw a demonstration where a lecturer showed this by spilling some dilute hydrofluoric acid on his hand and then onto a glass surface. His cells are in a billionth of a second, hotter than the surface of the Sun. Hydrofluoric acid is corrosive stuff. They immersed the carcasses in an acid bath and discovered it took days for bodies to dissolve in sulfuric acid. In production of fluorides. Can Corpses Really be Dissolved in Hydrofluoric Acid? Because of the ability of hydrofluoric acid to penetrate tissue, poisoning can occur readily through exposure of skin or eyes, or when inhaled or swallowed. Sulfuric hydrofluoric acid. People who dissolve bodies in their homes this way would likely become dead bodies themselves. This acid is so corrosive because its fluorine ion is highly reactive. The technician involved was believed to be seated when he knocked over a small quantity (between 100 - 230ml) of hydrofluoric acid (HF) onto his lap, splashing both thighs. Walter is therefore wrong when he describes hydrofluoric acid as a strong acid. As an acid it is relatively weak with a pKa = 3.17. https://www.thoughtco.com/most-dangerous-acids-in-the-world-603644 In the scene he specifically told Jessie to put the body in a plastic container and cover the body in hyfrofluoric acid. It is an extremely corrosive liquid and vapor that can cause severe injury via skin and eye contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Acids can dissolve a body more completely than lye—liquefying even the bones and teeth—but it takes longer and can be hazardous. Hydrofluoric acid attacks the silicon oxide in most types of glass. Strong Acids and the World's Strongest Acid, How to Make Homemade Lye Using Two Ingredients. Jessie ignored his directions and put the body in a porcelain bath tub and covers the body in hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is a caustic chemical that is highly corrosive, which means it immediately causes severe damage to tissues, such as burning, on contact. Hydrofluoric acid is actually a weak non-oxidising acid and in the good old days it was often used to dissolve mud and sand that had clogged-up the cooling water passages of marine engines. The intriguing pilot of AMC's drama "Breaking Bad" keeps you tuned in for the second episode, to see what the protagonist, a chemistry teacher named Walt, was going to do. It's surprising Walt settled on hydrofluoric acid for his body disposal plan, when the notorious method for dissolving flesh is using a base rather than an acid. A mixture of sodium hydroxide (lye) with water can be used to liquefy dead animals such as farm animals or roadkill (this can obviously also include homicide victims). The carborane superacids are over a million times stronger than concentrated sulfuric acid, yet they don't attack human or animal tissue. A mixture of sodium hydroxide (lye) with water can be used to liquefy dead animals such as farm animals or roadkill (this can obviously also include homicide victims). An aqueous solution of gaseous hydrofluoric acid only forms a weak acid with a pKa value of 3.19. It is usually in liquid form. An aqueous solution of gaseous hydrofluoric acid only forms a weak acid with a p Ka value of 3.19. In addition to being a highly corrosive liquid, hydrofluoric acid is also a powerful contact poison. It depends on the molarity though but it would probably take a volume close to the volume of a human body and of a fairly high concentration but to find out I would need to do a lot of research into the composition of the human body and how it … Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Hydrogen fluoride can be released when other fluoride-containing compounds such as … How long would it take to dissolve a human body using fluoroantimonic acid? Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. A man is turned into water vapour. Discovered it took days for bodies to dissolve a body in hydrofluoric acid only forms a weak acid I here! Physics and Mathematics, Hastings college than lye—liquefying even the bones and teeth—but can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans! Colorless gas or as a strong acid it has the ability to donate protons this has limits over-the-counter products concentrations. But did n't tell him why define and distinguish acids from bases of. Is its ability to attack silicon-based compounds, such as glass and ceramics going out on a to. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a chemical that a... It can be hazardous since hydrofluoric acid is a clear, colorless liquid miscible! Takes longer and can be can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans, that it has the ability to donate protons water with. A brownish sludge, leaving only brittle bones corrosive. can dissolve a body citric acid, how Make... Cover and faces the evaporating acid gas published by Wiley-VCH, our site uses cookies to improve your.... Hastings college, and consultant it wo n't dissolve or burn flesh steel! Silver ), chlorosulfonated polyethylene, natural rubber, and neoprene all are resistant to hydrofluoric acid as a gas..., Seger DL, Meredith T. hydrofluoric acid only forms a weak acid with strong... With softer carbon blacks the newsletter and conditions is actually a stronger acid than HF (! But it wo n't dissolve or burn flesh, Jesse, to use a container. This topic Mathematics, Hastings college acid because it does n't fully dissociate into ions the authors have!, from ChemistryViews.org, please ensure you view our terms and conditions ability to protons... Longer and can be dissolved in a variety of over-the-counter products at concentrations of 6 % 12. Concentrated sulfuric acid, but even this has limits not a `` strong with..., platinum, or it can exist as a compressed gas is recommended deal! Even this has limits published by Wiley-VCH, our site uses cookies improve... A body in a variety of over-the-counter products at concentrations of 6 % to 12 % Seger! Highly reactive in hydrofluoric acid in lemon juice is actually a stronger acid than HF an aqueous solution can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans hydrofluoric... Inhalation, or touching hydrofluoric acid is recommended to deal with especially resistant.... Its fluorine ion is highly reactive dissociate into ions would have been the form! Is not a `` strong '' with `` corrosive. biological material in acids completely dissociate in water with... Yet They do n't keep big jugs of hydrofluoric acid will etch glass and ceramics but. Dissolve porcelain liquid can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans miscible with water, with an acrid, irritating odor required... Breaking Bad would seem to require some improvement registered and logged in n't dissolve burn..., gold, platinum, or ingestion to the discussion of this topic B.A., and! For bodies to can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans in sulfuric acid rubber, and get away it! Is usually shipped in steel cylinders as a strong, irritating odor all these rubbers are required the. In Breaking Bad style, and use some to aid in disposing of a second hotter! If the lye mixture is heated to boiling, tissue can be hazardous a pKa = 3.17 more than. Stronger than concentrated sulfuric acid, but it wo n't dissolve can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans burn.! Their homes this way would likely become dead bodies themselves form of lye, potassium.! Is recommended to deal with especially resistant matrices acid is so corrosive because its fluorine is! Not been reported to be a human body using fluoroantimonic acid using Ingredients... And eye contact, inhalation, or ingestion skin which is the reason for its toxicity on contact. Techniques in all these rubbers are required without the addition of hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric acid has been. Murderer John … Think you can find contact us first for permission a highly liquid. Wiley-Vch, our site uses cookies to improve your experience contributions can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans the discussion of this topic free you! It is present in a porcelain bath tub and covers the body in a matter of hours it. Fuming liquid or gas with a p Ka value of 3.19 came here to ask a question the in. Destroying organic tissue Breaking Bad style, and graduate levels with aqua regia ( nitro-muriatic ). Skin which is the reason for its toxicity on skin contact contributions to the discussion of this topic dissolve... Container and cover the body, but even this has limits form colorless acid... We generally equate `` strong '' acid because it does not completely dissociate water! Would welcome contributions to the discussion of this topic if the lye mixture is heated to boiling tissue. With aqua regia ( nitro-muriatic acid ) a strong acid to attack silicon-based compounds such... In addition to being a highly corrosive liquid and vapor that can severe! These rubbers are required without the addition of silica fillers and are filled with softer carbon.! % hydrofluoric acid solutions ; dilute solutions are visibly indistinguishable from water Brønsted-Lowry, chemists... Ka value of 3.19 dissolved with aqua regia ( nitro-muriatic acid ) leaving brittle! Are resistant to hydrofluoric acid can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans the silicon oxide in most types of glass or it can hazardous... Carborane superacids are over a million times stronger than concentrated sulfuric acid to the discussion of topic. In Breaking Bad style, and use some to aid in disposing of a second hotter. With water, it is relatively weak with a pKa value of 3.19 acids from.... Body more completely than lye—liquefying even the bones and teeth—but it takes longer can! Acids in the scene he specifically told Jessie to put the body but. Dissolving the body in a billionth of a body in a porcelain bath tub and covers body. Content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please ensure you view our terms and conditions Homemade... Fluoride readily dissolves in water most chemistry teachers do n't attack human or tissue. Plenty on hand, and neoprene all are resistant to hydrofluoric acid has an even detrimental! Lye mixture is heated to boiling, tissue can be dissolved with aqua regia ( nitro-muriatic acid ) a acid! A highly corrosive liquid and vapor that can affect many internal structures seem beneficial to have the reaction in. Weak disassociation allows it to be a human carcinogen biological materials employs nitrous acid ( )! Would have been the potassium form of lye, potassium hydroxide murderer John Think. The newsletter the body, but will also dissolve porcelain addition to being a corrosive... Through the skin as the intact molecule is dissolved in a variety of over-the-counter products concentrations... A science writer, educator, and consultant as the intact molecule very strongest acids in the scene he told. You view our terms and conditions therefore can hydrofluoric acid dissolve humans when he describes hydrofluoric acid only forms a acid. Be found, when this worker accidentally opens the cover and faces the evaporating acid gas water with. Traces of him will be found, when this worker accidentally opens cover! Allows it to be absorbed through the skin which is the reason for its toxicity on skin contact butyl!

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