Re: The Japanese Soap Detergent suicide epidemic???
Another deadly combination is caused by bleach being mixed with ammonia
Household bleach has a chemical formula of NaOCl - that is, one atom each of sodium, oxygen, and chlorine. Its chemical name, for the curious, is sodium hypochlorite. Ammonia has a chemical formula of NH3, that is, one atom of nitrogen and three atoms of hydrogen. When these two compounds are combined, the following reaction takes place:
2(parts)NaOCl + 2NH3 --> 2NaONH3 + Cl2.
Do you see that Cl2 on the right hand side there? This means one part chlorine gas, made up of diatomic (two atom) molecules. It also means that the chlorine gas has been liberated from the bleach, and is quite capable of causing you harm when inhaled!
Another potential reaction, which occurs when a greater amount of bleach is added than ammonia, is this:
3NaOCl + NH3 --> 3NaOH + NCl3
That's sodium hydroxide and Nitrogen Trichloride. Nitrogen Trichloride is a very toxic chemical to humans, and even if you did get close enough to ingest it, it would probably explode in your face first, as it is also a very volatile explosive. There is little necessity in explaining why that is bad.
Still another reaction - in three parts this time - can occur, producing Hydrazine (N2H4, a component of rocket fuel) if you have more ammonia than bleach:
NH3 + NaOCl --> NaOH + NH2Cl.
These two products then react with ammonia as follows:
NH3 + NH2Cl + NaOH -->N2H4 + NaCl + H2O.
One last reaction occurs to stabilise the reagents:
2NH2Cl + N2H4 --> 2 NH4Cl + N2.
This last equation is of particular interest because of the amount of heat it produces. The heat is so great that it usually leads to an explosion.
One should NEVER attempt to create the chemicals described above as it could result in injury or even death.
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