Daily Archives: February 13, 2015

Transporting in Bulk

Chemistry is the usual place for an introduction. You’re apt to meet a pint, liter, or slightly larger glass container with caution labels plastered on both sides.

Like its chemical relatives, you’ll be taught to handle small amounts. A drop here. Several milliliters measured in a pipet — use the bulb! (Mouth pipetting went out of fashion for safety reasons decades ago. I survived the practice to tell this tale.)

Industry uses larger amounts. Producing fertilizer by the ton. Adding tang to a small river of cola or vats of toothpaste.

The literature describes the 85% solution as “colorless, odorless, and non-volatile.” Still — I was reassured by the clean, non-corroded condition of this bulk container.

Would you like a drop of Phosphoric with that?

Would you like a drop of Phosphoric with that?