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Ok, here's the deal. I bought an old 500 gallon propane tank for a project. As I cut the old valves off, the stink attracted flies like mad. I looked in the tank (hasn't had gas in it for years) and there was about a pint of an oily substance. I rolled the tank to dump it out. Dadgum it reeks. That was a mistake..... :lol: I then filled the tank with water, dish detergent, simple green, and any other cleaner I could get ahold of. :laugh: I still smell mercaptan. I'm pretty sure it's where that little bit was dumped out. Any ideas on how to get rid or diffuse this stuff? It's unreal stinky. :lol:

Next time I'll bring the tank over to Blake's place and let him drain it. :good2:

I'm going to keep the tank full for a few days to hopefully leach out the stink inside. I just don't know what to do with the dollar-sized slick in the gravel where I rolled the tank.

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BTW, for those not in the know, Mercaptan is what they put into propane and natural gas to make it very stinky. It takes only one part per billion for a human to smell it. Gas leaks are very noticeable because of this additive.
 

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Ok, let me put it this way. The entire neighborhood is looking for a major gas line break. :lol: It's bad. I'm not very popular right now. :laugh:
 

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Maybe covering over the area of the spill with some topsoil?
 

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:munch:

Bet the fire department shows up before this is all over. No fire, but if everyone is hunting a gas leak...

I rolled my tank upside down with the valves out, the smell hasn't been too bad. I've heard the bleach and water method Arlen mentioned works well though.
 

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Ok, let me put it this way. The entire neighborhood is looking for a major gas line break. :lol: It's bad. I'm not very popular right now. :laugh:
What a very creative way to get to know your neighbors! Good Job!:lol:
 

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TreeFarmer better hope his dog doesn't find out where you live, if he thought rolling in manure smelled bad !! :hide:

I too have heard the bleach and lots of water treatment works.
 

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Lime/Aglime, maybe?
Being Giz is a professional gas person I would go with Gizmos suggestion, can't argue with a Gas pro... and Lime may just work. If you have a local propane dealer give them a call for suggestions.. I am sure they know what to do..
 

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Back when I worked in the laboratory, we had a small vial of the stuff that some of the Chemists were using in their research. It was so stinky, that you could smell it in the lab even though it was in a sealed vial INSIDE OF A FUME HOOD. Mercaptan is a reduced organic Sulfur compound, so spreading it out on the flat ground and (a) pouring gasoline on it and burning it should be a good start, followed by the bleach treatment. Be careful though; when you mix reduced substances like this, especially containing sulfur, with oxidants, especially those containing Chlorine, you usually get a reaction...sometimes violent, sometimes poisonous. I certainly wouldn't confine the material or breathe any of the fumes. In any case, don't be surprised if the stink hangs around for a long time. Given enough time + water + air = something that doesn't stink.

P.S. The link above talks about Peroxide; Hydrogen Peroxide is simply two parts Hydrogen and two parts Oxygen and doesn't contain Chlorine like bleach does. Bleach can produce Chlorine gas, so Peroxide might be a better choice.
 

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Fire!

It's the only method I've found that works, and quickly.

If you're cutting the tank, welding on it, etc - you'll burn up the mercaptan in the process. If you're just trying to make it not stink and not adding any new holes, then a weed burner on the lowest point would be my approach.
 

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Fire!

It's the only method I've found that works, and quickly.

If you're cutting the tank, welding on it, etc - you'll burn up the mercaptan in the process. If you're just trying to make it not stink and not adding any new holes, then a weed burner on the lowest point would be my approach.
Second the opinion on burning it. I just bought a weed torch and I would start with something like that. I would be very careful about mixing other chemicals with it as the combination could be real toxic.........Burn baby burn. It works in the gas appliances in our homes.....

I may have missed it elsewhere, but what is the project for the tank?
 

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We went turkey hunting in PA one year,,, L O N G ago,,,
Each morning, where we camped, a guy drove by in a Model A Ford,,, (yes, the car was real old!! :flag_of_truce:)

After he went by, this terrible smell remained.
It turned out, the guy worked at a natural gas pumping station,,,

He filled the car with fuel at the pumping station,,,,
the fuel was the condensate from the pumping station,,,, :dunno:

We NEVER overslept,,, he came by REAL early!! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, an update. After sitting in the sun all day, the smell has been greatly reduced. I sprayed some degreaser on the gravel, let it sit, then poured some bleach on it. After sitting for a few more minutes, I flushed the site with some water. Seems to have done the trick. :good2: It's not perfect, but I believe it'll all be gone in a few days, what little is left of it.

The tank is full of water right now. It doesn't stink at all. I'm going to let it sit for a couple of days. Let the water leach all the goodies out. At least that's the theory. It'll be safe to cut, weld, and grind on at that point anyway. :good2:
 
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