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Typical Absorbents

Chemical             

Neutralizer, Absorbent, or Spill Containment

Acids              

Sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, or calcium carbonate

Acid Chlorides           

Dry sand or other inert absorbent.  Do not use water or sodium bicarbonate           

Alkali Metals (Lithium, Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium)   

Dry sand or contents from a Class "D" fire extinguisher. Do not use water

Bases

Sodium bisulfate

Bromine

5% solution of sodium thiosulfate or other inert material

Flammables

Activated charcoal, sand or non-combustible absorbent pads

Hydrofluoric Acid

Neutralize with soda ash or lime (or absorb with special HF spill pillow - standard spill pads will NOT work)

Mercury

Mercury amalgamate powder, such as Merc-sorb

Oil

Granular absorbent or oil-specific absorbent pads (especially important if a spill is on water; oil-specific absorbents will only absorb the oil)

Oxidizers

non-combustible absorbent pads

Solvents (organic) 

Inert absorbent material

Thiols/Mercaptans             

The odor of thiols and mercaptans may be removed with activated charcoal

White or Yellow Phosphorus         

Cover with wet sand or wet absorbent