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Anna
Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11421
Experience:  Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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for Anna only Hello Anna hope that you are keeping well.

Customer Question

`for Anna only` Hello Anna hope that you are keeping well. Was looking for som information answers to new scene for my stories.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Hi Ewan,

I hope you're now totally recovered from your surgery. Give me the details of what you need, and I'll work on them this afternoon (at least it's afternoon here).

Thank you.

Anna
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My back is doing really well thanks . What i would like to know for my stories is a guy double crosses some drug barons /mafia bosses , they decide to Kill him and then dispose of him in a bath full of Lye. I have heard about this substance ,what will it do to guy in the picture placed in the bath with it ,Look forward to your reply , many thanks in advance.

Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Well, you certainly come up with some interesting scenarios. The funeral industry has actually come up with a name for the process: alkaline hydrolysis. Some universities have been using it as a way to dispose of the remains of cadavers donated to science. That process is a little more complicated because it also uses high pressure, as well as lye and heat. You can read more about its history and other details here:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4828249

I also found a video that shows how quickly a chicken's foot dissolved in plain, unheated lye. In just a few minutes, nothing was left but bone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IoH1rwYc68

Now for your scenario. After killing the guy in the drug deal gone bad, we'll assume the perpetrators have a huge vat they can heat to 300 degrees.They throw the body in. Within a few seconds, the skin turns a yellowish color. Within a minute, the skin, clothing and hair have dissolved. Because human ligaments, muscles, etc. are thicker and stronger than those in a chicken's foot, it will take longer to dissolve them, but within an hour and half, all we'd see floating in that vat is a skeleton. After another 90 minutes, nothing human would be identifiable. There would be a thick, oily tan liquid, and some powder resembling ash in the vat. This entire process would take 3 hours. As for anyone knowing what happened, investigators familiar with alkaline hydrolysis would know something thatw as once alive been dissolved in the vat, but they'd need a lot more evidence to gain any convictions. I must say, a pretty grisly, but effective, way to dispose of a body.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Wow great information , I think Way back decades ago thats were the term to liquidate someone came from.


As you say a grissley byt effective way od disposing of some one .


 


Did not think it would have dissolved the skin tight red trunks tthats he had on thou , and other clothes.

Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.

Lye is sodium hydroxide, a very strong base (alkaline chemical). Yes, lye is used to make cleaning products, but straight lye is extremely corrosive and can even damage metal. Lye strong enough to dissolve a body is also strong enough to dissolve clothing. You can confirm this here - scroll down tot he section on sodium hydroxide):

http://pfbrandt.faculty.noctrl.edu/teaching/CHM113/lab/labs/7_acids.pdf

Lye used in bleaches and other cleaning products is chemically changed into Sodium Hypochlorite, which bleaches but doesn't destroy. As a student in college chemistry classes, I learned that if we got sodium hydroxide on our clothes we had to throughly rinse it quickly if we didn't want a hole to develop.

Anna

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