Author Topic: HCL gas generators / clandestine drug labs  (Read 1240 times)

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  • Guest
HCL gas generators / clandestine drug labs
« on: November 12, 2003, 04:04:00 AM »
I found this report while cleaning out some folders, it was quite interesting.  Although it does not apply to anything I would ever think about having to deal with, it was quite informative.

     The full name of the report, (for searching ease) is:

Hydrogen Chloride Gas Generators Associated with Clandestine Drug Labs

Washington Department of Ecology,

Ecology Publication Number: 98-255



I apologise, if this has been posted previously on the hive, after a quick search the article was not found on TFSE......




  • Guest
Clandestine HCl Gas Generators
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2003, 01:10:00 PM »
I know I posted it a couple of years ago, but as I cannot find it anywhere either, it's great that you rediscovered it. It contains a lot of information about what not to do.

I have uploaded a backup at

Ecology staff have observed 5 gallon propane tanks used as HCl generators with burn or torch marks on their side. This is likely due to clandestine lab operators attempting to warm up the contents of their generator to produce additional HCl gas after the pressure has dropped and the reaction neared completion. Higher temperatures of any gas typically result in higher pressures. Compressed gas cylinders are not designed to be heated and reused in this manner. Metal fatigue is likely to occur and the structural integrity of the cylinder is unpredictable. A sudden release of corrosive gas and/or liquid is possible.

Contents of generator may spray into the air. Ecology has had this occur on three occasions, when the valve stem broke completely off, resulting in a “geyser” of HCl gas.

Things like this, as well as for example the picture of the bulging gas tank on page 20 really makes me cringe. Not only is an explosion an imminent risk, a superheated, toxic, and highly corrosive gas is likely to be released in enormous amounts in seconds, killing or maiming anyone present in the vicinity.

Never use pressure vessels not designed to withstand the chemicals you plan to place in it, or which later may form inside  due to any concievable chemical reactions!