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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Chemical Storage
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Dry chemical storage

Dry chemicals can be stored together. To ensure compatibility, keep organic and inorganic chemicals segregated. Color-coded labels used by manufacturers are a handy reminder of compatible groups.

Liquid chemical storage

The first step is to determine the major storage groups such as acids, bases, flammables, oxidizers, and highly toxic chemicals.

Acids. Acids should be stored in trays that will catch any spill and provide adequate segregation. Many labs store only mineral acids, including nitric acid, in the chemically resistant acid cabinets.

Organic acids, organic bases, and flammables. Organic acids and organic bases may be stored with the flammables, but acid resistant plastic trays must carefully segregate them.

Oxidizers. Oxidizers are highly reactive. They should be separated from other chemicals.


A Table of Suggested Chemical Storage Groups

Large volumes of chemicals and/or those stored in glass containers, should be grouped into the following hazard groups first before they are placed in alphabetical order:

Phase

Hazard Group

Common Chemical Examples

Solidexplosivepicric acid (dried), picrates
 oxidizerchlorates, dichromates, nitrates, perchlorates, permanganates, peroxides
 very reactive (w/ water or other chemicals)aluminum chloride (anhydrous), calcium, calcium carbide, lithium, phosphorus pentachloride, phosphorus pentoxide, potassium, sodium, white phosphorus
Liquidstrong acidhydrogen fluoride, hydrochloric acid
 strong causticsodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide
 flammableacetaldehyde, acetic acid, acetone, acetonitrile, acrylonitrile, allyl alcohol, n-amyl acetate, sec-amyl acetate, n-amyl alcohol, tert-amyl alcohol, benzene, 1-butanol, tert-butyl alcohol, carbon disulfide, chlorobenzene, cyclohexane, cyclohexene, 1,1- and 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-and1,2-dimethylhydrazine, dioxane, ethanol, ethyl acrylate, ethylenediamine, ethyl formate, n-heptane, n-hexane, hydrazine, isoamyl alcohol, isobutanol, isobutyl alcohol, isopropyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, isopropylamine, methyl ethyl ketone, morpholine, nitromethane, 2-nitropropane, pentane, propylene oxide, pyridine, TEMED, toluene, triethylamine, vinyl acetate, xylene
 oxidizeracid dichromate, chromic acid, chromium trioxide, hydrogen peroxide (>30%), nitric acid, sodium peroxide, sulfuric acid
 perchloric acid--
 very reactive/explosivechlorosulfuric acid, chlorates, organic peroxides
Gasstrong acid/causticammonia, hydrogen chloride
 flammableacetylene
 oxidizerchlorine, nitrous oxide


Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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