Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides​​​​​​

Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides

Oxidizers can present fire and explosion hazards on contact with organic compounds or reducing agents. Strong oxidizing agents should be stored and used in glass or other inert containers. Cork and rubber stoppers should not be used with these substances.

Organic peroxides are extremely sensitive to shock, sparks, heat, friction, impact, and light. Many peroxides formed from materials used in laboratories are more shock sensitive than TNT. Just the friction from unscrewing the cap of a container of ether that has peroxides in it can provide enough energy to cause a severe explosion.

As with any chemicals, but particularly with oxidizers and organic peroxides, quantities stored on hand should be kept to a minimum. Whenever planning an experiment, be sure to read the SDS and other reference documents to understand the hazards and special handling precautions that may be required, including use of a safety shield. Also be aware of the melting and auto ignition temperatures for these compounds and ensure any device used to heat oxidizers has an over temperature safety switch to prevent the compounds from overheating.

Inorganic Peroxides (information below taken from: PEROXIDES AND PEROXIDE-FORMING COMPOUNDS)

Inorganic peroxide compounds are potent oxidizers and are a potential fire or explosion hazard in contact with combustible materials. Inorganic peroxides can react violently with reducing agents and organic compounds to create organic peroxide and hydroperoxide product.

Inorganic peroxides include persalts of alkali metals (M2O2), hydrogen peroxide and perchloric acid. If handled properly and not contaminated, hydrogen peroxide has a long shelf life. Concentrated hydrogen peroxide (>30%) may cause ignition if in contact with fabric, oil, wood, and some resins. Hydrogen peroxide may undergo violent decomposition in the presence of traces of certain catalytic metals (e.g. Fe, Cu, and Cr) or their salts.

Persulfates are highly reactive and may ignite when in contact with metals and perhalogen compounds are extremely shock sensitive. Avoid perhalogen compounds unless absolutely need in research. Perhalogen compounds can react with acids (especially organic acids) to produce near-anhydrous perchloric acid, an extremely hazardous compound.

Handling and Storage Guidelines for Oxidizers and Organic and Inorganic Peroxides

Handle organic peroxides similarly to explosive materials. Avoid using metal objects when stirring or removing oxidizers or organic peroxides from chemical containers. Plastic or ceramic implements should be used instead. If you suspect your oxidizer or organic peroxide has been contaminated (evident by discoloration of the chemical, or if there is crystalline growth in the container or around the cap), then dispose of the chemical as hazardous waste and contact RMS at 940-565-2109.

For storage, always check guidelines found in the SDS section. Always store oxidizers and organic and inorganic peroxides separate from flammable, combustible, explosive, pyrophoric, or self-heating materials. Always store oxidizers and organic and inorganic peroxides separate from corrosive materials. Always store oxidizers and organic and inorganic peroxides separate from metals as the majority of these materials react in the presence of metals.

Chemical Hygene Plan - Table of Contents