Appendix K - Incompatible Chemicals


Incompatible Chemicals


Substances in the left-hand column should be stored and handled so they cannot contact corresponding substances in the right-hand column. The following list contains some of the chemicals commonly found in laboratories, but it should not be considered exhaustive. Information for the specific chemical you are using can usually be found in the “REACTIVITY” or “INCOMPATIBILITIES” section of the Material Safety Data Sheet. EH&S has a copy of Rapid Guide to Chemical Incompatibilities, by Pohanish and Greene, which lists the incompatibilities of hundreds of chemicals. You may come to our office at 395 Pine Tree Road, Suite 210 and use this valuable reference at any time.
Alkaline and alkaline earth metals, such as Sodium, Potassium, Cesium, Lithium, Magnesium, Calcium
Carbon dioxide, Carbon tetrachloride and other chlorinated hydrocarbons, any free acid or halogen. Do not use water, foam or dry chemical on fires involving these metals.
Acetic acid
Chromic acid, Nitric acid, hydroxyl compounds, Ethylene glycol, Perchloric acid, peroxides, permanganates.
Acetic anhydride
Chromic acid, Nitric acid, hydroxyl-containing compounds, Ethylene glycol, Perchloric acid, peroxides and permanganates.
Concentrated Nitric and Sulfuric acid mixtures.
Copper, Silver, Mercury and halogens, Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine.
Alkali & alkaline earth metals (such as powdered Aluminum or Magnesium, Calcium, Lithium, Sodium, Potassium)
Water, Carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, Carbon dioxide, and halogens.
Aluminum alkyls
Halogenated hydrocarbons, water.
Ammonia (anhydrous)
Silver, Mercury, Chlorine, Calcium hypochlorite, Iodine, Bromine, Hydrogen fluoride, Chlorine dioxide, Hydrofluoric acid (anhydrous).
Ammonium nitrate
Acids, metal powders, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrites, Sulfur, finely divided organics or combustibles.
Nitric acid, Hydrogen peroxide.
Arsenical materials
Any reducing agent.
Benzoyl peroxide
Chloroform, organic materials.
Ammonia, Acetylene, Butadiene, Butane and other petroleum gases, Sodium carbide, Turpentine, Benzene and finely divided metals, Methane, Propane, Hydrogen.
Calcium carbide
Water (see also Acetylene).
Calcium hypochlorite
Methyl carbitol, Phenol, Glycerol, Nitromethane, Iron oxide, Ammonia, activated carbon.
Calcium oxide
Carbon, activated
Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents.
Carbon tetrachloride
Ammonium salts, acids, metal powders, Sulfur, finely divided organics or combustibles.
Ammonia, Acetylene, Butadiene, Butane, Propane, and other petroleum gases, Hydrogen, Sodium carbide, Turpentine, Benzene and finely divided metals, Methane.
Chlorine dioxide
Ammonia, Methane, Phosphine and Hydrogen sulfide.
Chlorosulfonic acid
Organic materials, water, powdered metals.
Chromic acid & Chromium trioxide
Acetic acid, Naphthalene, Camphor, Glycerin, Turpentine, alcohol and other flammable liquids, paper or cellulose.
Acetylene, Hydrogen peroxide, Ethylene oxide.
Cumene hydro
Acids, organic or mineral.
Ethylene oxide
Acids, bases, Copper, Magnesium perchlorate.
Flammable liquids
Ammonium nitrate, Chromic acid, Hydrogen peroxide, Nitric acid, Sodium peroxide, halogens.
Almost all oxidizable substances.
Hydrocarbons (such as Bromine, Butane)
Fluorine, Chlorine, Chromic acid, Sodium peroxide.
Hydrocyanic acid
Nitric acid, alkalis.
Hydrofluoric acid (anhydrous)
Ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous).
Hydrogen peroxide
Copper, Chromium, Iron, most metals or their salts, any flammable liquid, combustible materials, Aniline, Nitromethane, alcohols, Acetone, organic materials, Aniline.
Water, air, Carbon dioxide, chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Hydrofluoric acid, anhydrous
(Hydrogen fluoride)
Ammonia (anhydrous or aqueous), organic peroxides.
Hydrogen sulfide
Fuming Nitric acid, oxidizing gases.
Hydrocarbons (Benzene, Butane, Propane, Gasoline, Turpentine, etc.)
Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Chromic acid, Sodium peroxide, fuming Nitric acid.
Barium oxide, Lead dioxide, Phosphorus pentachloride and trichloride, Zinc, Potassium dichromate.
Acids, activated Carbon.
Acetylene, Ammonia (anhydrous or aqueous), Hydrogen.
Maleic anhydride
Sodium hydroxide, Pyridine and other tertiary amines.
Acetylene, Fulminic acid, Ammonia, Oxalic acid.
Acids, metal powders, flammable liquids, chlorates, sulfur, finely divided organics or combustibles, Sulfuric acid.
Nitric acid (concentrated)
Acetic acid, Aniline, Chromic acid, Hydrocyanic acid, Hydrogen sulfide, flammable liquids, flammable gases, nitratable substances, organic peroxides, chlorates, Copper, brass, any heavy metals.
Inorganic bases, amines.
Oil, grease, Hydrogen, flammable liquids, solids, or gases.
Oxalic acid
Silver, mercury, organic peroxides.
ric acid
Acetic anhydride, Bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood, grease, oil, organic amines or antioxidants.
Peroxides, organic
Acids (organic or mineral); avoid friction, store cold.
Phosphorus (white)
Air, Oxygen, alkalis, reducing agents.
Phosphorus pentoxide
Propargyl alcohol.
Carbon tetrachloride, Carbon dioxide, water.
Potassium chlorate
Acids, Sulfuric acid (see also chlorates).
Potassium perchlorate
Sulfuric & other acids (see also Perchloric acid, & chlorates).
Potassium permanganate
Glycerin, Ethylene glycol, Benzaldehyde, any free acid, Sulfuric acid.
Reducing agents
Acetylene, Oxalic acid, Tartaric acid, Fulminic acid, ammonium compounds.
Carbon tetrachloride, Carbon dioxide, water. See alkaline metals (above).
Sodium amide
Air, water.
Sodium nitrate
Ammonium nitrate and other ammonium salts.
Sodium oxide
Water, any free acid.
Sodium peroxide
Any oxidizable substance, such as Ethanol, Methanol, glacial Acetic acid, Acetic anhydride, Benzaldehyde, Carbon disulfide, Glycerine, Ethylene glycol, Ethyl acetate, Methyl acetate and Furfural.
Sulfuric acid
Chlorates, perchlorates, permanganates, organic peroxides. Potassium chlorate, Potassium perchlorate, Potassium permanganate (similar compounds of light metals, such as Sodium, Lithium).
UDMH (1,1-Dimethylhydrazine)
Oxidizing agents such as Hydrogen peroxide and fuming Nitric acid.
Prohibit water, Carbon tetrachloride, foam and dry chemical on zirconium fires.


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