Chemical-Specific Protocols

Aluminum Chloride (anhydrous)

Overview

Anhydrous aluminum chloride (aluminum trichloride, AlCl3) is an odorless, white or yellow crystalline solid that reacts violently with water to liberate hydrogen chloride (HCL) gas. AlCl3 will also sublime readily at 178 Celsius to yield hydrogen chloride gas. The solid and gas byproduct are both highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  AlCl3 is not combustible; however, conventional ABC or BC fire extinguishers should never be used.

Emergency Procedures

Skin Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean contaminated clothing and shoes before reuse.

Ingestion:  Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

All other exposures: Follow regular Emergency Procedures guidelines for eye exposure or inhalation.  Seek medical attention as needed.

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher, such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of moisture.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of AlCl3 will be used, work in dry surroundings, such as in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with water and humid environments.

AlCl3 is incompatible with hydrated reagents, strong oxidizers and caustics, alcohols, nitromethane, sodium oxide, ethylene oxide, and a wide variety of other materials. AlCl3 will corrode most transition metals.

Do not heat AlCl3 without proper containment for generated HCl vapors.  Upon contact with water or heat, AlCl3 produces an exothermic reaction involving release of hydrogen chloride gas.

Storage

Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials. Storage containers may pressurize if contaminated with water.

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers.  Dispose as hazardous waste.
 

For More Information

See material safety data sheet from Fisher Scientific.

Aqua Regia

Overview

Aqua regia (Latin for "Royal Water") is a solution of nitrohydrochloric acid. The traditional solution is comprised of a 3:1 mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid, respectively.  It is commonly used to remove noble metals such as gold, platinum and palladium from substrates, particularly in microfabrications and microelectronics labs.  Glassware may also be washed with aqua regia to remove organic compounds only in trace amounts. Aqua regia solutions are extremely corrosive and may result in explosion or skin burns if not handled with extreme caution.

Emergency Procedures

In case of skin contact: May cause skin burns.  Flush the skin with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention.

In case of eye contact:  Aqua Regia is corrosive and irritating to the eyes.  Flush contaminated eye(s) immediately with copious quantities of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention immediately.

In case of inhalation: May irritate the respiratory tract.  Conscious persons should be assisted to an area with fresh, uncontaminated air.  Seek medical attention in the event of respiratory irritation, cough, or tightness in the chest.  Symptoms may be delayed.

In case of ingestion: Not a likely route of exposure.

Handling

  • Always use glass (preferably Pyrex) containers.  Aqua regia will melt some plastics and corrode most metals. 
  • Never store aqua regia solutions. Mix up only what you need, then destroy after each use.
  • Mix the solution in a hood with the sash between you and the solution.  Wear chemical splash goggles, faceshield, labcoat and appropriate gloves. 
  • When preparing the aqua regia solution, always add the nitric acid to the hydrochloric acid slowly. 
  • Dissolving metals in aqua regia releases toxic gases, always work with aqua regia in a fumehood.
  • Aqua regia solution is very energetic and potentially explosive.  It is very likely to become hot, more than 100oC.  Handle with care. 
  • Adding any acids or bases to aqua regia or spraying it with water will accelerate the exothermic reaction.
  • Leave the hot aqua regia solution in an open container until cool. 
  • Never store aqua regia in a closed container. It will oxidize over time to form toxic nitrosyl chloride, nitrogen dioxide and chlorine gases. This will pressize the container, likely causing an explosion. 
  • Mixing aqua regia with organic compounds may cause an explosion. 


Storage

Do not store aqua regia.  Aqua regia quickly loses it effectiveness due to oxidation of its reactive components. Mix a fresh solution for each use.  Excess solutions should be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate and disposed via the drain, followed by flushing with copious amounts of water.

Disposal

After the material has cooled, the spent solution should be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate and disposed via the drain, followed by flushing with copious amounts of water. If the solution is contaminated with heavy metals (i.e. silver, chromium), the neutralized solution should be collected as hazardous waste.

Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrofluoric acid is an aqueous inorganic acid solution commonly used in research and industry for its ability to etch silicon compounds. It is an essential tool for semiconductor and electronic fabrication, mineral processing and glass etching. In addition to its useful properties, hydrofluoric acid also poses severe health risks upon exposure. Best management practices must be reviewed and continually employed while working with this material.

The Technical Info:

Hydrofluoric acid (CAS#7664-39-3) is the aqueous form of hydrogen fluoride gas, miscible with water. Both versions are commonly referred to as HF in research and industry. It has a molecular weight of 20.01 and can typically be found in concentrations of 48-52% in water. Hydrofluoric acid is extremely corrosive! Aqueous solutions dilute as 0.1 M will pH at approximately 1.0. Unlike other mineral acids, hydrofluoric acid will attack glass, concrete, rubber, quartz and alloys containing silica.

Why So Dangerous?

Common mineral acids such as hydrochloric, phosphoric, nitric and sulfuric acid can cause surface burns when a dermal exposure occurs. The area affected is localized, in other words, only the area contacted by the acid is affected. The mechanism for the local tissue corrosion is caused by the active hydrogen cation (H+) of the acid. Hydrofluoric acid will also cause local injuries; however, it does not stop there. The fluoride anion (F-) that dissociates from its hydrogen counterpart readily absorbs through the skin and performs its damage on the inside, penetrating deep into body tissues, causing a systemic injury.

The fluoride ion has an affinity for calcium and magnesium, two minerals that are essential for bodily health. As the fluoride binds with calcium, it consumes the body’s supply of this mineral in the blood and also attacks bone structure, forming calcium fluoride salts.
As serum calcium levels are depleted in the blood, a condition known as hypocalcaemia, organ failure begins to occur, heart function becomes erratic and can eventually fail, obviously resulting in death.

An additional quirk of hydrofluoric acid is that dermal burns may not be readily noticed or painful, unlike the warning properties of other acids. Skin contact with HF concentrations in the 20% to 50% range may not produce symptoms for one to eight hours. With concentrations less than 20%, the latency period may be up to twenty-four hours. A solution of only 1-2% HF exposed to greater than 10% of your body is fatal without medical attention; however dermal burns are not likely immediate.

Moderately concentrated solutions of hydrofluoric acid (>40%) tend to fume and emanate hydrogen fluoride gas when exposed to air, producing yet another exposure risk through inhalation.

Signs and Symptoms of Exposure

Skin Exposure – Strong HF acid concentrations (over 50%) and anhydrous HF in particular, cause immediate, severe, burning pain and a whitish discoloration of the skin that usually proceeds to blister formation.The usual initial signs of a dilute solution HF burn are redness, swelling and blistering, accompanied by severe throbbing pain.
Eye Contact – HF can cause severe eye burns with destruction or opacification of the cornea. Blindness may result from severe or untreated exposures.
Inhalation – Acute symptoms of inhalation may include coughing, choking, chest tightness, chills, fever and cyanosis (blue lips and skin). All individuals suspected of having inhaled HF should seek medical attention and observation for pulmonary effects. This includes any
individuals with HF exposure to the head, chest or neck areas. If there is no initial upper respiratory irritation, significant inhalation exposure can generally be ruled out.
Ingestion – If HF is ingested, severe burns to the mouth, esophagus and stomach may occur. Ingestion of even small amounts of dilute HF has resulted in death.

What to Do if You Are Exposed to HF

Note: Time is of the essence as exposure to HF is a life-threatening emergency. Delay in first aid or medical treatment will result in greater damage or possibly death. In all instances, as the victim is tending to the exposure, someone should call Public Safety at 911 or 258-3333 to arrange for transport to Health Services or UMCP.

Skin Contact

  1. Speed and thoroughness in washing off the acid is of primary importance! Immediately start rinsing under safety shower or other water source even before removing contaminated clothing.
  2. Flush affected area thoroughly with large amounts of water for 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately after rinsing, begin one of the following treatments:
    1. Apply and massage 2.5% calcium gluconate topical gel onto the area of affected skin. Note: It is advisable for the individual applying the calcium gluconate gel to wear gloves to prevent a secondary HF exposure.
    2. Apply iced 0.13% Benzalkonium chloride (Zephiran®) solution soaks or compresses.
    3. Receive professional medical attention immediately after initial treatment

Eye Contact

  1. Immediately flush the eyes for at least 5 minutes with large amounts of gently flowing water.
  2. Ice water compresses may be applied to the eyes while transporting the victim.

Inhalation
Immediately move victim to fresh air and call 911

Ingestion

  1. Drink large amounts of water as quickly as possible to dilute the acid. Do not induce vomiting. Do not give emetics or baking soda. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
  2. Drink several glasses of milk or several ounces of milk of magnesia, Mylanta®, Maalox®, etc. or grind up and administer up to 30 Tums™, Caltrate™ or other antacid tablets with water.

Personal Protective Equipment

Prevention is the best medicine indeed when working with a chemical as hazardous as hydrofluoric acid. Applicable in most but not all cases, the following personal protection garments should be utilized when working with HF.

  • Gloves – Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Neoprene gloves. Select a glove of suitable size to each individual wearer. Gauntlet style gloves are advised for working with large volumes or in cases where immersion of one’s hand past the wrist is possible. Review the manufacturer’s testing results of their gloves resistance to HF.
  • Shoes – closed toe, leather or durable non-porous material. Rubber boots or over-boots are advised for large volumes.
  • Lab coat – Rubber or impermeable material preferred, full-length and full arm construction.
  • Eyewear – Chemical splash goggles at all times.
  • Ventilation – Fume hood use is always advised.

Contact EHS for advice about recommended personal protective equipment and best management practices.

First Aid Treatments and Supplies

EHS carries a stock of Calcium Gluconate gel in 25 gram tubes that can be obtained by campus labs. Contact Kyle Angjelo at 8-2711 to acquire 2.5% calcium gluconate gel for your lab. If you would like to order your own calcium gluconate, independent of Princeton University, the following distributors supply 2.5% calcium gluconate topical gel.

Storage, Use, and Disposal

Hydrofluoric acid attacks all silica containing materials, including glass. It must be used and stored in polyethylene (PE) bottles and vessels. Bottles for storage of HF must have secure caps and lids that can provide a gas-tight seal to prevent escape of hydrogen fluoride gas. Hydrofluoric acid should never be disposed of by drain. Elementary neutralization of HF does not permit drain disposal, even if the resulting solution pH is 7. Neutralization of hydrofluoric acid with a basic material produces metal fluoride salts, which are toxic. It must always be collected as hazardous waste in closeable plastic containers. Small spills of hydrofluoric acid (<100 mL) may be absorbed with a universal absorbent material such as Hazorb® or Chemsorb® spill pillows. Large spills of hydrofluoric acid (100mL to 4 L) must be soaked up with PowerSorb® or PolySorb® HF resistant spill materials as universal absorbents will degrade quickly. Be sure to have calcium gluconate gel and proper protective gear before responding to an HF spill. If the spill exceeds 4 liters, protective equipment or spill supplies are unavailable, contact Princeton University Public Safety at 8-3333 or EHS at 8-5294.

All materials that have been contaminated with hydrofluoric acid still exhibit a hazard and therefore should also be disposed of as hazardous waste. These materials include research devices, empty bottles formerly containing HF, spill debris and personal protection garments worn while using HF.

Further Information

A section of the Princeton University EHS Lab Safety Training Guide is devoted to hydrofluoric acid safety. It can be found online at:
http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/labguide/sec_2e.htm#acid

Honeywell Incorporated is a major manufacturer of hydrofluoric acid. They have conducted extensive research and studied the effects of exposure to HF and how to prevent it.
http://www.honeywell.com/sites/sm/chemicals/hfacid
http://membership.acs.org/F/FLUO/hfmedbook.pdf

Other references and resources:
http://www.calgonate.com/enCA//files/news1174416797.pdf
http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/H3994.htm

Lithium Aluminum Hydride

Overview

Lithium aluminum hydride (LAH) is an odorless solid that reacts violently with water, acids and oxygenated compounds.  LAH can ignite in moist air or because of friction or static sparks.  It is highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  Conventional ABC or BC fire extinguishers can intensify a fire involving LAH and should never be used.

Emergency Procedures

Skin Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse.

Ingestion:  Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

All other exposures: Follow regular Emergency Procedures guidelines for eye exposure or inhalation.  Seek medical attention as needed.

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher, such as Met-L-X or Lith-X or smother the fire with dry sand.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of ignition.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER or combustible materials, such as saw dust.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of powdered LAH will be used, work under an inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.

LAH is incompatible with alcohols, transition metal salts, oxidizing agents, and a wide variety of other materials.  LAH reacts violently on contact with powerful oxidizers.

Do not grind LAH or heat it.  Upon contact with water, acids or when heated, LAH produces an exothermic reaction involving release of hydrogen gas.

Storage

Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials. 

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers.  Dispose as hazardous waste.
 

For More Information

See safety data sheet from Fisher Scientific.

Phenol

Overview

The major hazard of phenol is its ability to penetrate the skin rapidly, causing severe burns.  Toxic and even fatal amounts of phenol can be absorbed through relatively small areas of skin.  Due to its local anesthetizing properties, skin burns may be painless.  Phenol may be fatal if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.  Care should be exercised not to walk in spills since phenol can penetrate leather.

Emergency Procedures

People administering first aid should take precautions to avoid contact with phenol.  Phenol can penetrate leather on shoes or clothing.  Acute overexposure by any route may lead to nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness and coma.

In case of skin contact:  It is possible that pain may not be felt on initial contact.  Whitening of the skin usually occurs, with deeper burns developing later.  In case of skin contact, immediately flush skin with large amounts of water while removing contaminated clothing and shoes.  Flush skin with water for at least 15 minutes or until the affected area turns from white to pink. It is very important to avoid rubbing or wiping affected parts which would aggravate irritation and cause product dispersion. Once the skin changes to pink or after 15 minutes, apply polyethylene glycol to the affected area.  The polyethylene glycol application should be done during transportation to the hospital. If polyethylene glycol is not available, flush with water for at least 30 minutes prior to going to hospital.  Get medical attention immediately.  Destroy contaminated clothing and shoes. 

In case of eye contact:  May cause severe damage and possibly blindness.  Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting eyelids occasionally.  Get medical attention immediately.

In case of inhalation: May be severely irritating to the respiratory tract.  Remove to fresh air.    Get medical attention immediately.

In case of ingestion:  May burn the mouth and throat.  May cause rapid development of digestive disturbances.  As little as 1 gram may be fatal. Be ready to induce vomiting or administer 15 to 30 cc of castor oil or other vegetable oil at the advice of a physician or poison control center.  Get medical attention immediately.

Spills: Take care not to walk through phenol or solutions of phenol since the substance may rapidly penetrate leather.

Phenol exposure kits can be obtained through Environmental Health and Safety for labs that use phenol.  These kits have a five year shelf life.  It includes a bucket with neoprene gloves in medium and large sizes (small upon request), decontamination instructions, 1 Liter of poly ethylene glycol 400 MW solution, paper towels, bags for contaminated clothing, and a Tyvek suit to wear in place of contaminated clothing. Contact Kyle Angjelo at 8-1804 to obtain a kit.

Handling

Use chemical splash goggles and/or a face shield where splashing is possible.  Wear impervious clothing, including close-toed shoes, lab coat or apron and butyl rubber or neoprene gloves.  Avoid heat, flames and ignition sources.  Hot liquid phenol will attack aluminum, magnesium, lead and zinc metals.

Storage

Store phenol in a cool, dry, ventilated area away from sources of heat or ignition.  Store separately from reactive or combustible materials and out of direct sunlight. 

Disposal

Phenol and phenol-contaminated materials should be disposed of as hazardous waste.

For More Information

See the SDS for phenol from Fisher Scientific.

Phosphorus

Overview

Amorphorous phosphorus (red phosphorus) is a reddish-violet powder that is not considered toxic in its pure form. It is stable under ordinary conditions, however is flammable and can be initiated by excesive shock or friction.

Yellow phosphorus (white phosphorus) is a significantly more hazardous form of the element and may be present as a contaminant in red phosphorus. This allotrope of phosphorus is extremely toxic and the estimated human lethal dose is 50 - 100 mg. This form must be stored under water as it burns rapidly and is spontaneously combustible upon exposure to air.

When working with amorphous phosphorus, it is prudent to consider the potential for yellow phosphorus contamination and related precautions required to handle the material safely.

Emergency Procedures

Skin/Eye Contact:  Red phosphorous is not harmful to skin or mucuous membranes. White phosphorus may cause deep, slow healing burns. Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean contaminated clothing and shoes before reuse.

Ingestion:  Red phosphorous is consider non-toxic in its pure form. However, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or garlic odor on breath will indicate poisoning by the yellow allotrope. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Red phosphorus is not considered toxic but contamination with yellow phosphorus may cause coughing, bronchitis, possible liver or kidney impairment. Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. Seek medical attention immediately.

Fire:  Flood with water and cover with wet sand to keep moist.  Keep wet.

Spill:  Keep spilled material moist.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with water and/or wet sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid heat, shock and friction.  Keep a supply of wet sand available in the work area and ensure there is a water/wet foam extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of red or white phosphorus will be used, work in an inert atmosphere, such as a glove box.

Both allotropes of phosphorus are incompatible with halogens, halides, sulfur, oxidizing materials, and will form toxic phosphine gas upon exposure to alkali materials.

Storage

Keep red phosphorus in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from incompatible materials. Keep yellow phosphorus or contaminated amorphous phosphorus in sealed containers under water to avoid exposure to air.

Disposal

Store wastes (under a layer of water) in tightly sealed containers.  Dispose as hazardous waste.
 

For More Information

See safety data sheet for Red Phosphorus a from Sigma Aldrich.

Phosphorus Trichloride

Overview

Phosphorus trichloride (phosphorus chloride, PCl3) is a colorless fuming liquid that reacts violently with water to liberate phosphoric acid and hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas. PCl3 is a strong oxidizer and will readily react with many organic compounds. The liquid and its byproduct are both highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

Emergency Procedures

Skin Contact:  Causes severe burns with local pain and redness.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean contaminated clothing and shoes before reuse or discard.

Eye Contact:  Causes severe burnes with local pain and blurred vision. Irreversible damage can occur from vapors and liquid contact.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention immediately.

Ingestion:  Abdominal pain, vomiting. Ingestion can be fatal. Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Extremely destructive to tissues of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include burning sensation, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting. Move to fresh air and seek medical attention immediately.

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher, such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of moisture.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER.

Handling

Upon contact with water or heat, PCl3 produces an exothermic reaction involving the release of acid gases. Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of PCl3 will be used, work in dry surroundings, such as in a glove box.  Avoid contact with water and humid environments.

PCl3 is incompatible with most organic reagents, hydrated reagents, alkali earth metals, strong oxidizers and caustics, lead dioxide, flourine, and a wide variety of other materials. PCl3 will corrode most transition metals particularly in the presence of moisture.

Do not heat PCl3 without proper containment for generated hydrochloric and phosphoric acid vapors. Reagent may form phosphine and diphosphine gases by thermal decomposition.

Storage

Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials. Storage containers may pressurize if contaminated with water.

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers.  Dispose as hazardous waste.
 

For More Information

See SDS for Phosphorus Trichloride.

Piranha Solutions

Overview

Piranha solutions are used to remove organic residues from substrates, particularly in microfabrication labs.  The traditional piranha solution is a 3:1 mixture of sulfuric acid and 30% hydrogen peroxide.  The solution may be mixed before application or directly applied to the material, applying the sulfuric acid, followed by the peroxide. 

Piranha solutions are extremely energetic and may result in explosion or injury resulting from chemical and thermal burns if not handled with extreme caution.  Piranha solutions may irritate the respiratory tract if vapor is inadvertently inhaled.

Emergency Procedures

In case of skin contact: Flush the skin with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention.

In case of eye contact:  Utilize eyewash station immediately to flush contaminated eye(s) for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention.

In case of inhalation: Conscious persons should be assisted to fresh air.  Seek medical attention if an exposure is suspected.  Symptoms included respiratory irritation, cough, or tightness in the chest.  Symptoms may be delayed.

In case of ingestion: Seek medical attention immediately.

Handling

  • Always use glass (Pyrex® is preferred) containers.  The solution can degrade plastic containers causing failure of containment.
  • Ensure all containers are properly labeled to identify those containing piranha acid solutions.
  • Always mix the solution in the hood, utilizing the hood sash as a barrier between you and the solution.  Wear appropriate PPE including: acid resistant lab coat and/or apron with sleeve covers, gloves (butyl) and chemical splash goggles.
  • Always add hydrogen peroxide to sulfuric acid while gently stirring.  DO NOT add sulfuric acid to hydrogen peroxide.
  • The hydrogen peroxide concentration should be kept under 30% and should NEVER exceed 50%.
  • Piranha solution will become very hot with temperatures exceeding 100°C during preparation.  Handle with care to avoid thermal burns.
  • Do not mix piranha solution with incompatible materials such as organic acids, organic solvents, or other organic materials.  Do not mix with bases (e.g., Photoresist).   Mixing piranha with incompatible materials can lead to an explosion.
  • Ensure all containers and substrates are rinsed and dried before coming in contact with piranha solutions.  Piranha solution is intended to remove residues only.
  • When submerging items in piranha baths, place items in the piranha solution slowly and carefully.  The solution needs time to stabilize after each item is added.  Apply piranha solution to substrates carefully as well.
  • NEVER store freshly prepared piranha solution in a closed or partially closed container.
  • After use, always allow piranha solution to react overnight in a labeled, open container within a fume hood prior to final disposal.


Storage

The reactive properties of piranha solution do not allow for storage prior to use.  Make fresh solution as needed.  Excess solution should be disposed of via the below disposal procedures.

Disposal

Piranha solution is only to be collected for disposal after it has fully reacted, cooled and the gases of reaction have had adequate time to dissipate.

Quantities less than 100ml should be neutralized.  The neutralization process is exothermic and an ice bath may be necessary for temperature control.  Neutralization should be performed in a fume hood, and proper PPE must be worn (acid resistant lab coat and/or apron with sleeve covers, gloves (rubber or butyl) and chemical splash goggles).   Piranha solution should be diluted to a concentration of less than 10% by adding the solution to water. After dilution, a concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate can be slowly added a few milliliters at a time while vigorously stirring until the pH reaches between 4 and 10.  If using carbonates as a neutralizing agent, be aware that bubbling and foaming may occur, leading to additional splash and spill hazards.  Once the solution has been neutralized to within a pH of 4-10, the solution can be disposed of via a drain that leads to the sanitary sewer system with copious amounts of water.

For quantities over 100ml, the spent, reacted piranha solution should be collected as waste.  A clean, recycled sulfuric acid bottle is a good option.  Initially, add only a small amount of the solution to waste container to ensure that there are no residual materials in the container that may cause an adverse reaction.  If no reaction is observed, continue to pour slowly.  The bottle should be explicitly labeled as containing waste piranha solution.   DO NOT COMBINE ANY OTHER WASTE SOLUTION WITH SPENT PIRANHA SOLUTION.

Store waste solution in a container equipped with a vented cap available from EHS.

Please contact EHS for vented caps and waste tags as needed.

Piranha Waste Label.jpg

Potassium

Overview

Elemental potassium is an odorless silver metal solid that reacts violently with water, acids and oxygenated compounds.  Potassium can ignite in moist air or because of friction or static sparks.  It is highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  Water and conventional ABC fire extinguishers can intensify a fire involving potassium and should never be used. Potassium can form unstable and highly reactive peroxides if stored for extended periods of time.

Emergency Procedures

Skin/Eye Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean clothing before reuse.

Ingestion:  Will react immediately with saliva to cause serious burns and possible local combustion and even explosion of hydrogen in the mouth or esophagus. Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Not a likely route of exposure. Move to fresh air immediately. Do not administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. Seek medical attention immediately

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of ignition.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER or combustible materials, such as saw dust.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of potassium will be used, work under an inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.

Potassium is incompatible with alcohols, oxidizing agents, hydrated salts, acids and a wide variety of other materials.  Potassium reacts violently on contact with powerful oxidizers and water.

Do not grind potassium or heat it.  Upon contact with water, acids or alcohols, potassium produces an exothermic reaction involving release of flammable hydrogen gas. Oxidized potassium may explode upon handling.

Storage

Keep element under moisture- free toluene, kerosene and/or dry inert gas such as nitrogen or argon. Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials.  Discard unused portions that will not be needed for extended periods of time (> 1 year)

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers under toluene or kerosene.  Dispose as hazardous waste. Potassium metal that has formed the superoxide or peroxide must not be handled. White precipitates are evidence of this condition. Contact Kyle Angjelo (EHS) at 258-2711 immediately.
 

For More Information

See SDS for potassium from Fisher Scientific.

Sodium

Overview

Elemental sodium is an odorless silver-white metal solid that reacts violently with water, acids and oxygenated compounds.  Sodium can ignite spontaneously in moist air or dry air above 239oF.  It is highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  Water and conventional ABC fire extinguishers can intensify a fire involving sodium and should never be used.

Emergency Procedures

Skin/Eye Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean clothing before reuse.

Ingestion:  Will react immediately with saliva to cause serious burns and possible local combustion and even explosion of hydrogen in the mouth or esophagus. Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Not a likely route of exposure. Move to fresh air immediately. Do not administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. Seek medical attention immediately

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of ignition.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER or combustible materials, such as saw dust.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of sodium will be used, work under an inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.

Sodium is incompatible with oxygen, carbon dioxide, halogens and halogenated solvents, alcohols, oxidizing agents, hydrated salts, acids and a wide variety of other materials.  Sodium reacts violently on contact with powerful oxidizers and water.

Do not grind sodium or heat it.  Upon contact with water, acids or alcohols, sodium produces an exothermic reaction involving release of flammable hydrogen gas. Hydrogen production also occurs in the presence of dry air above 239oF.

Storage

Keep element under moisture- free toluene, kerosene and/or dry inert gas such as nitrogen or argon. Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials.

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers under toluene or kerosene.  Dispose as hazardous waste.
 

For More Information

See SDS for sodium from Fisher Scientific.

Sodium Amide

Overview

Sodium amide (NaNH2) is a greyish-white powder with a slight ammonia odor that reacts violently with water, acids and halogenated compounds.  Sodium amide can ignite spontaneously in moist air or dry air above 842oF.  It is highly corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes.  Water and conventional ABC fire extinguishers can intensify a fire involving sodium amide and should never be used. Sodium amide will form shock-sensitive peroxides capable of exposive decomposition when exposed to air, heat or stored for extended periods of time. Disposed of unused and unneeded quantities immediately.

Emergency Procedures

Skin/Eye Contact:  Brush off any visible solids.  Rinse with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes.  Seek medical attention as needed.  Thoroughly clean clothing before reuse.

Ingestion:  Will react immediately with saliva to cause serious burns and possible local combustion and even explosion of hydrogen in the mouth or esophagus. Do not induce vomiting.  Drink 2-3 glasses of water and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhalation: Causes severe burns to mucuous membranes. Risk of death from pulmonary edema. Move to fresh air immediately. Do not administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. Seek medical attention immediately

Fire:  Use Class D extinguisher such as Met-L-X or smother the fire with dry sand and/or soda ash.  Do not use water, carbon dioxide or halogenated extinguishing agents.

Spill:  Control all sources of ignition.  Wearing personal protective equipment, cover the spill with sand.  Scoop spilled materials with spark-resistant tools and place in a container for disposal.  DO NOT USE WATER or combustible materials, such as saw dust.

Handling

Wear safety glasses, impervious gloves and a fire-retardant laboratory coat.  Control ignition sources and avoid dust formation.  Avoid contact with water or moisture.  Keep a supply of dry sand available in the work area and ensure there is a Class D extinguisher immediately available.

When large quantities of sodium amide will be used, work under an inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, in a fume hood or glove box.  Avoid contact with air, water or moisture.

Sodium amide is incompatible with oxygen, carbon dioxide, halogens and halogenated solvents, alcohols, oxidizing agents, hydrated salts, acids and a wide variety of other materials.  Sodium amide reacts violently on contact with powerful oxidizers and water.

Do not grind sodium amide or heat it.  Upon contact with water, acids or alcohols, potassium produces an exothermic reaction involving release of flammable hydrogen gas. Peroxidized sodium amide may explode upon handling.

Storage

Keep compound under dry inert gas such as nitrogen or argon. Store in tightly sealed containers in a cool dry place, separate from combustible materials.  Discard unused portions that will not be needed for extended periods of time (> 1 year)

Disposal

Store wastes in tightly sealed containers under dry inert gas.  Used reagent can be deactivated under controlled environments. Dispose as hazardous waste. CONTAINERS OF SODIUM AMIDE THAT HAVE FORMED PEROXIDES MUST NOT BE HANDLED. Yellow or brown colored solids are evidence of contamination with peroxides. Contact Brandon Chance (EHS) at 8-7882 immediately.
 

For More Information

See SDS for Sodium Amide from Acros Organics.