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Appendix K - 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 Safety Data Sheet. EHS 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.

Incompatibility Reference Table
Chemical Class or Chemical Name Incompatible Chemicals
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.
Acetone Concentrated Nitric and Sulfuric acid mixtures.
Acetylene 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.
Aniline Nitric acid, Hydrogen peroxide.
Arsenical materials Any reducing agent.
  Azides Acids.
Benzoyl peroxide Chloroform, organic materials.
Bromine 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 Water.
Carbon, activated Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents.
Carbon tetrachloride Sodium.
Chlorates Ammonium salts, acids, metal powders, Sulfur, finely divided organics or combustibles.
Chlorine       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.
Copper Acetylene, Hydrogen peroxide, Ethylene oxide.
Cumene hydro peroxide Acids, organic or mineral.
Cyanides Acids.
Ethylene oxide Acids, bases, Copper, Magnesium perchlorate.
Flammable liquids Ammonium nitrate, Chromic acid, Hydrogen peroxide, Nitric acid, Sodium peroxide, halogens.
Fluorine 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.
Hydrides 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.
Hydroxylamine Barium oxide, Lead dioxide, Phosphorus pentachloride and trichloride, Zinc, Potassium dichromate.
Hypoch lorites Acids, activated Carbon.
Iodine Acetylene, Ammonia (anhydrous or aqueous), Hydrogen.
Maleic anhydride Sodium hydroxide, Pyridine and other tertiary amines.
Mercury Acetylene, Fulminic acid, Ammonia, Oxalic acid.
Nitrates 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.
Nitroparaffins Inorganic bases, amines.
Oxygen Oil, grease, Hydrogen, flammable liquids, solids, or gases.
Oxalic acid Silver, mercury, organic peroxides.
Perchlorates Acids.
Perchlo 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.
Potassium 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.
Selenides Reducing agents
Silver Acetylene, Oxalic acid, Tartaric acid, Fulminic acid, ammonium compounds.
Sodium 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.
Sulfides Acids.
Sulfuric acid Chlorates, perchlorates, permanganates, organic peroxides. Potassium chlorate, Potassium perchlorate, Potassium permanganate (similar compounds of light metals, such as Sodium, Lithium).
Tellurides
UDMH (1,1-Dimethylhydrazine) Oxidizing agents such as Hydrogen peroxide and fuming Nitric acid.
Zirconium Prohibit water, Carbon tetrachloride, foam and dry chemical on zirconium fires.