Chemical Incompatibility Table

Storing chemicals can be a pretty big challenge. As long as you’ve only got a couple of different ones it’s fairly simple but as soon as you grow the list, you need to make sure that chemicals that are stored in the same cabinet aren’t going to react with one another in case of leakage.

This is where the chemical incompatibility table (Taken from the Manufacturing Chemist’s Association “Guide for Chemical Laboratory”) comes in handy:

CHEMICAL

KEEP OUT OF CONTACT WITH

Acetic acid

Chromic acid, nitric acid, perchloric acid, peroxides, permanganates and other oxidizers

Acetone 

Concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid mixtures, and strong bases

Acetylene  

Chlorine, bromine, copper, fluorine, silver, mercury

Alkali metals  

Water, carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, halogens

Ammonia, anhydrous  

Mercury, chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, iodine, bromine, hydrofluoric acid

Ammonium nitrate 

Acids, metal powders, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrites, sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials

Aniline 

Nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide

Arsenic materials 

Any reducing agent

Azides 

Acids

Bromine 

Same as chlorine

Calcium oxide 

Water

Carbon (activated)   

Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents

Carbon tetrachloride 

Sodium

Chlorates 

Ammonium salts, acids, metal powders, sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials

Chromic acid and chromium trioxide  

Acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, glycerol, glycerin, turpentine, alcohol, flammable liquids in general

Chlorine 

Ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, butane, methane, propane (or other petroleum gases), hydrogen, sodium carbide, turpentine, benzene, finely divided metals

Chlorine dioxide 

Ammonia, methane, phosphine, hydrogen sulfide

Copper 

Acetylene, hydrogen peroxide

Cumene hydroperoxide 

Acids, organic or inorganic

Cyanides 

Acids

Flammable liquids 

Ammonium nitrate, chromic acid, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, sodium peroxide, halogens

Hydrocarbons

Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide

Hydrocyanic acid 

Acids

Hydrofluoric acid 

Ammonia, aqueous or anhydrous,  bases and silica

Hydrogen peroxide

Copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their salts, alcohols, acetone, organic materials, aniline, nitromethane, flammable liquids

Hydrogen sulfide 

Fuming nitric acid, other acids, oxidizing gases, acetylene, ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous), hydrogen

Hypochlorites 

Acids, activated carbon

Iodine 

Acetylene, ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous), hydrogen

Mercury

Acetylene, fulminic acid, ammonia

Nitrates 

Sulfuric acid

Nitric acid (concentrated)

Acetic acid, aniline, chromic acid, hydrocyanic acid, hydrogen sulfide, flammable liquids,   flammable gases, copper, brass, any heavy metals

Nitrites 

Acids

Nitroparaffins 

Inorganic bases, amines

Oxalic acid 

Silver, mercury

Oxygen 

Oils, grease, hydrogen; flammable liquids, solids, or gases

Perchloric acid 

Acetic anhydride, bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood, grease, and oils

Peroxides, organic 

Acids (organic or mineral), avoid friction, store cold

Phosphorus (white) 

Air, oxygen, alkalis, reducing agents

Potassium 

Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water

Potassium chlorate and perchlorate

Sulfuric and other acids, alkali metals, magnesium and calcium.

Potassium permanganate  

Glycerin, ethylene glycol, benzaldehyde, sulfuric acid

Selenides

Reducing agents

Silver

Acetylene, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, ammonium compounds, fulminic acid

Sodium

Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water

Sodium nitrite

Ammonium nitrate and other ammonium salts

Sodium peroxide

Ethyl or methyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzaldehyde, carbon disulfide, glycerin, ethylene glycol, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate, furfural

Sulfides 

Acids

Sulfuric Acid 

Potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, potassium permanganate (or compounds with similar light metals, such as sodium, lithium, etc.)

Tellurides 

Reducing agents

Maybe it’s time to go through that cabinet and make sure you don’t have an accident in the making!