Peroxide-Forming Chemicals

Peroxidizable chemicals can react with ambient air to form peroxides if they are stored for long periods of time. Peroxides, if not handled properly, can explode with impact, heat, or friction.

Date peroxide-forming chemicals when you receive/open the container and dispose of the chemical if stored beyond expiration to prevent peroxide formation. Do not open any container that has solid formation around the lid. Neglected peroxide-forming chemicals can cause them to crystallize. The crystals are highly explosive when aggravated. EHS will remove any peroxides stored beyond expiration.

Some peroxide-forming chemicals that may be found in the lab include:

  • Acetal
  • Acrolein
  • Acrylic acid
  • Acrylonitrile
  • Aldehydes
  • Allyl ethyl ether
  • Allyl phenyl ether
  • Anhydrous Ether
  • Benzyl ether
  • Benzoyl-n-butyl ether
  • Bromophenetole
  • Butadiene
  • p-Chloroanisole
  • Chloroprene
  • Chlorotriflouroethylene
  • Cumene
  • Cyclohexene
  • Cyclooctene
  • Cyclopentene
  • Decahydronaphthalene
  • Diacetylene
  • Dibutyl Ether
  • Dicyclopentadiene
  • Diethyl ether
  • Diethylene glycol
  • Diethylene glycol diethyl ether
  • Diethylene glycol mono-o-butyl ether
  • Diisopropyl ether
  • Dimethyl ether
  • Dimethyl isopropyl ether
  • 1,4 Dioxane
  • p-Dioxane
  • Divinyl ether
  • Divinylacetylene
  • Ether
  • Ethyl Methyl ether
  • Ethylene Glycol Dimethyl Ether
  • Ethylene Glycol Ethers
  • Furan
  • Isopropyl ether
  • Indene
  • Methyl isobutyl ketone
  • Methyl acetylene
  • o-Methylanisole
  • Methylcyclopentane
  • Methyl Methacrylate
  • m-Methylphenetole
  • Phenetole
  • Organic ethers >1 year old
  • Perchloric Acid
  • Tetrahydrofuran
  • Potassium Amide
  • Potassium Metal
  • Sodium Amide
  • Styrene
  • Tetrafluoroethylene
  • Tetrahydronaphthalene
  • Vinyl Acetate
  • Vinylacetylene
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Vinyl Ethers
  • Vinyl Pyridine
  • Vinylidene Chloride
  • Vinylidene Dichloride 

Common findings related to peroxide-forming chemicals:

Undated peroxide formers identified: 

Peroxide-forming chemicals must be labeled once with the date of receipt and again with the date, the material is opened. All peroxide-forming chemicals must be discarded six months after opening or by the expiration date, whichever occurs first.

Expired peroxide forming chemicals: 

Expired peroxide-forming chemicals may form very sensitive explosive material and must be removed from the lab immediately by trained personnel. NEVER handle expired containers or test chemicals for peroxides within the lab; Request removal by EHS.