ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
Compounds that form peroxides include:
Peroxidizable Compounds Three Hazard
- Ethers and acetals. Especially dangerous are cyclic ethers
(e.g., Tetrahydrofuran and dioxane) and ethers derived from
primary and secondary alcohols, particularly diisopropyl ether.
Ethers having an aromatic group bonded to the oxygen generally
do not peroxidize under normal conditions.
- Compounds containing benzylic hydrogen atoms, especially
tertiary hydrogens, (e.g., cumene, tetralin).
- Compounds containing allylic hydrogens (CH2=CHCH2R),
including most alkenes (e.g., cyclohexene, cyclooctene).
- Ketones, especially cyclic ketones
- Dienes and vinylacetylenes (e.g., divinylacetylene,
- Paraffinic and alkylaromatic hydrocarbons with tertiary
hydrogens (e.g., decalin, methylcyclopentane).
- Vinyl and vinylidene compounds (e.g., vinyl acetate,
- Aldehydes (particularly anhydrous acetaldehyde); ketones
with an alpha- hydrogen (methyl isobutyl ketone); ureas, amides,
- Potassium metal (actually forms the yellow superoxide KO2)
and alkali metal amides such as sodium amide.
- Class A includes compounds that form dangerous explosive peroxides
without concentration. These include diisoproply ether,
divinylacetylene, vinylidene chloride, potassium metal, and
- Class B includes compounds that form peroxides but
are only dangerous when concentrated by evaporation or
distillation. Examples are diethyl ether, dioxane, THF, tetralin,
- Class C includes monomers in which peroxide formation
may initiate explosive polymerization. Examples are styrene,
butadiene, and vinyl monomers.
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