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Incompatible Chemicals

The following are examples of chemical incompatibilities. This list should not be considered complete and persons unsure as to the status of a particular chemical are advised to refer to more recent literature, the manufacturer, as well as MSDS databases. This information was extracted from the University of Kentucky's Model Chemical Hygiene Plan and "Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories", from the American Chemical Society.



Acetic acid Chromic acid, nitric acid, hydroxyl compounds, ethylene glycol, perchloric acid, peroxides, permanganates
Acetylene Chlorine, bromine, copper, fluorine, silver, mercury
Acetone Concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid mixtures
Alkali and alkaline earth metals (such as powdered aluminum or magnesium, calcium, lithium, sodium, potassium) Water, carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, halogens
Ammonia (anhydrous) Mercury (in manometers, for example), chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, iodine, bromine, hydrofluoric acid (anhydrous)
Ammonium nitrate Acids, powdered metals, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrites, sulfur, finely divided organic combustible materials
Aniline Nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide
Arsenical materials Any reducing agent
Azides Acids
Bromine See chlorine
Calcium oxide Water
Carbon (activated) Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents
Carbon tetrachloride Sodium
Chlorates Ammonium salts, acids, powdered metals, sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials
Chromic acid and chromium Acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, glycerol, alcohol, flammable liquids in general
Chlorine Ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, butane, methane, propane (or other petroleum gases), hydrogen, sodium carbide, benzene, finely divided metals, turpentine
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
Fluorine All other chemicals
Hydrocarbons (such as butane, propane, benzene) Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide
Hydrocyanic acid Nitric acid, alkali
Hydrofluoric acid (anhydrous) Ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous)
Hydrogen peroxide Copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their salts, alcohols, acetone, organic materials, aniline, nitromethane, combustible materials
Hydrogen sulfide Fuming nitric acid, oxidizing gases
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, gease, oils
Peroxides, organic Acids (organic or mineral), avoid friction, store cold
Phosphorus (white) Air, oxygen, alkalies, reducing agents
Potassium Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water
Potassium chlorate Sulfuric and other acids
Potassium perchlorate (see also chlorates) Sulfuric and other acids
Potassium permanganate Glycerol, ethylene glycol, benzaldehyde, sulfuric acid
Selenides Reducing agents
Silver Acetylene, oxalic acid, tartartic 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 (similar compounds of light metals, such as sodium, lithium)
Tellurides Reducing agents
Matter antimatter

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