Chemical Segregation

When certain hazardous chemicals are stored or mixed together, violent reactions may occur because the chemicals are unsuitable for mixing, or are incompatible. Classes of incompatible chemicals should be segregated from each other during storage, according to hazard class. Use the following general guidelines for hazard class storage.







Store inside a noncombustible cabinet, separate from flammable and combustible materials. Store inorganic oxidizers, organic peroxides, separate from each other via secondary containment. All oxidizers at GU should be considered shock-sensitive.

Inorganic oxidizers – sodium hypochlorite, ammonium nitrate

Organic peroxides – methyl ethyl ketone peroxide, allyl compounds, haloalkenes, dienes, monomeric vinyl compounds, vinylacetylenes, unsaturated cyclic hydrocarbons

Separate from reducing agents, flammables and combustibles

Flammable Liquids

Store in grounded flammable storage cabinet.

acetone, benzene, diethyl ether, methanol, ethanol, toluene

Separate from acids, bases, oxidizers, and poisons.

Flammable Solids

Store in grounded flammable storage cabinet. Flammable solids must be segregated from flammable liquids via secondary containment.

phosphorus, lithium, sodium, potassium

Separate from acids and oxidizers.

Corrosives Acids

Store in separate acid storage cabinet. Within the acid cabinet store each of the following groups separately via secondary containment: oxidizing acids, flammable (organic) acids, and mineral acids.

Oxidizing acids – nitric acid, perchloric acid, chromic acid, picric acid, chromerge

Flammable and organic acids – glacial acetic acid, trifloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, triflic acid

Mineral acids – hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid

Separate from flammable liquids, flammable solids, bases, oxidizers.

Corrosives – Bases

Store in separate storage cabinet. Store inorganic bases separate from reducing agents via secondary containment.

Inorganic bases –sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide

Reducing agents – lithium aluminum hydride, sodium borohydride, lithium borohydride

Separate from oxidizers and acids.

Compressed Gases- Oxidizing

Store in a cool, dry area, away from flammable gases and liquids. Securely strap or chain cylinders to a wall or bench.

oxygen, chlorine

Separate from flammable gases.

Compressed Gases- Flammable

Store in a cool, dry area, away from oxidizing gases. Securely strap or chain cylinders to a wall or bench top.

methane, acetylene, propane

Separate from oxidizing and toxic compressed gases, oxidizers.

Compressed Gases- Poisonous

Store in a cool, dry area, away from flammable gases and liquids. Securely strap or chain cylinders to a wall or bench.

carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide (H2S)

Flammable and/or oxidizing gases.

Compressed Gases – Inert

Store in a cool, dry area. Securely strap or chain cylinders to a wall or bench.

nitrogen, helium, argon


General Chemicals Non-reactive

Store on general laboratory benches or shelving preferably behind glass doors, or below eye level.

agar, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and most non-reactive salts


Water Reactive Chemicals

Store in dry, cool, location, protect from water fire sprinkler. Note: Many water reactive chemicals are flammable solids. If flammable solid, store as such. If not, store separately from all other chemicals.

sodium metal, potassium metal, lithium metal, lithium aluminum hydride

Separate from all aqueous solutions, and oxidizers.

Poisons (Toxicological Hazard)

If poisons can be categorized as oxidizer, acid, or flammable, store as such. If non-reactive but highly toxic store separately from all other chemicals.

cyanides, heavy metals compounds (e.g., cadmium, mercury, osmium) methyl iodide, dimethyl sulfate, mercury

Flammable liquids, acids, bases, and oxidizers.