We had EXACTLY the sam e thing happen to us!
In a review of MSDS 217;s from different companies one (out of four) did mention friction. Our Chemwatch ‘gold’ MSDS, which is meant to be like a ‘revie w’ of suppliers MSDS’s surprisingly did not.< /p>
Not that I’m gla d it happened to you guys, but it does validate our thoughts. One suggestio n was ‘micro pitting’ of the spatula may have had a trace of mo isture which set it off!
Our Hazard Alert can b e found here:
Resources Manager (Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Action)
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University (Parkville Campus)
381 Royal Parade, Parkville
Victoria 3052, Australia
Tel: In t + 61 3 9903 9551
Fax: In t + 61 3 9903 9143
Dear Chemical Safety Exper ts,
One of the labs on our cam pus had a fire when the researcher scraped lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH< sub>4) out of the glass jar in which it was packaged. The LiAlH4 was old and the researcher was using a dry metal spa tula. A quick review of the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet informed the user of moisture sensitivity but there is no indication of fr iction causing a fire.
The supervising faculty me mber reported personal knowledge that friction can cause ignition of LiAlH< sub>4.
The manufacturer (Sigma-Al drich) of this material was contacted and responded:
From: Gregory Stachowiak [mail
On Behalf Of Sigma-Aldrich Technical Service
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 8:17 AM
To: Russell Vernon
Cc: Chantalle Carver
Subject: RE: 199877 -- Lithium Aluminum Hydride
Hello again Russell,
Scientist, Technical Service Associate
6000 N Teutonia Avenue / Milwaukee WI 53209 / USA
P: (800) 231-8327, x5326 / G regory.Stachowiak**At_Symbol_Here**sial.com
http://www.erowid.org/chemic als/dmt/dmt_synthesis1.shtml scroll down to step 3:
So it appears likely that friction alone in the presence of air may be able to ignite lithium aluminu m hydride.
You may want to evaluate y our own use and written procedures to prevent this from happening in your w orld.
Russ ell Vernon, Ph.D.
Environ mental Health & Safety
Univers ity of California, Riverside
900 Uni versity Ave
Riversi de, CA 92521
Direct (951) 827-5119
Admin ( 951) 827-5528
Fax (95 1) 827-5122
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