Does anyone have experience managing the hazards of perchloric acid/ethanol solutions (In this case, prepared for use in electropolishing aluminum)?
I’m specifically interested in the potential formation of explosive alkylperchlorates. Several recipes for this solution are published in the literature. Of course, chemical-safety information resources warn that mixing “perchloric acid” and alcohols will form explosive mixtures. The question then is: Under what conditions (time, temperature, additives?) does the formation of the explosive compounds become likely and/or certain? Can this occur even when using non-anhydrous perchloric acid? I’ve looked, and have come up empty handed on this one.
Please excuse my lack of references included in this message. If anyone is interested in discussing this offline, I can point you to some of my sources. I’m interested in speaking with someone who has dealt with this specific hazard before. I’ll gladly accept your phone calls or direct emails on this topic.
I hope to post another message with a summary of my lessons-learned, assuming that I learn something!
Lab Safety Specialist
Environmental Health and Radiation Safety
University of Pennsylvania
3160 Chestnut St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6287
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