Okay – this is Debbie being nit-picky but I’m going to do it anyway because throwing around the wrong lingo drives me crazy. And can cause you to spend a whole pile of money on the wrong type of refrigerator.
It’s not an “explosion-proof” refrigerator or freezer. A true explosion-proof refrigerator is suitable for use when there’s a potentially explosive atmosphere both inside and OUTSIDE the refrigerator. What you need is a flammable liquid storage refrigerator or “lab-safe” refrigerator.
Around here, pyrorphorics needing refrigeration are stored in flammable liquid storage refrigerators, in a dessicator or similar secondary containment. It’s difficult to get pyrophorics completely segregated from flammables needing refrigeration which is why secondary containment becomes really important.
Hope this helps.
Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow
Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction
that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,
can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."
It is ok to store water sensitive reagents (pyrophorics too) inside an explosion proof refrigerator. Make sure your reagent bottle is under nitrogen atmosphere and cap is closed properly. You may also apply a Teflon tape around the cap and use a secondary containment inside refrigerators main compartment to avoid the sliding of the reagent bottle.
I read some Protocols for Safe Use of Pyrophoric/Water-Reactive Reagents mentioned “When refrigeration of materials is required, materials must be stored in an approved explosion-proof refrigerator/freezer.” As we all know, even the explosion-proof refrigerator/freezer cannot provide dry environment.
Can you share your experience on storing pyrophoric, flammable, and water-sensitive substances such as tBuLi solution in pentanes at low temperature? Great Thanks!
Zhen (Jenny) Fu, Ph.D., Sr. Safety Specialist, Environmental Health & Life Safety
Administration & Finance / Dept. of Public Safety
University of Houston
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