The risk of mixing dilute hydrogen peroxide and acetone solutions

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The present study documents the results of a literature search and experimental work to assess the risks of mixing dilute H 2O 2 and acetone solutions. The use of dilute H 2O 2 to clean chemical vessels is common, but it has been shown to be potentially hazardous due to the reaction of H 2O 2 with organic solvents to form explosive peroxides. Mixing concentrated H 2O 2 and acetone with an acid catalyst is known to form the shock and friction sensitive explosives triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and diacetone diperoxide (DADP). A search of the chemical literature was unable to identify any directly applicable research or technical information that addressed the potential formation of explosive peroxides when mixing dilute H 2O 2 and acetone solutions. The conclusion of these experiments is that when mixing dilute solutions, such as less than 3% H 2O 2 and 7% acetone, the solutions are unlikely to form significant amounts of TATP or DADP. In the presence of an acid catalyst, hundreds of parts per million of organic peroxides can be formed. Although TATP is relatively insoluble in water, it is soluble at roughly the 15ppm level and higher for acetone and H 2O 2 solutions, thus any acetone peroxides that are formed without acid catalyst should remain soluble in the aqueous cleaning solution. © 2011 Division of Chemical Health and Safety of the American Chemical Society.

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Journal of Chemical Health and Safety