Each of the chemicals below can form dangerous organic peroxides over time. These chemicals require special storage, labeling, and handling.
- See Organic Peroxide Formers for UC San Diego requirements for work involving these classes of chemicals.
The most common compound found in UCSD laboratories that consistently forms dangerous amounts of organic peroxides is diethyl ether.
Use the tables below and the UCSD Hazard Control Plan Classification listing for Organic Peroxide Forming Chemicals (Word file) to identify other peroxide formers in your chemical inventory. Note: Lists are illustrative but not exhaustive.
Classes of chemicals that can form peroxides upon aging
|Class I: Unsaturated materials, especially those of low molecular weight, may polymerize violently and hazardously due to peroxide initiation.|
|Chlorobutadiene (chloroprene)||Vinyl chloride|
|Methyl methacrylate||Vinylidene chloride|
|Class II: The following chemicals are a peroxide hazard upon concentration (distillation/ evaporation). A test for peroxide should be performed if concentration is intended or suspected.|
|Cumene||Ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (glyme)|
|Diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (diglyme)||Tetrahydronaphthalene|
|Diethyl ether||Vinyl ethers|
|Class III: Peroxides derived from the following compounds may explode without concentration.|
|Divinyl ether||Potassium metal|
|Divinyl acetylene||Potassium amide|
|Isopropyl ether||Sodium amide (sodamide)|
Source: "Prudent Practices in the Laboratory — Handling and Disposal of Chemicals," National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 1995, page 56.
UCSD Hazard Control Plan Classification listing for Organic Peroxide Forming Chemicals (Word file).