Oxidizer Solvent Explosion

A corrosive storage cabinet under a chemical hood in a University undergraduate laboratory was the site of an early morning explosion.   Luckily, no one was standing in front of the hood when the explosion occurred.   We believe the explosion resulted from nitric acid (an oxidizer) and an organic solvent being mixed in a closed container.

Nitric​ acid reacts violently with most organics resulting in heat, gas or fire. In a sealed container, the pressure would increase due to the expanding gas.  Never mix nitric acid with organic materials (especially in a sealed container) unless the reaction has been thoroughly investigated.  Do not store nitric acid in the same cabinet as organic solvents or organic acids such as acetic acid.

Incidents such as this have occurred on this campus and at other universities in the past, some with more severe consequences.  Help make your campus safer by following proper storage guidelines for chemicals.