I am figuring out what chemicals to store with Ammonium hydroxide. At the moment a 2-shelf corrosive resistant fume hood cabinet will be used.

I have in mind storing the Ammonium hydroxide with Potassium hydroxide, Sodium hydroxide, and Calcium hydroxide on the lower shelf of the cabinet. Would this be okay? And would it be okay to store carbonates and bicarbonates on the upper shelf? Any other suggestions as to what would be okay to store together with the chemicals listed?

Many thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ I would not store carbonates or bicarbonates with hydroxides. I would restrict that cabinet to alkali materials only. A general chemical safety principal is to store bases separately, acids separately, corrosives, etc. I'd store the carbonates and bicarbonates in a separate cabinet for inorganic solids. $\endgroup$ Feb 5 '16 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ @GeoffHutchison Thanks, Geoff! I am following you advice and will store the hydroxides on their own. The cabinet we have is under the fume hood but does not have any sort of exhaust from the cabinet to the fume hood and out. Would this be okay to store the hydroxides? Everything in the cabinet is corrosion-resistant. $\endgroup$
    – Char
    Feb 10 '16 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ My lab doesn't have separate venting for hydroxides. At least in the US, I don't believe this is required for acid/base cabinets. It's very common here to have an acid or base storage under a hood but not vented. $\endgroup$ Feb 11 '16 at 2:40

On a personal note, I think that the somewhat popular term "ammonium hydroxide" is awfully misleading and should be avoided.

National regulations concerning occupational safety and environmental protection might vary. My suggestions are based German requirements.

According to TRGS 510, aqueous ammonia and the solid hydroxides mentioned in the question fall in the same storage class (8B Non-combustible corrosive substances) and may be stored together.

However, aqueous ammonia is a caustic aqueous solution of a gas. At elevated temperature, pressure may build up.

  • Make sure that the bottle can not break under pressure. For glass bottles, use PE stoppers. Alternatively, use plasic bottles.
  • Make sure that the faces and eyes of lab workers aren't directly hit when something goes wrong. Store bottles with aquous ammonia below hip level.

If you take a look at the GHS hazard statements for aqueous ammonia, you'll see H400: Very toxic to aquatic life. According to German regulations, aqueous ammonia is filed under "Wassergefährdungsklasse (WGK) 2"). You might want to make sure that no aqueous ammonia is released to the water in case of a leakage. Use suitable retention and/or make sure that all drains in the lab are connected to a central netralisation.


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