Why is $\ce{XeF_6}$ not stored in glass containers? Isn't the reason glass is used for most acids is that it is non-reactive?

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    $\begingroup$ Aren't there lots of fluorides you can't store in glass? $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2018 at 10:22

1 Answer 1


$\ce{XeF_6}$ can't be stored in glass as it reacts with the silica that makes up the glass

$\ce{2XeF_6 + SiO_2 -> 2XeOF_4 + SiF_4}$

This can proceed further to eventfully make $\ce{XeO_3}$:

$\ce{2XeOF_4 + SiO_2 -> 2XeO_2F_2 + SiF_4}$

$\ce{2XeO_2F_2 + SiO_2 -> 2XeO_3 + SiF_4}$

Dry $\ce{XeO_3}$ is highly explosive ...

That is why both $\ce{XeOF_4}$ and $\ce{XeF_6}$ are stored in nickel containers at room temperature.

These are generally considered as acid-base reactions using the Lux-Flood definition, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid%E2%80%93base_reaction#Lux.E2.80.93Flood_definition

I don't have them to hand but any decent University level Inorganic Chemistry text book such as Housecroft and Sharpe or Greenwood and Earnshaw should cover this.


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