Some of the specific compounds that form peroxides during storage are in Appendix 13-A, Table II, lists A, B and C.

  • List A: Compounds that form peroxides that may explode even without concentration.
  • List B: Chemicals that are dangerous when concentrated by distillation or evaporation.
  • List C: Substances for which peroxide formation can initiate explosive polymerization of monomeric forms.

Peroxide accumulation is a balance between the rate of peroxide formation and the rate of peroxide degradation for the particular substance in its environment. For example, certain highly reactive compounds, such as organometallics, accumulate peroxide at low temperatures because the peroxide degradation rate slows relative to the formation rate. By contrast, less reactive compounds such as hydrocarbons or ethers form fewer peroxides at low temperatures.

The more volatile the peroxidizable compound, the easier it is to concentrate the peroxides. Remember that pure compounds are more subject to peroxide accumulation, because impurities can inhibit peroxide formation or catalyze their slow decomposition.